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The coolest automotive-inspired watches for men who love cars

Auto enthusiasts will need to add one of these watches to their collection

Man in suit, cufflinks, watch, and gloves
Joshua Reddekopp / Unsplash

Watches are some of the most coveted items in a man’s arsenal. The right watch can make or break an outfit. The right watch strap can change everything. Among all the watches a man can pick up, a tool watch is one of the most common. An airline pilot keeps us all safe with the best pilot watch in the skies. Explorers the world over discover the wonders of the world with the kind of stellar field watches that keep them on the right path. Military and civilian divers alike uncover long-lost ships and artifacts at the bottom of the oceans with the best dive watches on the market. And, of course, soldiers, cops, and firefighters wear some of the best tactical watches while keeping us safe. One of the unsung heroes of tool watches is the driving watch. And these are some of the best automotive-inspired watches you can find.

man wearing driving gloves and coat
Marvin Meyer / Unsplash

Driving as an inspiration

All it is good for is getting us from point A to point B. It takes us from home to work; then, we don’t do it again until we get to run out of the office and go back home. But somehow, driving is as deep in the DNA of Americans as apple pie and rebellious tea dumping. Since Henry Ford created the Model T and we began taking drives to clear our heads or take in the sights of some of the most majestic road trips in America, the brands of America have created gear and apparel inspired by it.

From some of the best driving shoes to a collection of the best driving gloves, looking and feeling your best is imperative to losing yourself in the country’s backroads. And, so you don’t get so lost in the backroads that you miss an appointment, picking up your favorite watch inspired by driving is a great idea.

A Rolex Daytona on a wrist
Luke Miller / Pexels

Rolex Daytona

The Rolex Daytona is the grandad of automotive-inspired watches. The iconic watch is known around the world and is named after the Daytona International Speedway. Many racers have worn the watch, including Paul Newman. Classic Daytonas are highly sought after and incredibly pricey, while new watches are given to the 24 Hours of Daytona race winners at the Daytona International Speedway.

Bremont MKI in front of a white background.

Bremont Jaguar MKI

Bremont builds its watches by hand in the U.K. With that piece of information, it becomes evidently clear why the watchmaker has a partnership with Jaguar. Bremont offers multiple watches that are inspired by classic Jaguars, but the MK1 is one of our favorites. The design of the MK1 is meant to mimic Jaguar E-Type coupes from 1963. For any Jaguar fans, the Bremont Mk1 will bring a touch of British style to an existing collection.

Blue and white Yema Rallygraf sitting on a car body with some patina.

Yema Rallygraf

Compared to some of the other watches on this list, the Yema Rallygraf might come off as being plain, but just like cars, some of the best watches don’t shout about their design. The Rallygraf has a motorsport-themed design that’s meant to evoke the ’70s era of racing. The watch also has an impressive history, as Mario Andretti wore one when he took his Brawner Hawk MK III race car to victory at the Indianapolis 500 in 1969.

Reservoir Supercharged Sport Red Zone on a man's wrist next to a leather jacket in a classic car.

Reservoir Supercharged Sport Red Zone

Reservoir is a watch company that should be on every automotive enthusiast’s radar. The watchmaker goes above and beyond with its automotive-inspired watches, like the Supercharged Sport Red Zone that resembles a car’s speedometer. The watch’s power reserve looks like a fuel gauge, and the right side of the watch face has a red zone like a car’s tachometer. For enthusiasts looking for a watch that literally looks like it’s inspired by cars, Reservoir’s timepieces should fit the bill.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 sitting on the seat of a classic car that's parked in a garage.
Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921

No, there’s nothing wrong with your screen, and you don’t have to get your eyes checked. The Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 has a watch face with a 45-degree angle. While this may confuse some people, the angle makes the watch clear to read when you’re driving. Once you orient the watch in a way that gives you a clear view of the dial, you get a glimpse at how the simple yet gorgeous design is inspired by American cars from the Roaring Twenties.

A man wearing a Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control on his wrist in front of a black wall with his hand on his neck.

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control

The prestigious 1000 Miglia, better known as the Mille Miglia, is a historic car race that sees some of the most beautiful antique cars that cover roughly 1,200 miles across Italy. Luxury watchmaker Chopard has been a partner of the Mille Miglia for over 30 years and launched the GTS Power Control in 2019 to mark the race’s rich history. The timepiece features a red arrow, which is a symbol of the race, a fuel gauge, and a sapphire crystal casebook with the race route “Bresica-Rome-Bresica.”

Omega Speedmaster Racing

Omega Speedmaster Racing

Omega is known for having watches that astronauts wore on the moon and for being James Bond’s favorite watch brand. But the watchmaker has made the Speedmaster Racing, a watch that pays tribute to the Speedmaster’s history in racing for decades. The Speedmaster Racing features an alternating minute track on the dial, beveled arrowhead indexes, and large subdials. While you can get the watch in white and black, the orange touches bring a sportier hue to the reserved timepiece.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark McKee
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
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