QotW: What are your favorite automotive-themed watches?

For the most part, we at JNC are not Watch Guys. However, we do recognize that it’s a thing that might tick our boxes, if we weren’t pouring every spare dime into cars, and we know that there is a large overlap between those who like vintage cars and those who like a nice wrist-worn timepiece. But hey, convince us why watches are worth our attention, and maybe recommend some befitting of someone who likes vintage Japanese cars. Just know that we aren’t prepared to spend GT-R money on one.

What are your favorite automotive-themed watches?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your best JNC photo?

We loved the wide variety of photos submitted, from Brad D‘s Mitsubishi Dodge Colt rearing to go for a drive to bryan kitsune‘s Celica All-Trac in the snow. We were also blown away by the sheer beauty of Long Beach Mike‘s first-gen Accord and Christopher‘s S12 200SX. We were really close to choosing Banpei‘s leaf-covered S14 the Netherlands or MWC’s 1981 Land Cruiser that had navigated all the way to eastern Manitoba’s Gem Lake (described as typically a “fly-in” destination), but Ian N‘s period shot of George Fury’s Violet SSS rally car eked out the win:

Photo of George Fury’s Datsun Violet 710 SSS taken 8th April 1977 at Rockingham, Western Australia during the Rally of the West – a round of the Australian Rally Championships, which he won (tied with Ross Dunkerton) that year. With the nickname of “Farmer George”, he was a farmer (quite a number of successful Aussie rally drivers were!) from New South Wales and later switched over to black-top, proving the viability of the Bluebird Turbos against the traditional Holdens and Fords.


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18 Responses to QotW: What are your favorite automotive-themed watches?

  1. Juan Glez Hr says:

    Toyota Altezza/Lexus Is first gen.

  2. GeorgeL says:

    Years ago, when I worked for Yokohama Tire, I got a commemorative watch from them when the Nissan 300ZX won the Daytona 24 Hours overall. Love that watch (but I’ve never worn it)!

    I also have a Red Bull Holden motorsport watch and I bought a watch at the Ferrari store a couple of years ago in Rome with a gorgeous red face and black leather band. Lastly, I have an Atturo Tire watch that features an off-road tire tread pattern on the watch band. Very cool!!

  3. Nigel says:

    I just have casio (a most awesome japanese watch company) watches.

    • Lupus says:

      Bolshevik nonsense! Seiko is the most awesome japanese watch company!

    • Max says:

      I think a Casio could be a contender to be the unofficial watch of JNC enthusiasts, they are affordable, well built, quite humble especially if you work in a place where many consider $1,000 an “entry level watch” and of course, built in Japan!

      Personally I have a Honda watch my girlfriend bought me when I bought my first car, I wish I still had the car too, but the watch is still good after 14 years! I have had my eye on a Casio for a couple of months, but of course I have not been wearing watches at work due to Covid-19 having a special love for metal surfaces. Maybe some day 🙂

  4. j_c says:

    My favorite is the utterly absurd wankel inspired C3H5N3O9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o42GStO9V5I
    I don’t how many were sold, but they were advertised in 2012 at well over $100k. No, I don’t have one.

    Not automotive themed, but the most JNC watch is most likely an old Seiko 5. Millions were made through the decades in a variety of groovy designs and colors.

  5. Ian N says:

    The Orient Star 55 Year Commemorative watch for the Subaru 360 is as cute as the car! (See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dboxjNwjN1E – and https://www.horbiter.com/en/orient-star-wz0031dd-subaru-360-55th-anniversary-photos-price/ )

    I’ve been watching this watch for some time as I have had a hankering for one of this calibre that could get my Pulsimeter racing!

    (yes, all puns intentional)

  6. エーイダン says:

    I’d just add a Nismo sticker to the back of my old cheap analog from High school and that’d be my favourite. Add a new battery and boom, work like a charm.

  7. CycoPablo says:

    It was the best of watches.
    It was the worst of watches.

    The year was 1993. I was at a work-related function on a Friday night in Fremantle, Western Australia. I’d had a few drinks, comfortable in the knowledge I didn’t have to drive that night.
    My 1988 CRX was back in the work car park.

    Late in the night, we stumbled into an amusement arcade on the main road. In a large, circular glass skill tester I saw this watch:

    Mugen Power. I had to have it!
    Long story a little shorter, this POS watch cost me 10 or 12 dollars. Something ridiculous anyway. The buttons on the left of the case are fake. What some think is a solar collector at the top is just faceted plastic. It’s the most basic digital watch you can get.

    But at the time, I loved it. I wore it proudly for 3 years, alternating with my Swatch — which I also still have — until the battery died.

    It lived in a little box until I removed it today to photograph it. Call me sentimental, but I think it deserves a new battery.

  8. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Seiko 7016 “Monaco” series flyback chronograph. While it isn’t “themed” as automotive, it screams of 60’s Grand Prix (movie) with Yamura Motors.


  9. dankan says:

    If you need a vintage Japanese watch to go with a vintage Japanese car, you’d probably not be able to do it better than an original Seiko Panda. The company explains its history here: https://www.seikowatches.com/us-en/special/chronograph_historical/

    You can get modern versions, but I think they’re nowhere near as good as the original.

  10. Lupus says:

    Seriously, i think that matching a wristwatch to car is absurd. I’m a huge fan of JDM and Japan’s culture overall so my choice in therms of watches is just a simple Citizen-powered Fuji watch on steel bracelet as daily and a vintage Seiko 5 on brown lether strap for more formal situations.
    Matching the watch with the car is for me something like wearing clothes or using towels with car maker’s logo on them. I’m a true Daihatsu beliver for over 15 years but i don’t own any merchendise with “D” logo, beside books and dealer brochures.

  11. Banpei says:

    I don’t wear watches: I simply stopped wearing them after I got my first mobile phone. However I do like clocks and I have quite a lot of them in my house. Most of those are (retro or vintage) wind up clocks and all but one is automotive themed and this clock has a funny story…

    As, probably has become clear in my comments here, I’m a big fan of the third generation Toyota Carina. In 2009 I stumbled upon a wall clock in a golden frame featuring the third generation Carina on Yahoo Auctions. The clock featured the digital dashboard of the third generation Carina in the foreground and a Carina in some European setting in the background. The digital speedometer is where the digital quartz clock is placed, even though (in my opinion) the digital quartz clock on the speedometer would have been a much better choice. Most probably this clock was an ornament by Toyota to dress up their Toyota Stores selling the third generation Carina. Later I have found similar clocks of the second generation Supra (featuring a Lotus 81 in the background) and the first and second generation Soarer. So this really must have been a thing in the 80s!

    This is what the clock looks like:

    I didn’t buy it back then and it was snapped up by someone else. I immediately regretted not buying it in the first place and this is what I wrote on my blog back in those days:
    “The thing is, of course, horrendous and so ugly I would not dare to put in anywhere on my wall. But it intrigues me why anyone would create such a thing in the first place and, of course, it should be preserved for future generations! ”

    Second time one came up on Yahoo Auctions was five years later, so I immediately purchased it and had it shipped. Once it arrived I regretted buying it: the purchase price was maybe 10 or 15 dollars, but the shipping cost (inside Japan to my broker and from Japan to the Netherlands) was exceeding 100 dollars (3 months sea fare) and once it arrived it I also had to pay import duties for it. This clock costs me in excess of 150 dollars! The reason why it was so expensive was because it’s sheer size and weight: it measures 50x35cm (20×14 inches) and weighs almost 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds). The auction never mentioned the size nor weight and I assumed it was a small desk sized clock.

    So now I’m stuck with a huge clock that doesn’t fit anywhere in my house, so it’s currently somewhere in my basement where I keep all my other car memorabilia. I occasionally use it as an ornament in some videos that I made so it does have a purpose after all. I also was able to find the exact location of the photo in Belgium and, as it’s only 300 kilometers (almost 200 miles) from my home town, I’ve been thinking about going there with my own Carina and make the exact same photo. However that would require me to make the Carina more reliable (full service necessary), swap the headlights for the Japanese style and a long overdue respray of the car. So it will take another 5 years for me to actually do it. 😉

  12. Vitor David says:

    I have 2 passions: Cars and watches.
    Happily i dont need a Rolex Daytona or a vintage heuer chronograph to be happy. A simple seiko chronograph that costs less than 200 usd is enough for me

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