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Need for speed: Our favourite sports driving watches

The worlds of luxury timepieces and high-end motoring have no shortage of things in common. Both are predicated on a love for the headiest heights of bespoke craftsmanship, both celebrate the customised, the unique, and the exclusive, and both are based around products which are so much more than the sum of their parts.

As such, it should come as no real surprise to discover that the luxury watch and motor racing industries have crossed over on several occasions throughout the last century, and that each has inspired the other with frequently stunning results. Many of the most iconic timepieces ever to grace the wrists of those who love the finer things in life have taken their cue from high-end motoring brands, and the associations between these two luxury sectors continue to produce fantastic watches to this day. From timeless classics such as the Rolex Daytona and TAG Heuer Carrera, to more contemporary releases referencing motorsports, there’s an incredible range to of supercar-inspired timepieces to discover for those who feel the need for speed.

Here at Xupes, we’re passionate about pretty much anything that revels in the luxurious and exclusive, and our passion for both supercar brands and the watches which share their values, precision, and performance is second to none. We’re always delighted to offer incredible pre-loved timepieces for those seeking a horological work of art to wear on their wrists, which is why we’ve put together this list of our all-time favourite motoring inspired watches for your enjoyment and perusal.

Now, without any further ado, let’s take a closer look at five awe-inspiring luxury timepieces which have captured a sense of the racetrack, the essence of an engine’s roar, and the bespoke precision of masterful engineering in every wonderful tick.

Breitling Bentley Series

It’s hard to think of a more fitting crossover of luxury brands that Breitling and Bentley. Both are renowned for flawless execution, a sense of power and dynamism housed within a deeply luxurious coverture, and a enviable status as two of the most sought-after high-end brands on their respective markets. As a result, the Breitling Bentley series of watches has produced no shortage of thrills and spills across the past decade, and a set of design features which is possibly the most explicit of motoring-timepieces crossovers.

Breitling Bentley

The most enduring and visually impressive aspect of the Breitling Bentley timepieces comes in the form of the ‘dashboard style’ dial feature; a trio of dials and bezels which has been borrowed directly from the distinctive Bentley interior. However, the list of supercar-inspired features on these watches is a long one, and includes stunning complications such as a variable tachymeter, sure to give fans of both Bentley and Breitling watches plenty to get excited about.

Chopard Mille Miglia Gran Turismo

Chopard has been the official sponsor and timekeeper of the legendary Mille Miglia race since 1989, prompting the creation of the Mille Miglia Collection. The collection effortlessly blends both fine watchmaking with the spirit of motor racing. This pre-owned Mille Miglia Gran Turismo XL is inspired by more recent vehicle designs and modern technologies. The dial of the Gran Turismo, with its oversized numerals and bold display is reminiscent of a car’s speedometer and the considerable size of the 44-millimeter case size makes sure it can be read at a glance. Whether you’re racing through the track or taking your car out for a sunday afternoon drive, the technical precision and timeless design of Mille Miglia timepieces provide for a perfect companion on the wrist.

Chopard Mille Miglia

Omega Speedmaster

The Omega Speedmaster is a luxury timepiece which has an iconic status almost unlike any other, and is a sports watch with a most particular pedigree. As far as high-speed transport and engineering prowess goes, it’s difficult to get more impressive than a rocket launch into space… and the Omega Speedmaster’s role in the Apollo moon missions is the stuff of watchmaking legend.

Before the space-age prestige of the Speedmaster became its defining characteristic, however, it was very much a key timepiece for the world of high-octane motorsports. When the Speedmaster was launched in 1957, it was prized by rally drivers and other figures in the world of motorsports, due to its chronograph performance, and its unique design attributes. In fact, the distinctive dial design of this exemplary watch series was directly inspired by the dashboards of luxury Italian cars.

Omega Speedmaster

As a design classic, this watch is similarly hard to beat; beautiful, elegant, yet brimming with power and masculine assuredness. This racing watch has everything a motoring fanatic could wish for, with a dedication to precision and flawless execution which has inspired watch designers for decades.

Rolex Daytona

For most timepiece collectors and aficionados, the Rolex Daytona is the first watch that springs to mind when one thinks of racing timepieces and those with a deep connection to the world of motoring. Indeed, the name of this timepiece was taken from the iconic Daytona Beach racecourse, where Rolex was a leading sponsor from 1962 onwards.

Rolex Daytona

A true design classic, and one which has been copied and imitated countless times by other brands, it’s one of the most iconic watches ever created. Certain Daytona models (most notably the Daytona Cosmograph) have taken the connection to motorsports further than others, but all models in this incredible series have plenty to offer those seeking racing watches of utter distinction and class.

From the Daytona’s earliest incarnations – which saw Rolex teaming up with land speed record breaker Sir Malcolm Campbell, who stunned the world at 445 km/h on Daytona Beach - to its association with Paul Newman and other motor-loving Hollywood stars, the Rolex Daytona has always been associated with glamour, high-flying individuals, and blistering speeds. Thanks to its iconic triple sub-dial design and sense of rugged masculinity, this is one watch which never ceases to fascinate and amaze in equal measures.

TAG Heuer Carrera

Sleek, elegant, powerful, and evocative of the golden era of motorsports, the TAG Heuer Carrera timepiece is perhaps the only luxury watch in the world which edges close to stealing the Rolex Daytona’s racing timepiece crown. Sophisticated yet rugged, hardy yet complex, the versatility of this beautiful racing watch makes it equally at home on the racetrack as it is at a society dinner.

Tag Heuer Carrer

All the components of a world-beating racing watch are present and correct; a tachymeter offering racing timing and speed detection, a trio of dials for lap times and precision, and a monochromatic design which exudes power and timelessness… it’s no wonder the Carrera is the racing watch of choice by countless watch lovers across the globe.

Why Choose a Pre-Loved Watch Inspired By Automobile Racing?

If you’re on the lookout for luxury watches of truly iconic status, then most serious timepiece collectors would be quick to advise you to seek out pre-loved models before even considering purchasing anything fresh from the producers. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, and perhaps most significantly, is that many of the most famous and widely-loved timepiece models (those which have truly entered the realm of the legendary) are no longer in production, and exist almost exclusively on the pre-owned market.

Secondly, and perhaps equally as significantly for many buyers, is the fact that many pre-owned timepieces can be considerably more affordable than new models. While some watch brands most certainly appreciate in value over the years, they do tend to be in the minority most of the time. As such, buying pre-loved luxury watches can be a highly economical way of bringing a touch of genuine timeless class and elegance into your life, at prices which are perhaps a little kinder on the wallet.

Pre-Owned Racing Watches of Distinction and Design Perfection

As we’ve seen, the results which have come about from the crossover of the motorsports and luxury timepiece industries are as thrilling as they are enduringly influential. From legendary racing sponsorship deals to outright design features inspired by luxury cars, high-end watches and supercars have evolved in harmony, with one taking the other to new heights of elegance and performance.

Shop our full collection of pre-owned watches here.