The new Gran Turismo Collection by Swatch, recently unveiled at London Collections: Men, is influenced jointly by motor racing and some of the sport’s legendary fans from popular culture. Unsurprisingly, Steve McQueen is at the top of Swatch creative director Carlo Giordanetti’s list of heroes.
He also references another aesthetic, however, that of “classic dandy elegance”, and nominates Jude Law’s performance in The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) as well as legendary Italian actors and men of style, Marcello Mastroianni and Vittorio Gassman.
Expanding on how the watch-maker approached the link between cars and timepieces for its latest range, Giordanetti says, “I think the relationship lies in three magic words: precision, reliability and beauty.” Which pretty much nails it.
The new Swatch Gran Turismo Collection offers a mix of classic builds with more contemporary, minimalist designs. Each incorporates an automotive influence, such as a speedometer or wheel-spoke motifs on their dials. “The world of cars, and particularly their instruments, has long been a passion of ours,” Giordanetti says. “It’s in their intricate graphics, detailed finishes and the hues and tones of their frames.”
Esquire’s favourite from the new designs is the Mire Noire, closely followed by the Destination Madrid. Giordanetti, naturally, has his own reasons for choosing his personal highlights. “I have two favourites. The Destination Paris chronograph, because it signifies the return of burgundy — a colour I love for accessories — and the Double Depth, because we achieved such a good finish on the leather strap.”
With the Gran Turismo series successfully launched, Swatch is already thinking about the release of its next collection. This time the focus will be on weight, or lack thereof. “We are very excited about welcoming a new member to the family,” Giordanetti says. “The Irony XLite range was born by mixing extruded aluminium and injected plastic, and it makes a real statement in the world of big, sporty timepieces.”
You’ll have to wait a few weeks for those, but the Gran Turismo collection is available for you to explore now.