I was recently reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about Why Watch Guys Are Often Car Guys, Too and I completely agree with the author. In fact, I myself fall into the watch and car guy type—but I’d also like to add racing bicycles to the mix.
Reading this WSJ article brought me back to when I was young, visiting my father’s best friend’s vintage car repair shop. I grew up listening to the thrilling sounds of V12 engines, smelling intoxicating castor oil, running my fingers over leather seats, and waxing wood dashboards. Suffice to say that at that time I became a passionate vintage car enthusiast, able to recognize any sports car simply by the sound of the engine. I would go every year to the L’Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry, a racing track that was first established in 1924, with my neighborhood friend to watch iconic Aston Martins, Bugattis, Ferraris, and Jaguars compete on this legendary track.
During this era, I was also very interested in fine watches, but alas, didn’t have the funds to support that habit yet! I would often compare the aesthetics and mechanics of a wristwatch to that of a car, drawing parallels between dials and dashboards, watch cases and car bodies, crowns and tires, movements and engines. Both cars and watches still give me the same pleasure today, whether I’m behind the wheel of my vintage Mercedes driving through the quiet and quaint streets of Greenwich just after dawn or putting a vintage Vacheron Constantin watch on my wrist.
But back to bikes. When my father gave me a white Peugeot 10-speed racing bicycle in my younger days, that moment and the following ones pedaling free and shifting gears in the beautiful French countryside, sparked the same magic.
From where I stand, I still draw parallels between watches, cars, and bikes. These strong and practical machines have all evolved over the years, taking advantage of breakthroughs in technology, materials, and ideas.
Watch design & technolgy evolution through time
Today, it’s not uncommon to find Formula 1 tech in Richard Mille and Roger Dubuis watches or in Pinarello and Colnago bikes. We see a lot of cooperation between carmakers and watchmakers, but also some between bicycle brands and watch brands.
Car design & technolgy evolution through time
For example, CEO of Movado and bicycle enthusiast, Efraim Grinberg, paved the way for the Movado Parlee watch.
Movado Parlee watch
I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more bicycle and watch collaborations in the future.
Bycicle design & technolgy evolution through time
I’ve witnessed plenty of car and watch collectors also label themselves as bicycle fans. It’s probably because the mechanics of these machines evoke similar emotions and passion. Last week, I met a guy called Steve, who is a former driver for the Ferrari racing team, a Porsche owner, a Breitling watch collector, and a bicycle buff. Given our shared hobbies, we immediately clicked and enjoyed chatting about our different passions over coffee and French pastries at Patisserie Didier Dumas in Nyack, NY. We came to the same conclusion—yes it is all about toys and we love our toys.
What are your hobbies and passions? I’d love to hear from you so send me an email and share with me what you’re collecting or admiring these days.
Until next time…
Laurent Martinez ✦ Laurent Fine Watches ✦
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