1/15/21 10:17 a.m.

Cars and watches just go together. The most celebrated examples of both have ornate details and well-engineered gearing. And timing puts them at a critical intersection. After all, it’s a precision timepiece that confirms the difference between the winner’s circle and a lower step on the podium. 

It isn’t difficult to find a good watch to complement a great car. Everywhere from Fifth Avenue jewelry showrooms to your dealer’s service center has a timepiece that channels a car company. New examples are plentiful, but it’s the older ones that add an extra dimension to this hobby.

Vintage timepieces tell a story. Whether it is a symbol of the auto industry stamped into the dial or a lovely inscription on the back of the case, decades of dealership giveaways, sales gifts and corporate retirements have allowed enthusiasts to wear a piece of automotive history. The search for a vintage watch is also part of the fun, often requiring countless hours of digging through swap meets, flea markets and online auction listings. 

My automotive first love is Datsun. The brand has been a constant companion from the start. My first car was a 1984 Nissan/Datsun 300ZX. My wife and I drove off from our wedding reception in a 1975 Datsun 280Z. My first-born rode home in the back seat of a 1987 Nissan 300ZX 2+2. So, while it feels like the market is just lately waking up to the rising sun, there are two Z-cars in my garage right now.

That’s why I also hunt for Datsun watches. While there are some terrific Nissan timepieces out there, the Datsun nameplate left American dealerships 35 years ago. As a result, anything related to Datsun is quite a rare piece, even if it’s not always true precious metal.

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wspohn SuperDork
1/15/21 11:43 a.m.

Thanks - interesting article, as I collect both cars and vintage watches. One I own is a LeCoultre (a fairly expensive watch) given out by Henry Ford II to their best salesmen and such (today they'd probably hand out Swatches or something).

They removed the "12" at the top of the watch and replaced it with  a Ford emblem and they engraved the back of the watch with who got it, when, and why.

For more info see


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