Falling in the ‘say what?!’ news category, California-based Singer Vehicle Design is now getting into watches. The Singer Track1 Chronograph launches the brand’s foray into watchmaking, as well as the new ‘Singer Reimagined’ company, which will focus on mechanical watches from its home in Geneva. Singer Vehicle Design, as before, will continue its focus on restoring and modifying Porsche 911s.
As you may know, Singer Vehicle Design was founded in 2008 by Rob Dickinson, however Singer Reimagined came to be following a meeting between Dickinson and Marco Borraccino in 2014. Borraccino is a respected creative director and watch designer (he has designed several Panerai watches as well as other luxury products) and now heads Singer Reimagined, as managing director and co-founder.
Considering Singer’s automotive background and because both Dickinson and Borraccino share a passion for classic chronographs of the late 1960s and 70s, it’s no surprise that their first watch is a vintage-inspired racing chronograph. Both gentlemen are also said to share an almost fanatical commitment to design and engineering, which is why the chronograph they produced is unlike most of the chronographs on the market today (at the time of publishing this story). In fact with the Track1, Borraccino wanted to take certain elements from vintage racing chronographs and combine them with upgrades that enhance the overall usability of the timepiece. In this case, that meant making the chronograph indications more legible and easier to understand.
As you can see from the pictures, this chronograph doesn’t have individual sub-dials for hours, minutes and seconds spread across its dial. Instead, it has a central chronograph display with all the indications and three slightly different hands (for differentiation when reading the elapsed time). As for time of day indications, well, that can be read on the periphery of the dial on two rotating aluminium discs. There’s no running seconds for the time of day and in the picture above, the time is 10 past 10, while the chronograph is indicating seven hours, 43 minutes and 26 seconds.
With this watch, the focus is clearly on recording elapsed time with the chronograph rather than standard time keeping. This is also driven home by the fact that this watch has a scale that’s graduated 0-60, which means you can time up to 60 hours rather than the more standard 12 (handy if you’re into endurance racing etc.).
Of course, you can’t just move the chronograph indications to the centre of the dial and use any old chronograph calibre to drive the hands, and that’s where the Singer Track1 Chronograph picked up its third stakeholder. You see Borraccino had already brainstormed and sketched the type of watch he wanted and because that design called for a specialised movement, Borraccino approached watchmaking genius, Agenhor founder Jean-Marc Wiederrecht.
Wiederrecht is a legend within the watchmaking industry – he’s designed complicated calibres for brands such as Chopard, Harry Winston, Hermes, MB&F and Van Cleef & Arpels to name a few. As it turns out, Wiederrecht had just the solution for the watch that Borraccino sketched, with his over 10-years in development AgenGraphe AGH 6361 chronograph calibre. (It seems both Borraccino and Wiederrecht had the same thought about the limitations of traditional chronographs at some point in their respective lives and that a better, more modern solution was needed.)
Calibre 6361 is a complicated and beautiful calibre (just look at the caseback picture) that was developed completely by Agenhor. We’ll try and explain the calibre in detail once we have an AgenGraphe powered watch in our hands but until then, we can tell you that it beats at 3Hz, offers 60 hours of power reserve (minimum) and has 477 parts. The calibre’s design is such that the hours and minutes of the chronograph jump instantaneously, rather than creep forward as is the case with a lot of modern chronographs.
With regards to what it delivers, this calibre simplifies the indication of elapsed time via simple and easy to read central chronograph indications. It was the perfect fit for the Track1 and in case you’re wondering, there’s only one other watch (at the time of writing) that uses the AGH 6361 calibre, Faberge’s Visionnaire Chronograph.
Aesthetically, the Track1 Chronograph boasts a vintage-style tonneau case (like Heuer’s Autavia’s in the 70s), which measures 43mm in diameter. The case is made from titanium and boasts brushed and polished surfaces. Going purely on the press photos that we received, we think it’s a handsome watch with some nice details (check out those multi-faceted indexes).
Considering this watch’s connection to Singer Vehicle Design and its focus on Porsche 911s, we didn’t spot any major ‘Porsche connections’ (if there are any, let us know in the comments), although we’re absolutely fine with this. In fact, it’s refreshing that a brand hasn’t tried to force a particular design aesthetic in order to make a connection to another luxury product.
The launch edition of the Singer Track1 Chronograph is limited to 50 pieces and carries a retail price of about $40,000. The watch is sold exclusively through Singer Reimagined’s website.
Read more about the Singer Track1 Chronograph on Singer Reimagined’s homepage by clicking here.
Read about Singer Vehicle Design by clicking here.
Check out Agenhor by clicking here.