Autodromo Group B

Autodromo is a brand founded in Brooklyn by Bradley Price, industrial designer with a passion for motoring and more specifically, Italian cars such as Alfa Romeo and Lancia. Even the name evokes the motor-racing circuit at Monza, location of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix. After the 2014 Autodromo Stradale, an automatic watch based on the design of an Alfa Romeo speedometer, the Group B is a collection of four automatic watches inspired by Group B rally cars (such as the Lancia 037 Stradale) whose combination of high power and light construction made them very fast and very dangerous. The watches have a mechanical Miyota movement, and they show that Swiss movement manufacturer ETA’s decision (or rather, its owner Swatch Group’s decision) to restrict ETA movements to just Swatch Group brands will probably increase the number of brands working with quality Asian-made movements such as Miyota and Seiko. Overall the mechanical watch scene will become less Switzerland-centric.

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The Autodromo Group B has a lightweight 39mm diameter titanium case, 9 mm thick, within a steel chassis with integrated lugs, and the use of titanium helps keep the weight down to 52 grams. The design is a 1980s classic, a circular capsule in a flat, brushed-steel outer case. The strap is in nylon, reminiscent of racing harnesses, and two are provided with each watch, grey and red. You can change them easily without tools, a very nice user-friendly touch. The caseback is solid, so you don’t get a view of the movement, though this helps keep the thickness down. Water resistance is 50 metres.

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Inside, the Japanese-made Miyota 9015 automatic movement includes the stop-seconds function for precision time-setting. It has a power reserve of about 40 hours, and an accuracy of around +/-10 seconds a day, though the manufacturer quotes +/-10-30 seconds according to the degree of mainspring winding and posture. In the photo below, the watch with caseback removed.

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The watch costs $950 and it can be ordered on the Autodromo website. The brand’s Facebook page gives a good idea of their passion for vintage racing – there are as many photos of cars as there are of watches – and enthusiasts who like this sort of style can also buy Autodromo’s Stelvio sunglasses and stringback driving gloves. All photos courtesy of Autodromo.

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