NOTThere is no doubt that car enthusiasts have circled the date of March 16 in red on their diary: that day will open the Retromobile show in Paris. Last year, the traditional meeting could not take place for the health reasons that we know. This time, the event will go well over five days, Porte de Versailles, with a program as rich as it is varied. Among the themes are tributes to the Lamborghini Countach… and the R5; a retro look at the Citroëns of the 80s; a return to the Group A rally models of 40 years ago and the cars of the Presidents of the Republic; a demonstration of the first automobile; an exhibition dedicated to the machines of the Slowness Festival and many other things. Not to mention the traditional auction and the many stands dedicated to automotive passion in all its forms (more than 600 exhibitors and 1,000 vehicles).
The great return of F1
March 20, the last day of Rétromobile, will correspond to the resumption of the Formula 1 world championship, the inaugural round of which will be held in Bahrain. While the first tests carried out in Barcelona on February 23 and 24 revealed the unique configuration of the single-seaters, the Sakhir Grand Prix will lift the veil on the final choices made by the teams. “With the exception of the steering wheel and the pedals, everything is new on our cars,” joked Esteban Ocon, who recognizes that the increase in wheel diameter is one of the biggest changes. Just like the aerodynamic modifications to guarantee easier overtaking. In the meantime, the driver of the Alpine F1 team presented us with the watch that Bell & Ross, partner of the team, designed for him exclusively after his victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix last year. Produced on the BR-X1 A521 base, this timepiece called BR-X1 EO 31 has a chrono second hand in the colors of the Hungarian flag which is positioned at rest on the number 1. And the back of Esteban Ocon’s watch bears a sentence engraved in the metal: The story is on. An entire program…
A new TAG Heuer in Red Bull Racing colors
If the French driver gleaned his first laurels in 2021, the Dutchman Max Verstappen won his first F1 world championship title. Watchmaking partner of the Red Bull Racing team, TAG Heuer has just unveiled the new livery of its flagship Formula 1 model. We thus find an ultra dynamic combination of dark blue, red and yellow. The 43 mm steel case houses a quartz movement ensuring the chronograph function with an accuracy of 1/10and of a second. To be worn on the edge of the circuits on a steel or rubber strap, but also while practicing any type of land or water sport since the watch is water resistant to 200 m.
BRM hypertechnical version
For once, BRM is abandoning the round shape to which we are accustomed and offering an isosceles trapezium case with rounded corners. This geometry of futuristic spirit perfectly translates the vocation of a watch which, in the words of Bernard Richards, the founder of the French brand, draws its inspiration from hypertechnology. But rest assured, BRM retains its sporting DNA since this new part offers a very personal interpretation of two elements from the mechanical world, namely the silent blocks and the belts. “In addition to their aesthetic side, these innovations contribute to making the FF39-40 the first automatic watch whose protection against shocks is ensured both vertically and horizontally”, assures Bernard Richards in essence. The two letters FF signifying Full Floating, we understand that the movement is in a way suspended in the void in order to escape vibrations and jolts. At BRM, we speak of “floating caliber”. A watch in avant-garde pole position, to choose from in titanium or bronze.
Depancel, car passion
Do you know the tricolor brand Depancel? No need to look for the trace of a watchmaker bearing this surname who would have created his factory in the 19th century.and century. On the other hand, there is indeed a Clément Meynier, 32, an engineer at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics) who abandoned his expertise in vacuum and cryogenics to devote himself to his dual passion: watches and cars. This is how that he created in 2018 in Geneva a brand whose name smells good the automobile of yesteryear: Depancel, for Delage-Panhard-Facel Vega. Since then, 9,000 pieces have already been marketed through a pre-order process. Three models are available, the sportiest certainly belonging to the P-Series (for Pista GT). This has a bezel reminiscent of a tire and its openworked dial reveals the “engine” in a beautiful harmony of black and red. All for a very reasonable price.
A watch like a radiator from an antique Delage
The latest creation from the young Depancel house is part of the f-back R-Series, both a best-seller and an emblematic piece summarizing the philosophy of Clement Meynier. The asymmetrical square shape of this piece is inspired by a Delage grille and its beveled lines recall the aerodynamics of fastback bodies. Contrary to what one might think at first glance, it is not a chronograph (be patient!), but a calendar function displaying the day, date and month with 24-hour indication. What could be mistaken for pushers are in fact shoulders framing the crown. Both sporty and retro, a new version with a Metallic Green dial has just been released, paying homage to the legendary Ford Mustang from the film. Bullitt. A brand to follow.