Book review: Wheels & Watches


“Cars and watches have marked the evolution of technology and to a certain extent, that of design, fashion and society” – Flavio Manzoni 

Wheels and Watches chronicles the parallels between two adjacent fields of design, documenting the personal stories of numerous car designers, watchmakers and many other players across both spaces. 

The author, Oriol Vilanova, spent his early career as a designer, working primarily on exteriors at the likes of Hyundai, Mercedes and Kia, and eventually moved into a consulting role at Ferrari for around seven years. Since then, he has grown his CV further as a photographer, art director and publisher of Gentlemen Drive magazine. Even the most casual of glances at his social media make clear a passion for design – be it an object powered by an internal combustion engine or a complicated Swiss movement.


Oriol Vilanova, author, Wheels & Watches

Vilanova’s affection for cars and watches follows a well-trodden path of travelling the world, meeting interesting characters and building sentimental value. Both are objects with which an attachment is built over time – often during poignant events, whether planned or spontaneous.

By all accounts, Vilanova was always going to end up an aficionado. His father is a vintage car enthusiast – driving a 1933 Ford V8 from Barcelona to Moscow in 1989 – and was gifted a Chopard Mille Miglia to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary. (Vilanova later took part in the historic Italian rally with his father’s Ford V8, and no doubt wearing his own Chopard).

Vilanova got his first car at the age of 14 and later – after his first paycheck as a car designer – his first proper watch: an…

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