Singer Vehicle Design is known for creating some of the most incredible custom Porsche 911s you can possibly imagine. Based in California, the firm basically starts with a chassis and an engine, and builds everything up from there to the owner’s exact specifications. The results are awesome – and now the firm is jumping into the watch world. The Singer Track1 is a new auto-inspired chronograph that uses an innovative movement to create something that’s definitely out of the ordinary.
The Track1 is the result of a three-way partnership between Singer founder Rob Dickinson, watch designer Marco Borraccino, and watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. Dickinson and Borraccino met and eventually decided to make a watch together, and Wiederrect was then brought into the project to contribute his technical knowledge and actual watchmaking chops. As a result, the end product is something that both has genuine horological appeal and displays aggressive auto styling at the same time.
We’ll start with the basics. The Track1 has a tonneau-shaped case that definitely feels like it’s from the early 1970s – think an old Autavia or something like that. It’s made of titanium to keep the weight down and measures 43mm across and 15mm thick. The brushed finish contrasts nicely with the polished bevels and slim polished bezel, adding some definition and shape to the watch. The whole package is water resistant to 100 meters and comes on a leather rally-style strap with metal eyelets.
But that’s where anything traditional about this watch ends. The Track1 is only the second watch to use the new AgenGraphe caliber (the other being the Fabergé Visionnaire), meaning it has a central chronograph display and a peripheral time display. Singer’s reasoning for this is that a sport watch should be about fulfilling its specialized function first and on the track what you need most is the chronograph, not the main timekeeper. Sounds reasonable enough, when they put it like that.
The main time display uses a pair of aluminum discs around the edge of the watch. They rotate clockwise and line up with a marker at six o’clock to show you teh time. So, in the photo here, the time is 10:10. The numerals are engraved on the discs and are then filled with luminous material so you can read the watch in the dark as well. There’s no running seconds mechanism, so don’t get confused trying to look for it.
The centrally mounted hands then are the chronograph totalizers – hours, minutes, and seconds – and you read the elapsed time just as you’d expect. One thing you’ll notice though is that the scale is only graduated 0-60, without 1-12 markings for the hours. This is because you can time up to 60 hours, not the more common 12. For instance, in the photo at the top of this story, the chronograph is showing seven hours, 43 minutes, and 26 seconds. One notable omission is lume on the chronograph hands or registers – given the purpose-driven nature of this watch it’s a little strange that the chrono is useless in the dark.
Turn the watch over and you get a look at the crazy movement that powers this thing. The AgenGraphe required more than a decade of R&D to come to life, and, as mentioned earlier, this is only the second watch to make use of Mr. Wiederrecht’s creation. We won’t get too into the technical weeds here (you can check out Jack’s story here for more of that), but suffice it to say this is unlike any chronograph movement that’s existed before. The caliber has a 60-hour power reserve and is automatic, plus the finishing is much higher-end than what you’re probably used to finding on tool watches like this.
This watch causes me to have a lot of mixed feelings. On one hand, I’m a huge fan of what Singer does in the automotive space and it’s nice to see that team look to bring their perspective to other products, especially watches. Singer also teamed up with a genuine horological powerhouse in Jean-Marc Weiderrecht and sought to do something interesting on its own terms. And in those ways, this watch really succeeds.
However, on the other hand, this watch does not appear to be nearly as cool or beautiful as the cars that Singer creates. Like, really, not even in the same ballpark. The attention to detail also doesn’t seem to be on the same level, though I haven’t seen one in the metal, so I’ll withhold some of my judgements until then. This is one of those watches that, more than anything else, makes me go ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
The watch we have here is the “launch edition” of the Track1, which is limited to 50 pieces. It is priced at 39,800 CHF (approximately $41,350 at time of publishing). Case, 43mm x 15mm, in titanium; 10 ATM/100 meters water resistant. Movement, AgenGraphe chronograph/Singer Reimagined cal. 6361, 34.40mm x 7.18mm; column-wheel and snail cam controlled central chronograph with 60 hour power reserve, and instant-jumping hours and minutes. Strap, woven calf leather; titanium pin buckle. Check out Singer Vehicle Design online right here.