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Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.

By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle

In this Part II of our four-part series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight Casio and Ernst Benz.

Casio

Casio has been partnering with the AlphaTauri Racing Team since September 2020 and launched the second Edifice x AlphaTauri model last March.

Casio Edifice has been an Official Partner of the Scuderia AlphaTauri team since 2016.

Designed together with the F1 team around the theme of “speed and intelligence”, the super-sporty ECB-10AT in signature Scuderia AlphaTauri navy blue features a dial made of 6K carbon – a material used in racing car wings and floors – with the team’s logo engraved on the dial, caseback and band loop.

The super-sporty Casio Edifice ECB-10AT in signature Scuderia AlphaTauri navy blue.

For men on the move, the timepiece includes a schedule timer function that syncs with a smartphone’s calendar app and also sets the watch to local time automatically.

Demonstrating its dedication to motorsports, Casio Edifice has also teamed with Honda Racing for the past three years, resulting in five Edifice x Honda Racing models, with the latest released last September.

The Casio Edifice EFS-560HR-1A, with the Honda Racing logo.

That watch (EFS560HR-1A) sports a black Cordura strap with red accents to match the team’s emblematic colors, while its carbon-fiber dial mirrors the appearance of an asphalt racetrack and displays the Honda Racing logo, along with gold Edifice lettering to mark the model’s 20th anniversary.

 

Ernst Benz 

Inspired by 1940s and 1950s aviator watches and the cockpit gauges that pilot, engineer and inventor Ernst Benz himself produced in the 1960s and ’70s, the brand is known for its timepieces that attest to its slogan: “Precision Instruments for Timekeeping”.

Ernst Benz and its affiliation with the world of motorsports evolved naturally from the field of aviation, according to Leonid Khankin, CEO of Ernst Benz. Both fields require accuracy, durability and performance.

“There is a natural connection between automotive timing and wristwatches, as wristwatches and chronographs were developed especially for aviators and timing cars,” Khankin notes. Both fields require accuracy, durability and performance and often share instruments. Benz was a gauge and instrument manufacture for two decades before creating his first wristwatch. 

The Ernst Benz Coca Cola ChronoLunar

As the official timekeeper of the Nascar Coca-Cola 600 race, held last May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Ernst Benz presented the winner, Kyle Larson of Hendrick Racing, with a special edition of the Ernst Benz ChronoLunar Officer tool watch commemorating a decade since the ChronoLunar’s first release. Since it debuted, the ChronoLunar has become the best-known Ernst Benz collection, with the Officer being the most recent interpretation.

Larson’s prize ChronoLunar has been customized with Coca-Cola red details, a brushed stainless steel case, black dial and alligator strap with red top-stitching. It pairs a chronograph with calendar functions, while its 47-mm diameter size optimizes legibility.

Mario Andretti wears his Ernst Benz ChronoScope at the ROVAL 400.

Ernst Benz has also served as the official timekeeper of the Nascar AAA 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway, as well as the Nascar All-Star Race and the Roval 400 in Charlotte, for which it will renew its participation in October 2021.

Personal approach

“We take a personal approach when we partner with motorsports brands,” explains Khankin. “ We look at each race on a case-by-case basis to create watches directly themed to the particular event.”  That approach, he adds, is recognized by the racers and the fans as more heartfelt and generates a strong bond between Ernst Benz and its partners.

“I’m extra proud that car guys love our watches,” Khankin adds.

The Ernst Benz Chronoscope Camaro Fifty, with 47mm DLC brushed steel case.

 

Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.

 

G-Shock vies for immortality as it debuts a watch within its luxury MT-G collection made with colors said to recall the Blue Phoenix, a bird sometimes called the Chinese phoenix and said to be a symbol of good luck, or more specifically immortality and rebirth.  

The new G-Shock MTGB2000PH2.

The new G-Shock MTGB2000PH2 is a limited-edition steel and carbon watch with an eye-catching, rainbow-colored bezel and case. Its yellow to red IP-finished case flash atop a largely blue hue. These colors echo on the dial as well, along with purple, pink, orange and yellow accents.

G-Shock created the watch with two types of colorful IP finishing, with horizontal gradation on the bezel and vertical gradation on the case. The resulting color variation creates a set of unique patterns that vary from watch to watch, which means no two G-Shock MTGB2000PH2 models are the same.

G-Shock’s IP-finished color variation creates a set of unique patterns that vary from watch to watch.

The new watch continues G-Shock’s exploration of colorful IP-finished cases and bracelets. This latest example comes two years after G-Shock debuted the much-discussed rainbow-finished MTGB1000RB-2A, and more recently following the debut of several colorful Full Metal Series models. Only a few weeks ago, G-Shock upped the ante with the gold and rainbow-colored GMWB5000TR-9, the first titanium G-Shock with an all-mirror IP finish.

As an MT-G collection model, the watch offers a Bluetooth communication function that can automatically connect with the G-Shock Connected app. In addition, the full range of G-Shock technical and anti-shock structural features are also here, including a sapphire crystal, Carbon Core Guard structure and Tough Solar Power. Basic features include high-brightness LED illumination, dual time and chronograph.

The G-Shock MTG-B2000PH ($1,100) will be available beginning in June at G-Shock retailers, the G-Shock Soho Store, and gshock.com.

 

G-Shock unveils a new, multi-color watch with a titanium alloy called Tran Tixxi within its Full Metal GMWB5000 collection. Casio jointly developed the alloy over a six-year period alongside Nippon Steel Corporation, Japan’s largest steelmaker. The resulting material is twice as hard as pure titanium and, unlike many other titanium alloys, remains as shiny as steel.

The new G-Shock GMW-B5000TR-9.

The new model, the GMWB5000TR-9, introduces the new titanium material with an eye-catching, colorful display. The band is rainbow-like with multiple ion-plated colors; the bezel is mirror finished. In fact, the watch and its Tran Tixxii titanium alloy combine to make the GMWB5000TR-9 the first titanium G-Shock with an all-mirror finish.

The watch’s case boasts a gold ion-plated (IP) finish while its band links and buttons also feature an IP finish in an array of rainbow hues, including red, blue, light gray, dark gray and gold. The same colors are visible on the dial as well. Finally, Casio has not neglected the screw-on back, finishing it with a diamond-like carbon (DLC) finish that will resist wear and tear for years.

If you’re familiar with the GMWB5000 series, you’ll know that G-Shock has equipped the GMWB5000TR-9 with the full array of technical and anti-shock features you’d expect from the watchmaker. There’s full Bluetooth connectivity (via the G-Shock Connected app) for automatic time adjustment, world time, multi-band radio wave reception, an LCD and a full-auto LED backlight.

All this technology is easily powered by G-Shock’s time-proven Tough Solar power system. Even in darkness the watch’s power will last 22 months on its rechargeable battery (operation period when stored in total darkness with the power save function on after full charge).

The G-Shock GMWB5000TR-9, with its premium new material and embedded technology, is also premium-priced, at $1,700, equivalent to several other models in the GMWB5000 series, and all are priced less than most MR-G models. The new watch will be available for purchase mid-May at select G-SHOCK retailers, G-SHOCK Soho Store, and gshock.com.

If the all-red G-Shock Full Metal (GMWB5000RD-4) watch G-Shock debuted in January was too showy for your wrist, perhaps you’ll prefer this slightly cooler, newly released luxurious rose-gold-plated edition of the classic square.

The new G-Shock GMWB5000GD-4 carries on the look and feel of the original G-Shock DW-5000C with its classic square case shape and digital display.

Like that watch, the new GMWB5000GD-4 carries on the look and feel of the original G-Shock DW-5000C with its classic square case shape and digital display. Now, G-Shock coats the solid stainless-steel case with a high-end rose gold IP finish, secured with a screw-on back.

G-Shock lets the wearer rest assured that the Full Metal watch’s fashionable good looks are accompanied with G-Shock technical features, including Bluetooth Connectivity via the G-Shock Connected app, and Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping for self-adjusting hour and date display virtually anywhere on earth.

The GMWB5000GD-4 also boasts an STN-LCD digital display that allows the wearer to easily read the dial from any angle. Casio’s Tough Solar Technology means the watch will charge itself even with low light exposure.

Additional technical specifications include: shock resistance, 200-meters of water resistance, Super Illuminator LED light, world time in 39 cities, stopwatch, daily alarms, countdown timer, 12/24-hour. formats and a full automatic calendar. The watch measures 49.3mm x 43.2mm x 13.0mm and weighs 167 grams.

The G-Shock GMWB5000GD-4 is priced at $600 and is available at select jewelers, the G-Shock Soho Store and gshock.com.

 

 

Casio adds an eye-catching, all-new watch to the G-Shock Full Metal Series, the brand’s premium line.

This GMWB5000RD-4 carries on the look and feel of the original G-Shock DW-5000C with its classic square case shape and digital display. To that, G-Shock adds a hard-to-miss red stainless-steel case with screw-on back. And while it looks fashionable, the bracelet is as tough as the case, according to G-Shock, as it is made of solid stainless steel, here finished with a red IP color and diamond-like carbon finish that matches the case.

The steel case and the bezel of the G-Shock GMWB5000RG-4 has an ion-plated finish in a rich red color.

G-Shock lets the wearer rest assured that the Full Metal watch’s fashionable good looks are accompanied with G-Shock technical features, including Bluetooth Connectivity via the G-Shock Connected app, and Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping for self-adjusting hour and date display virtually anywhere on earth.

The GMWB5000RD-4 also boasts a STN-LCD digital display that allows the wearer to easily read the dial from any angle. Casio’s Tough Solar Technology means the watch will charge itself even with low light exposure.

Additional technical specifications include: shock resistance, 200-meters of water resistance, Super Illuminator LED light, world time in 39 cities, stopwatch, daily alarms, countdown timer, 12/24 Hr. formats and a full automatic calendar.

The G-Shock GMWB5000RD-4 will be priced at $600 and will be available starting January 20th  at select Jewelers, the G-Shock Soho Store, and gshock.com.

G-Shock has covered one of its MT-G models (the MTGB1000WLP1) with brown, black and gold python pattern as part of its latest collaboration with Wildlife Promising, a nonprofit organization dedicated to African wildlife preservation. 

The pattern, inspired by the African Rock Python, boasts a laser-etched band, case and bezel meant to mimic the skin of Africa’s largest python.

The G-Shock MTGB1000WLP1

The idea is of course to raise funds for the wildlife group. And the connection to the African Rock Python goes beyond the python’s skin pattern. The second hand on the dial sports a bright red color to match the color of the snake’s tongue, while the indicator hand at the 9 o’clock position emulates the triangular pattern found on the top of the python’s head.

In addition, the name of the organization, Wildlife Promising, can be seen on the watchband. On the back of the watch G-Shock has etched “Love The Sea And The Earth,” the organization’s tag line.

The watch’s technical specs remain intact, including all the features of the original MTGB1000 base model. This MTGB1000WLP1 retains its Bluetooth connectivity and time synchronization via the G-Shock Connected app and Multi-Band 6 radio-controlled timekeeping. Light powers the movement, which is protected by a sapphire crystal.

The limited-edition MTGB1000WLP1 also comes equipped with standard G-Shock technology, including Triple G Resist (shock, vibration and centrifugal force resistance), 200 meters of water resistance, an extra bright LED, a 24-hour stopwatch, a daily alarm, a countdown timer, automatic calendar and word timer.

The G-Shock MTGB1000WLP1 ($1,300) will be available in December at select G-SHOCK retailers, the G-SHOCK Soho Store, and gshock.com.

Casio this week expands its Edifice collection with a new Honda Racing Collaboration Model (EFS560HR-1A).

The new Edifice Honda Racing Collaboration Model (EFS560HR-1A).

Like previous Edifice Honda models, this latest solar-powered sporty chronograph watch is dressed with the colors of the Honda Racing team. The watch’s black Cordura band and red accents match the signature colors of the team.

In the same lane, the Edifice’s carbon fiber dial is meant to recall the look of an asphalt racetrack. The dial, resplendent with the Honda Racing logo, is also clearly marked with a gold reminder of the Edifice collection’s 20th anniversary.

In keeping with the Honda theme, the watch’s metal strap keeper and caseback are engraved with the Honda logo, where it joins the Edifice 20th anniversary logo.

The strap itself is covered with Cordura fabric with Kevlar fiber inserts.

As with all recent Edifice light-powered watches, this model’s solar charging system generates power using the light that enters through the inset dial openings. The watch will operate for up to six months of operation without exposure to light on a full charge.

Look for the Honda Racing Collaboration Model (EFS560HR-1A) in October at select retailers nationwide, as well as Casio.com. Price: $400.

 

Specifications: Casio Edifice Honda Racing Limited Edition

Case: 50.2mm x 45.4m x 10.3m mm steel with black ion plated bezel, sapphire crystal with non-reflective coating,

100-meter water resistance

Movement: Light powered Edifice quartz chronograph with elapsed time and 1st and 2nd place time displays, accurate to 20-seconds per month.  Operating time from full charge until hands stop is approximately six months.

Dial: Carbon fiber, two hands (hour, minute), three chrono subdials (seconds, stopwatch minutes, stopwatch seconds), battery-level indicator. 

Strap: Cordura and Kevlar

Price: $400.

As G-Shock’s first watch outfitted with a heart-rate monitor, the new GBDH1000 reaches out to a host of fitness buffs requiring instant cardio data during their workout routines. Runners and athletes can access the new optical sensor and team them with the watch’s GPS and other sensors to measure a full range of health-focused metrics.

The GBDH1000, which announces G-Shock’s new Move collection of sports watches, includes sensors to measure acceleration (step counter), magnetic direction (compass), pressure (altimeter/barometer) and temperature (thermometer). Optical sensors on the back of the watch (below) flash an LED light to let you know they are detecting the blood flow under the skin in order to report your heart rate on the dial.

The watch’s five sensors help the wearer stay in touch with his or her activity in real time. G-Shock’s well-known GPS technology also allows the wearer to access location information as desired, which can then be combined with the stopwatch to keep track of information such as distance, speed, pace, and much more.

Solar power plus

Like many health and heart monitoring wrist devices, the watch can be powered-up via a USB charger wire (included), but unlike most other devices this watch will extend its battery life with exposure to any light source. In fact, the basic time mode, which also includes step count measurement and notification functions, can be powered indefinitely with solar charging alone.

But G-Shock typically builds more than ‘basic’ into its fitness watches, which the new Move model demonstrates quite effectively. During the weeks iW tested the watch, we saw very few dips in power during a typical daylight wearing. Officially, with about 2.5 hours of USB charging, the training features can be used continuously for up to fourteen hours.

Easy-to-read

The watch is large on the wrist—no surprises there. The case’s 63mm by 55mm size allows for easy LCD dial viewing while on the run or otherwise active. Large, slip-resistant pushers and a dominant Run button at 9 o’clock allow for simple operation of the watch’s myriad optional functions. A curved resin back enhances the efficiency of the heart sensor positioned there.

With a smartphone link to the G-Shock Move app, the GBDH1000 allows a secondary automatic time adjustment, easy watch setting with world time in more than 300 cities, alarm setting, training plan, training function setting, training log data management, notification and the highly useful phone finder.

And finally, the new urethane strap is generally quite comfortable. But more than that, the strap’s expanded number of keeper slots means you’ll always find just the right fit.

For active G-Shock fans, this debut Move model is an impressive and healthy combination of fit and (multiple) function. Price: $399.

 

Specifications: G-Shock GBDH1000 “Move”

Case: 63mm ×55mm × 20.4mm resin and steel, weight is 101g, shock resistant, mineral glass crystal, 200-meter water resistance

Features: Smartphone link functions: automatic time adjustment, easy watch setting (world time for over 300 cities, alarm setting), training plan, training function setting, training log data management, notification, phone finder, LED backlight (Super illuminator), GPS-controlled, solar-powered, Heart rate monitor, digital compass, barometer, thermometer, altimeter, step tracker, stopwatch, multi timer, daily alarm, vibration alarm. Power saving feature (goes dark after a period of inactivity).

Casio’s Edifice collection gets an update in August when Casio America adds this EFR571DB-1A1 to its online and in-store offerings. The new model carries on the overall look of the existing EQB-500 and ECB-900 families, but adds a few new, dressier stylistic edges.

The new Casio Edifice EFR571DB-1A1

The collection’s sporty, racing-focused functionality is still here, but compared to its predecessors specifically within the 570 EFR series, this model offers far fewer seconds and split-seconds markers, resulting in a significantly cleaner dial and clearer tachymeter bezel.

With the new dial and bezel treatment Casio retains all the features you’d expect within this Edifice series: chronograph, second timezone and protected steel crown.

 

With the collection’s 44mm steel case size, the new Edifice EFR571DB-1A1 also offers a silver stainless-steel band, black dial with red accents and an ion-plated bezel.

For the new model, Edifice moves the subdials, with the 24-hour indicator now at the 12 o’clock position and the two chronograph timing subdials at the 9 o’clock (minutes) and 6 o’clock position (seconds).

Additional features include water resistance to 100 meters, low-battery alert and a three-year battery life.

Look for the Edifice EFR571DB-1A1 in August at select retailers nationwide, as well as on Casio.com. Price: $140.

 

 

Casio’s Edifice collection has long been the more conventional, metal-cased choice for those who enjoy the laundry list of high-tech features found on Casio’s wildly popular G-Shock watches, but prefer a thinner, polished case under their sleeve. Earlier this year Casio further endeared itself to all who even sometimes want a more traditional steel watch by releasing new full-featured Edifice bracelet models inside even slimmer cases.

The Casio Edifice EQB1000D-1A

       The Casio Edifice EQB1000D-1A is a recently released example of that Edifice focus. I’ve been wearing this watch for a few weeks, and it feels more luxurious than I expected for a brand known more for fit and function rather than eye-candy. Perhaps it’s the watch’s shiny aqua day/mode scale and matching second-time-zone hour hand.

      Most likely, that tinge of luxury is the result of its thinness. The watch is slim (just 8.9 mm thick compared to the 13.1mm of the previous models), an update Casio made despite incorporating the same multi-hand display, Bluetooth and Tough Solar functions.

The case is 8.9 mm thick, about 30 percent thinner than the previous model, which measured 13.1mm thick.

      And of course, when using the Casio Edifice app in conjunction with the watch, myriad additional features are available to wearer. Connecting via Bluetooth, the watch gets much smarter, accessing the correct time for up to 300 cities worldwide, even updating with the latest time zone and daylight saving time information.

The brushed bracelet is easy to adjust; the clasp is secure.

      Also when connected, the watch resets regularly four times a day by the smartphone to show both home time and world time correctly. You can also reset the watch manually with just a push of a button when crossing between time zones.

 Phone Finder

For the forgetful, however, there’s one feature that might prove to be the most useful: the Phone finder. Pressing a button on the watch causes your phone to sound a tone, even if it is in silent mode. This means you can quickly locate your phone if it’s reasonably close. I found that if I left my phone even fifteen feet away, the alarm would continue to sound. 

      But even without the connectivity, the watch offers more than you’d expect for what is essentially an analog model. Its dual timer enables users to view the current time plus the time in another time zone simultaneously –with a clear indication (at 12 o’clock) of daytime or nighttime at that zone. Additional features include water resistance up to 100 meters, a 1/1000th second stopwatch, 200-lap memory, a daily alarm and a full calendar.

            All these features would tend to tax the battery life on a standard smartwatch, but here, despite the Bluetooth and additional connected features, the Edifice EQB-1000D is actually smarter. It doesn’t need to be charged every day, or even every month. Casio’s superior Tough Solar feature allows a fully charged internal battery to last for five months, even if you or your watch hasn’t seen any sunlight for weeks. That’s because the Edifice’s battery charges from not only sunlight, but also from any artificial source, including florescent or LED light.

Casio’s solar power system transforms even weak light from sources such as fluorescent lamps into ample energy.

    The Casio Edifice EQB1000D-1A also boasts a sapphire crystal (not always found at this price point) with non-reflective coating. Priced at $330, it will be also be available with a sportier versions (with added tachymeter bezel) that opt for a black dial with red accents and a silver stainless steel band (EQB1000XD-1A; $330) and with a black dial with blue accents and a black IP coated stainless-steel band (EQB1000XDC-1A; $380).

 

The watch in a sportier version (with tachymeter and textured dial) is also available with red accents or with all-black case and blue accents.

Specifications: Casio Edifice EQB1000DC-1A 

Tough Solar (Solar powered)

Mobile link (Wireless linking using Bluetooth

Dual time (Home city time swapping)

One-second stopwatch (measuring capacity: 23:59’59). Others: Flyback, direct timing start from the timekeeping mode

Daily alarm

Power Saving (hands stop to save power when the watch is left in the dark)

Full auto-calendar (to year 2099)

Date display

Day indicator

Regular timekeeping

Analog: 3 hands (hour, minute (hand moves every 10 seconds)

Four dials (24-hour, day, dual time hour and minute, dual time 24-hour)

Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month (with no mobile link function)

Approx. battery operating time:Five months on rechargeable battery (operation period with normal use without exposure to light after charge) or nineteen months on rechargeable battery (operation period when stored in total darkness with the power save function on after full charge)

Module: 5604

Size of case /total weight: EQB-1000D………49.9 x 45.6 x 8.9 mm / 130 g