Autodromo has released new racing-themed timekeepers which utilize Japanese hybrid calibers that are driven by quartz, but also use mechanical parts for their chronograph functions. Apart from the basic version of the timepiece with two chronograph sub-counters, there is likewise a limited edition dedicated to the legendary race car driver Vic Elford. These retro-styled timekeepers are strapped on leather wristlets and come at the price tag of $625 for the basic version and $775 for the limited edition version with three chrono sub-counters.
As it name clearly states, the Italian brand Officine Autodromo is the brand which produces watches inspired by and intended for the race car aficionados. These latest pieces in particular are modeled after the style of watches from the 1960s and 1970s. Moreover, Autodromo based its newcomers on the watch design from the era, as well as instruments of prototype vehicles used in endurance races, such as the Le Mans, Targa Florio or Nurburgring.
Regardless whether we are talking about the basic Prototipo model or the limited edition version, we can see that they have matching housings. The round case features the diameter of 44 mm and includes nice beveled integrated lugs which make the housing quite large, which can be illustrated with the fact that it is 48 mm long. Still, it is not too thick and possesses the height of 11.5 mm. It is made of stainless steel and includes a solid steel case-back. The case includes a silver-colored crown and black pushers that contrast the rest of the housing. Completed with a sapphire crystal that guards the watch from the front side, it has water resistance to 50 meters.
Seiko Hybrid Quartz Movement with Mechanical Parts
As it has been mentioned, Prototipo watches are made with Japanese-made hybrid movements. These Seiko produced calibers rely on a quartz module which also integrates mechanical parts that allow instant reset feature for the sweeping second hand of its chronograph complication which has the precision within 1/5th of a second. There is a slight difference between the calibers used for Prototipo timekeepers. While the basic version has Seiko VK64 Hybrid Meca-Quartz caliber that allows two chrono sub-counters placed next to each other, the limited version utilizes VK63 that allows three chrono counters and lacks the date indication at the bottom which is featured in the basic model. Apart from these traits, there are really no other major differences between the calibers.
Autodromo Prototipo Chronograph
Autodromo Prototipo timepiece (or the basic version) is available with dials in two different shades which come with chrono indications in contrasting colors and a date display at the very bottom. The black version includes white chronograph indications, whereas the second version has it the other way round (though counters are in fact silver and not white). Other notable features include a black flange with scales for tachymeter and pulsometer and peculiarly-styled chrono hands with rectangle basis. While the black one has hands in red color, the white one implements lovely light-blue ones.
Autodromo Prototipo Chronograph Vic Elford Limited Edition
On the other hand, the 224-piece limited series dedicated to Vic Elford is a bit more colorful in order to resemble the Porsche 907 he drove when he set the record at the Targa Florio race in 1968. That is why the lower quarter of the white dial is in yellow color. Otherwise, the chrono hands are yellow, apart from the lower one which in red, just like the sweeping seconds hand. Minute and number hands are white, as well as luminous. The number of pieces in the series also stems from the legendary race, since 224 was Elford’s number during the event. Elford’s driving at the Sicilian racing competition remains remembered because he was able to overcome an 18 minute deficit and turn it into a 2 minute advantage. During the course of the race, the English driver kept setting and beating the lap records. To commemorate the feat, Autodromo opted to decorate the case-back of the limited edition with the map that depicts Targa Folio circuit. All racing aficionados will also be pleased to know that the individually- numbered limited edition watch comes with a personally signed booklet that covers Elford’s career.
Both regular and restricted edition Prototipo watches are with a black genuine Italian leather strap with perforations. There is however a slight difference, since the regular version has smaller, but more numerous openings, while the Vic Elford Limited Edition has fewer and significantly larger perforations. In both cases, the width of the strap is exactly 20 mm.