How can you own a Porsche on a fraction of the budget normally needed? The answer is to own only a fraction of a Porsche – such as what you might find in the latest...
For those unfamiliar with their work, REC stands for ‘reclaim’, ‘recover’ and ‘recycle’, as the company repurposes parts of iconic cars and incorporates them into watches. So now you can own a watch that was formerly part of a Mini Cooper, for example, or a Ford Mustang. It’s not only cars that get this treatment: REC also makes a watch that used to be a Spitfire.
One of their most enduring models though is the 901, recycled from the Porsche 911 (type 901 being the original name intended for the German company’s most famous car). There’s now a brilliant new variation on this theme, which pays tribute to one of the best-known custom builders of the Porsche 911.
Improving an icon
Since its launch in the 1960s, people have customised and adapted the Porsche 911 to suit their particular needs or tastes. One of the most prolific tuners of custom Porsches in recent years has been Akira Nakai from Japan, who founded a company called RAUH-Welt Begriff (known as RWB) in the early 2000s. Using the Porsche 911 as a base, he created a number of esoterically-named bespoke cars, two of the most famous being the RWB Stella Artois (perhaps because it’s reassuringly expensive?) and RWB Rotana Porsche.
It's these two legends – icons of the Japanese drifting scene – that REC commemorates with the release of these two fabulous limited-edition watches, called the Stella and the Rotana.
Exclusive limited editions
There will only be 305 watches made of each version, as each contains a piece of metal salvaged from the one-off cars that give the watches their name. Just like the cars themselves, these two watches make a decisive statement, but you only need $1795.00 USD (or €1645.00 Euro) to own one.
Some metal from the bumpers of each of these two cars has gone into their respective watch faces, lacquered and polished for posterity. This ‘reclaimed’ philosophy is true to Nakai’s own ethos, who is constantly re-inventing all his cars and making them increasingly outlandish.
The black and gold Stella Artois car was Nakai’s very first full Porsche conversion, based on a 1985 Porsche 930. Its black and gold colour scheme is reflected in the watch that bears its name, with the Japanese characters at ‘3’ and ‘9’ (or rather, ‘15’ and ‘45’ – as this dial is marked in minutes) paying further testament to its provenance. The numerals are a homage to Porsche 911 instruments, while there is a wide ‘body kit’ on both watches that widens the black PVD stainless steel case and faithfully apes the look of the donor cars. On the Stella watch, this body kit is (naturally) in gold, giving each watch a 46-millimetre diameter in total: the case itself is 44 millimetres. Both watches use a Miyota mechanical movement with a power reserve of more than 40 hours, and a rubber strap with a quick-release system.
The Rotana is even more out-there than the Stella, as it’s inspired by Nakai’s firmly track-focused monster, which in turn was originally based on a 993-model Porsche turbo. It’s a distinctive shade of purple, and that eye-catching look is reflected in the accompanying watch – which sports a purple ‘body kit’, purple markings on the dial, and a purple second hand. The dial is actually quite a different design to the Stella, featuring hours rather than minutes as well as other individual details, but the Japanese motifs and family resemblance remain. The case back is particularly interesting, as each one showcases the design of the wheel rims that the respective cars sit on. The hands-on both watches are coated with powerful Super-LumiNova in green: drifting happens mainly at night, after all…
The guiding principle behind the company – putting recycled car parts into watches – is brilliant for its simplicity, and the result here is a daring one compared to the more conventional classics that are often honoured with a watch. Just like Nakai’s cars, the reaction will undoubtedly be polarised. But all credit to REC for issuing something that’s exclusive and very different, at a realistic price point.