Ferrari isn’t the only automaker that can get involved in the exclusive luxury watch business. Jaguar wants to get in on the fun and it tapped British watchmaker Bremont to create an ultra-limited edition timepiece in honor of the iconic Lightweight E-Type .
The two British brands actually have a history of collaboration, beginning with the development of the Jaguar C-X75 Concept back in 2010, specifically the analog dashboard clock found in the interior of the 778-horsepower hybrid supercar. Now, the two companies are back at it again with a new partnership that ties into Jaguar’s plan to finish the Lightweight E-Type project it started in February 1963.
The watch itself is a thing of beauty. It’s got a 43 mm (1.69-inch) white gold case with an aluminum center ring. This ring, it turns out, was made using the same material used int he construction of the Lightweight E-Type. How’s that for unique, right? Look inside at the black dial and you’ll notice that it was inspired by a Lightweight E-Type tachometer. A subtle "red zone" quadrant is also a prominent feature while at the six o’clock position, a specific car chassis number of the Lightweight E-Type is displayed, just above where it reads ’Automatic’ and ’Made in U.K.’ Meanwhile, the watch strap is made from Connolly leather, which is the same type of cover Jaguar used on the Lightweight E-Type’s upholstery.
Neither Jaguar nor Bremont has mentioned any pricing details for these six watches. What we do know is that they won’t come cheap. Not cheap at all.
Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar Lightweight E-Type tachometer.
Why It Matters
Here’s a short history lesson about the Lightweight E-Type. Jaguar originally planned to build 18 models as part of its ’Special GT E-Type’ project. But in the end, the company only built 12 of the 18 models, leaving out six of the designated chassis numbers unused. It took 51 years, but win May 2014, Jaguar announced that it would ’re-start’ the E-Type project by finishing the last six models through its own Special Operations division.
All this brings us to its tie-up with Bremont. Jaguar’s not just building these cars 51 years after-the-fact; it’s turning it into an event of sorts and it enlisted Bremont to join in on the celebration by creating six limited-edition watches to commemorate all six un-built models, right down to their chassis numbers.
That’s why these six watches matter.
The "new" Jaguar Lightweight E-Type models will retain the same specifications that were used in 1963, right down to the smallest and most intricate of details. Each model will also be hand-built by the fine craftsmen working at Jag’s facility in the UK with special assistance coming from Jaguar Heritage.
Once built, the new E-Type will come in a myriad of colors, including SIlver Metallic, Carmine Red, Opalescent Grey Metallic, Silver Metallic, Opalescent Blue Metallic, and the iconic Old English White and British Racing Green that Jaguar has become famous for.
Incredibly, Jaguar was also able re-create the original engines using an 3.8-liter straight-six engine. The company was even able to produce 340 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque with either the standard trio of Webber carbs or the optional Lucas mechanical fuel injection.
Gallery Jaguar Lightweight E-Type
Today Jaguar announces further news in its relationship with the Bremont Watch Company and reveals one of six unique wristwatches to be offered to customers of the six new Lightweight E-Type vehicles to be built by Jaguar Heritage.
"The Lightweight E-Type project is so special that we thought we really needed to create something which complemented the cars and, since most classic enthusiasts also tend to be horophiles, a wristwatch seemed to be the answer," says Jaguar director of design, Ian Callum.
"Bremont was the obvious choice as a partner, both because we have worked closely together in the past on the clocks for the C-X75 and XJ75 Platinum concept cars and because, like Jaguar, it is a quintessentially British brand."
Callum continued: "We didn’t want a watch that was too obvious in terms of design, but something which captured the spirit of the Lightweight in a subtle yet relevant way and I think Bremont has certainly achieved that goal."
Giles English, who co-founded Bremont in 2002 with his brother, Nick, says the new Lightweight watches provided the firm with the perfect opportunity to take the important step of launching its own proprietary movement.
"We have been working on designing, developing and producing our first exclusive movement for more than a year, and it seems fitting that it is going to make one of its first appearances in this very special watch for Jaguar," said Giles English
"Creating the watch proved to be a fascinating project, as we were given access to the Jaguar archives in order, for example, to ascertain the exact font for the numerals used on the dial of the original rev counters. The fact that we were required to make just six examples enabled us to be very creative in a way that is not always possible when designing a watch for larger scale production - and that’s why we have been able to feature touches such as using real wood for the rim of the ’steering wheel’ winding rotor. Each watch is, essentially, bespoke."
Drawing inspiration directly from the car, the 43mm watch features a black dial based on the look of a Lightweight tachometer and features a subtle ’red zone’ quadrant. The chamfered hour and minute hands replicate the instrument’s tachometer needle, while the chassis number of the relevant car is printed at the six o’clock position.
The central band of the white gold case is made from aluminum remaining from construction of the new Lightweight body panels and will be anodized to match the color of the car it is designed to complement.
Other touches include a winding crown which is engraved with the pattern of the period-correct racing tires used on the continuation Lightweights, and straps made from the same Connolly leather which is being used for the interior trim.
Turning the watch over reveals an automatic winding rotor shaped like the alloy-spoked Lightweight steering wheel, which is visible through a sapphire crystal case back. The details of the rotor include an authentic wooden rim. The back of each watch carries the engine number of the car it is paired with.
Jaguar first collaborated with the British watch company during the launch of the cutting edge Jaguar C-X75 in 2010, for which Bremont developed an analog dashboard clock keeping with the 778 horsepower hybrid supercar’s futuristic nature and 205 mph performance.
The two quintessentially British firms have now reinforced their partnership following the announcement earlier this year that Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations division would complete the Lightweight E-Type project through its Jaguar heritage division.
The new cars are the ’missing’ six vehicles from the ’Special GT E-type’ project, which originally started in February 1963 with the objective of building 18 cars. Only 12 of the aluminum-bodied Lightweight E-Type vehicles were eventually built and the remaining six designated chassis numbers having lain dormant, until now. The six new cars will carry those original, historic Lightweight E-Type chassis numbers.
Each of the six cars will be built to the exact specification of the last Lightweight E-Type produced in 1964 and will be hand-crafted at the original home of the E-Type, Browns Lane in Coventry, England. The cars will be sold as period competition vehicles and all will be suitable for FIA homologation for historic motorsport purposes.
A race winner in the hands of a variety of famous drivers during its competitive career, the car has achieved worldwide fame and original examples are highly sought after. In recreating the Lightweight E-Type, Jaguar Heritage has been able to call on the superlative skills and experience of many talented engineers and technicians within JLR.
The launch of this exclusive Lightweight E-Type watch marks the start of a long term relationship for Jaguar and Bremont. Future editions will be announced at a later date.
SPECIFICATIONS - BREMONT LIGHTWEIGHT E-TYPE CHRONOMETER
Case: 43mm white gold case with aluminum center ring made from the remaining material used in the construction of the Lightweight E-Type
Movement: BWC/01 Bremont proprietary, self-winding movement, chronometer rated for accuracy and fitted with ’steering wheel’ rotor.
Dial: Based on Lightweight tachometer and marked with car chassis number.
Strap: Connolly leather, same as used for Lightweight E-Type upholstery.
Number to be built: Six