July 07, 2006

Pirelli PZero timepieces

In North America, Pirelli is another tire manufacturer, in the same vein as Goodyear, Bridgestone, or Michelin. In Europe, however, the Pirelli name means a great deal more. Pirelli produces such short films as The Call, starring John Malkovitch and Naomi Campbell, and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun). Pirelli's exclusive calendar each year features some of the world's most beautiful models in the most dramatic shots. And Pirelli offers a line of chic clothing, shoes and accessories (comparable to Prada, only more car-oriented than sailing).

In our very first article, Into Gear looks at what could very well be the most stylish car watch on the market today, part of the Pirelli PZero collection.

Made for Pirelli by the Swiss/Italian watchmakers Sector, the PZero watches feature a case constructed from stainless steel and titanium. However the most striking feature is the band, made from vulcanized rubber and formed into a unique tire-tread pattern, split in the top portion, coming together below a polished metal bar, and closing at the back with a steel “butterfly” clasp, the type normally seen on leather-band watches much farther upscale. The sapphire crystal features anti-glare coating on both sides.

The collection features a range of different models, featuring quartz, mechanical, chronograph and multifunction “Anadigit” Swiss movements. The watches can be had in a number of colors, including red, orange, yellow, blue and white, but the basic black is the truest to the tire-tread motif. Online watch merchants Tourneau.com (for example) sell the quartz chronograph at $690 and the Anadigit model for $790.

I was fortunate enough to acquire one for myself from a retailer in Belgium. The unique strap proved difficult to adjust (it took a professional watch repairman the better part of an afternoon to figure out, and then I had to send it in for service to get it done properly). The grief is well worth it, though, for one of the most striking watches on the market, at any price point.

Watch this space for future reviews of other items from the Pirelli PZero collection. For more information, visit http://www.pzeroweb.com/.