Our last look at Italian watch company CT Scuderia involved marveling at their race timer-inspired Corsa, which takes its design cues from vintage racing stopwatches — in particular, a Minerva rattrapante that belonged to company founder and chief designer Enrico Margaritelli’s grandfather. We’re just as enamored by their new Dashboard series ($1,495+) of automatic watches, another vintage-inspired collection; this time the muse is vintage speedometers.
Before we go any further, however, it’s worth noting that Signore Margaritelli is no mere dilettante when it comes to vintage racing machines from the 1950s and ’60s; as a former professional motorcycle racer and journalist in his native Italy, he has intimate firsthand knowledge of the machines that provide the inspiration for his watches. Margaritelli maintains an extensive collection of cafe racers — in fact, he still rides when the opportunity presents itself.
Margaritelli’s passion can be readily seen in the Dashboard series’s fonts, layouts and colors. That said, this new line represents a departure of sorts for the young brand: this time, they’ve drawn on the analog gauges found in automobiles, and not motorcycles. The reasoning behind this decision was simple. Cars tend to resonate more than motorcycles with many watch collectors, so why not give these folks something to call their own?
However, as he was researching gauges for this new line, Margaritelli found that there was a lot of overlap between automobiles and his beloved motorcycles, with gauges from popular companies in the fifties and sixties, such as Smiths (Great Britain), Veglia (Italy) and Jaeger (Switzerland) found on vehicles with both two and four wheels. Indeed, each of the five pieces in the collection can trace its heritage to a particular gauge from a particular company. In an additional nod to their internal combustion counterparts, the Dashboard watches wear their crowns at 6:00, which is the traditional position of the reset switch on vintage analog gauges.
In spite of the overarching Italian flair, these are Swiss watches through-and-through, with production and assembly taking place entirely in Switzerland, from the movements to the cases to the hand sewn straps (okay, fine, the leather is sourced in Italy). Given the relatively affordable prices being asked, this is a remarkable feat, and a point of pride for the company.
As for the future of CT Scuderia, don’t expect to see a diver added to the line up; Signore Margaritelli is very specific on that point, with his focus remaining like a laser on his target demographic, which he refers to as the “gentleman driver”. And so, with that said, gentlemen, start your engines.