What Driver’s Watch Do You Wear?

The driver’s watch, is this even a thing? Today we will look at the watches motoring enthusiasts gravitate too as an accompaniment for their cars. The question is what driver’s watch do you wear? Does it depend on your mood, the weather, the car you are driving? Or do you have a go to watch for all occasions?

What is a driver’s watch?

Let’s start with defining what a drivers watch is. Spoiler alert! From my limited research, unlike Dive Watches, Pilot Watches, Dress Watches and more recently the Smartwatch, the driver’s watch does not have its own niche or genre. Possibly the best category or style that one can relate to is the racing watch. Racing watches will typically have a chronograph or tachymeter. In layman’ terms they can be described as follows (click the link for a detailed Wikipedia explanation):

  • Chronograph Watch – A chronograph watch in addition to telling the time has the ability stop, go, reset and start again. Functions that are useful on a racetrack for example to calculate average speed, or monitor two events at the same time. A good example of a famous chronograph watch is the Universal Genève Tri-Compax
  • Tachymeter Watch – A tachymeter watch will usually have a scale on the outer rim of an analogue watch. This scale can be used to measure speed over a fixed distance. The next time you watch the mens 100m final get your tachymeter out and it will help you calculate how fast the distance was covered. Usain Bolt managed 44.7 km/h for reference. A good example of a well known tachymeter watch is the Omega Speedmaster Mark II

What to look for in a driver’s watch?

This will be down to personal taste but conventionally you want a driver’s watch that can be operated easily while driving. Consider how readable it will be on the move and how easy it is to operate with driving gloves on for example.

Money no object? Take a look at watches like the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, which has over 50 years of racing heritage. The Daytona comes complete with tachymeter for speed measurements up to 400 mph and bright luminosity for driving at night.

Alternative well known driver’s watches include:

  • Chopard Mille Miglia – this watch is even available with a Dunlop tire design to leave you in know doubt of its homage to the Mille Miglia
  • Vacheron Constantin Historique American 1921 – designed at 45 degrees specifically for car lovers’ it has heritage going back to the 1920’s
  • Omega Chronostop Driver’s Edition – an older classic watch designed to be worn on the underside of your wrist, which removes the need to turn your wrist when driving
Vacheron Constantin Historique American 1921

What driver’s watches do I wear?

So going back to the beginning what drivers watch do you wear? For me my daily is my Apple Watch Series 4. Particularly if I am driving a modern car with Apple Car Play connected. The integration and the added navigation sounds appeal to my geekier side. If I am driving a classic car I opt for my limited edition Seiko SRPB09 Samurai. Its a classic remake with fantastic luminosity at night.

Seiko SRPB09 (Samurai)

What I learnt during my non-exhaustive research is that driver’s watches are not a defined segment such as an Aviator or Divers watch. However, what does exist are a host of car lovers’ watches. The marriage of car and watch is akin to strawberries and cream they just go together.

Interested in sharing your motoring experience with others? Please feel free to leave a review. WheelsMatter is a consumer review website for motorists, by motorists.


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