As you may have gathered from a) my Flickr stream and b) many of my watch choices, I’m a bit of a #gaugenerd. Whether it’s the twin fuel gauge of a DeHavilland Mosquito, an oil-filled bourdon tube depth gauge for SCUBA, or the simplicity of a Jaeger Amperemeter, it’s pretty safe to say that I’ll naturally gravitate towards it – usually with a camera in hand. In fact, I've even been involved in a Limited Edition Bremont BC-S2 that ATG VIntage Watches has on the go; the ATG LE aims to capture the black dial, high viz green / white numerals and battered black finish of some of those old Smiths aeronautical gauges found in the cockpit of the Supermarine Spitfire. But I digress.
The Officine Autodromo Vallelunga
Officine Autodromo is a new watch company that aims to blend a love of the romantic heyday of pre-F1 motor racing with crisp, modern design. Launched last year, the range takes inspiration from a time when Gran Turismo was synonymous with grand tourers from Bentley, Alfa or Ferrari, rather than a PlayStation game.
The Officine Auodromo Brescia
There are currently two models, the Brescia: a stripped back, black dialled, black-PVD'd piece that’s devoid of numerals, powered by a Swiss-made Ronda 4003.B Quartz; and the Vallelunga: a more obviously speedometer-inspired three-handed model. In addition, there’s a chronograph version of the Vallelunga (incorporating a Swiss-made Ronda 5020.B Quartz). All three pieces appear to use the same 42mm case, and are water resistant to 3atm. I like the bold styling and large dial / crystal, that maximises the visible area. Motoring cues are everywhere: from the perforated leather straps that evoke the soft leather of driving gloves, to the red-lined dials and indices. The Brescia (above) and Vallelunga retail at $465 (or £289 via the UK Authorised Dealer - Page & Cooper ), while the Vallelunga Chrono is $550 (£339). More models are planned – I saw a prototype last night on the wrist of the owner and designer of Officine Autodromo which looked very impressive indeed.
I think Officine Autodromo may have gained another member of the #autodromisti.