Introducing: The Autodromo Ford GT Endurance Chronograph (And A Very Special GT Owner’s Watch Too)
Sometimes, in very rare instances, David and Goliath actually team up and do something awesome. This is one of those times. Regular HODINKEE readers will be well aware by now of the New York City–based brand Autodromo, and if you haven’t heard of the Ford Motor Company, I don’t know what planet you’re living on. The pair have just announced a two-pronged partnership that includes a collection of affordable chronographs inspired by classic Ford GT race cars, and a customizable watch just for GT owners themselves.
I won’t go into too much detail here about the Ford GT (that could easily be its own story), but you do need a little bit of background info on the car to understand the watches. The GT is the fastest production car ever produced by Ford, and it was a major force at Le Mans in the late 1960s. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original 1966 win, Ford decided to create a new GT race car and enter it in the GT class at the 2016 Le Mans – and they won. Today, Ford makes just 250 GTs per year, and you have to apply in order to get one, with thousands applying annually for that small allocation.
So, now to the watches. Since you have to own a Ford GT to purchase the Owner’s watch, we’ll tackle the GT Endurance Chonograph first. The watch starts with a 40mm stainless steel case that’s comprised of four components, and it’s accented by a really stylish concave tachymeter bezel that slopes down from the upper edge toward the sapphire crystal. There’s definitely a vintage feel to the watch overall, but it also has crisp, clean lines that feel very contemporary. The dial displays a 60-minute totalizer for the chronograph on the left, and a 24-hour AM/PM indicator on the right.
There are five variants, each with a different inspiration. You’ve got an all black version (including a black-coated case) that mirrors the paint scheme of the first 1966 Le Mans-winning Ford GT40, and the 1967 Heritage GT, which is a red and white version inspired by the paint scheme of the 1967 Le Man-winning GT40. We also have the 2016 Heritage GT, a red and blue version inspired by the paint scheme of the 2016 Le Mans-winning GT; a version with Ford’s signature blue and white racing stripes; and a blue, red, and white version that nods to the signature color of Le Mans and the colors of the American and French flags (this last model is also the only one to have a date window at six o’clock as well). Each has a totally unique look, and I could see very different people being drawn to the different models.