Test drive: Autodromo Stradale Automatic at Pebble Beach 2014

 

Last week at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, I had the distinct pleasure to “test drive” the latest chronograph creation from the fine fellows at Autodromo. It’s called the Stradale Automatic and it’s a true thing of motoring-inspired beauty.

In Italian, “stradale” means “road going” and this new flagship timepiece is certainly that. With domed sapphire crystal and a band that conjures images of foregone Ferrari roadsters, the Stradale is – just like with all other Autodromo products – influenced by sports cars of yore. Specifically, dashboard instruments from Italian sports berlinettas of the late 1950s and early 1960s inspired the three-dimensional face of the Stradale.

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The Stradale is designed to inspire its owner – and onlookers alike – to get out onto the open road and enjoy the majesty that is open-top motoring. And I’d say it succeeds. I’ve long been a fan of the Autodromo brand. In fact, I picked up the brand’s first model several years ago. Still to this day, the watch attracts attention and compliments.

The Stradale is no different. As I sauntered around the Concourso Italiano snapping pictures in front of some of the finest Italian cars ever built, people came up and inquired about the timepiece.

Aside from the attention it garnered me, I loved the size and feel of the Stradale. It’s thick without feeling chunky. It’s well weighted, too; it feels significant without straining my arm. Also, the face is nicely sized at 40 mm, so I never felt like my wrist was lost behind a big hunk of steel.

Add to all that the designer’s attention to detail and I was hooked. The hour indexes are applied to a transparent glass ring, floating over the colored dial, creating a 3D effect. And if you flip the watch over, you’ll be treated to a glimpse of the 24 jewel Japan-Made automatic movement, beautifully finished and displayed behind a sapphire exhibition caseback.

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Unfortunately, I had to give the watch back after 24 hours. However, it quickly captured a place in my heart and hopefully soon a place in my collection. If, like me, you’d like to add the Autodromo Stradale to your wardrobe, it can be pre-ordered on the Autodromo website for $875.

Specifications

  • Miyota 9015 automatic 24 jewel mechanical movement
  • Calendar complication and hacking
  • Sapphire crystals, front and rear
  • Stainless steel case
  • Water resistant to 50 Meters (5 ATM)
  • Genuine leather strap
  • Case diameter 40mm
  • Case thickness 10.8mm
  • Strap width 18mm at lugs
  • Internal K1 glass ring with number indexes