Switzerland isn’t only home to watchmaking; it is also the stage for Europe’s biggest car show—the Geneva International Motor Show. Ten days, seven halls, 110,000m2 of exhibition space and 900 cars attract visitors from across the world. This year, world premieres included Range Rover’s new Velar, Rolls Royce’s Ghost Elegance, Porsche’s next-generation 911 GT3, Lamborghini’s Huracan Performante and McLaren’s 720S to name just a few.

New technology is also a huge trend at this year’s show with some incredible technical innovations such as Airbus’s new drone-car hybrid that can be connected to wheels for the road, or a drone for bad traffic days! Joining the fun, a number of watch brands were also in attendance, including Roger Dubuis, Zenith, TAG Heuer and Rebellion.

Geneva International Motor Show 2017

Roger Dubuis and Italdesign

Kicking off the watch launches, Roger Dubuis presented its new partnership with Italdesign, a design consultancy company that has been providing styling and engineering services to the car industry for over 50 years.

Together, Roger Dubuis and Italdesign have designed a series of eight Excalibur Spider Italdesign Tourbillons that were created to launch at the same time as Italdesign’s exclusive Automobili Special Zerouno. This supercar boasts a 5.2-liter V10 engine, an acceleration of 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 330 km/h—in case you were wondering what Italdesign can do!

“We wanted to do something in partnerships that would bring a customer experience into the mix. The car industry is way ahead of the watch industry in this regard. We started working with the head designer of Lamborghini, who then moved over to head Italdesign,” explained Roger Dubuis CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué. “When you buy this watch, you visit the impressive Italdesign offices in Torino, then you visit the Roger Dubuis facility in Geneva. In addition to the watch, it’s about the experience,” shared Pontroué.

There are similarities between the car and the watch, especially in terms of coloring, as the red, green and white colors of the Italian flag adorn both the bodywork of the car and the dial, bezel, hands, crown and strap of the watch. The 45mm titanium case houses Roger Dubuis’s famous Excalibur Spider Flying Tourbillon Skeleton movement that is as finely tuned as the supercar’s engine.

Zenith and Range Rover

Zenith announced its partnership with Land Rover at the end of last year with the unveiling of the El Primero Range Rover Collection, and they were back at the car show for the launch of a second model—the Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition.

The watch was presented alongside the all-new Range Rover Velar car, and there were a number of design details that came from Range Rover’s product design and engineering departments, such as a brushed gray dial with copper-toned indexes, hands and markers and a black rubber strap coated with perforated calfskin that takes the diamond motif used on the leather interior. The Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition comes in a 42mm aluminum case and is powered by Zenith’s El Primero 400B automatic movement with a 50-hour power reserve.

TAG Heuer and Gran Turismo

A whole different collaboration was taking place at TAG Heuer with the announcement of a partnership between the watch brand and Gran Turismo, the acclaimed series of racing video games developed by Polyphony Digital.

The game’s creator, and Senior Vice-President of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc., Kazunori Yamauchi, joined TAG Heuer CEO and President of the LVMH Group Watch Division, Jean-Claude Biver, to announce that TAG Heuer is now Gran Turismo’s Official Time Keeper. It is not just for show either; Polyphony Digital has integrated TAG Heuer’s Live Timing technology into Gran Turismo Sport, providing unparalleled timing solutions within the racing experience. Players will see the TAG Heuer clock on the official timing monitor on their screens, and will be able to learn about the history of TAG Heuer in the racing world.

Jean-Claude Biver shared how he was particularly impressed by the Gran Turismo World Championship where, once players reach Level 14, they can enter the World Championship. “This is a new philosophy of sharing. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you can play, race, and be part of this. It is genius,” he said.

This is yet another great strategy from TAG Heuer to connect to the next generation of watch lovers.

Rebellion and Michel Vaillant

Last, but not least, Rebellion was at the Geneva International Motor Show with their very own stand and a new timepiece to celebrate their partnership with the famous French motor racing comic book series—Vaillant, named after the fictional character Michel Vaillant.

The 76th edition of the comic book will be entitled Rebellion and will feature the Rebellion team on the circuits of the World Endurance Championship, starting with the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours. This special edition book has been created in collaboration with Michel Vaillant’s creator, Jean Graton, and Motul, a specialist in high performance lubricants

The story is not entirely fiction either, as Motul and Rebellion Racing will be on the starting grid of the real Le Mans circuit this year with a lineup of talented young racing drivers who are set to make their fictional hero, Michel Vaillant, proud.

The comic book will be released on June 2nd 2017, but the Rebellion watch celebrating the partnership—the Rebellion Wraith Drive Vaillant Limited Edition—is already here!

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