Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Gear Wrist Watching Season 18 Ep.1

Our Top Gear wrist spotting posts are amongst our most popular, but it has been awhile since we've done one (this is our third). Apart from none of us having had the time to pause and zoom in and decipher what watch is on whose wrist, there's actually been little activity in their choice of wrist wear.

Until now.

A cool shot from Season 18 episode 1

Clarkson may have had the upperhand in being the 'major' host of Top Gear, the one that gets to interview the "star in a reasonably priced car" and the one that usually gets to drive in supercars whilst the other two settle for some sort of public transport on major races, but May and Hammond are certainly 'winning' the wrist war, if there is one.

Jeremy either really loves his Omega Planet Ocean, or he just can't be stuffed changing watches, but he's been wearing that watch non-stop (at least on Top Gear) for the past few years. May and Hammond, however, do seem to change watches a lot more often.

Jeremy Clarkson and his Omega Planet Ocean

I got really excited watching the first episode of this latest season, No. 18, as I spotted quite a few watches not seen on Top Gear before. So to quote each and everyone of the host on the show - here we go!

James May seems to have the most diverse collection out of the three hosts in the watch department. He's been seen wearing everything from a dinner plate Omega to a ceramic Rado, but his latest one took me completely by surprise. I must admit, though, that this watch suits his persona quite well. It's a vintage Omega Dynamic from the '70s.  From the looks of it, it's the automatic one with date.

James May with Omega Dynamic 

A bit about this watch:

The Omega Dynamic was designed in 1967 and launched in 1968 to be the most comfortable and most ergonomic sports watch available. The oval shape allowed it to sit snugly on the wrist and the integrated strap system meant that you don't have protruding lugs either digging into or hanging off your wrist (depending on your wrist girth). This system does make changing straps a bit of a painful exercise (unless you have the genuine Omega "key" that unscrews the back case to take the strap off). But then again, few people would change straps as often as they change their undies right? Unless you're a watchnerd. But then again, if you ARE a watchnerd you probably have the Omega 'key"…

The "key" to open...

The back case
It's actually one of my favourite vintage watches, and although it was extremely popular back in the day, they're not as easily found these days. A 'very good' condition one is even harder to find, as the original case has many sharp edges which tend to get polished off over time.

As you can see from this image the edge of the case is very "sharp"

Several movements were used in this case, from caliber 56x? (manual wind no date), the caliber 565 (automatic with date), caliber 753 (automatic with day-date) and later on the pretty dodgy caliber 1022. The cal.565 is fairly reliable and robust and the pick of the bunch. Nothing fancy, but then not much can go wrong with these, and with good TLC, they should last.

An ad for the Dynamic from 1969

In the same story, Hammond is sporting a very nice and clean looking Breitling Navitimer. Have you noticed that both him and James May has a blue watch dial/strap thing going on? Judging from the subdial layout (3-6-9) I'm hoping it's the manual wind...

Breitling Navitimer Chrono blue dial with white subdials- apologies to the Breitling fans out there but at this distance all the Navitimers look the same...

During the 'news' scene, May is sporting a white dial Rolex Milgauss, which I believed he started wearing a couple of seasons back, whereas Hammond is seen sporting a new chunky Panerai of some sort. More on these (perhaps) if I can get some decent close ups on their wrists. Perhaps when they're driving RHD cars (ie, camera in the left seat, focusing on their left wrist)

"Tell me what Panerai am I wearing.."

Something I would REALLY love to see a close up of is the AP Royal Oak... and I'm going to go with Offshore Chrono of some sort, which we caught a very brief glimpse of in the 'preview' montage at the beginning of the show… wonder whose is it????

The AP Royal Oak Offshore... something...

And finally, my dear readers, I am seriously stumped by this timepiece as modeled by James May. I just can't tell what it is. Do you have a clue? Please share any suggestions below in the comments section, and select the 'Top Gear' tag for all our other TG watchspotting posts.

***Edit: Thanks to Nate and @alexdoak we now know the identity of James May's timepiece - it's a Hamilton Khaki GMT Air Race!**

James May sporting the Hamilton Khaki GMT Air Race and presumably giving the "L" sign to Clarkson. Dunno.



Nate said...

May's looks a lot like a Hamilton Khaki something-something.


The Sydney Tarts said...

Thanks Nate! That definitely looks like a Hammy Khaki Somethin' somethin.. That's good enough for me. Shows May's taste in watches is extremely diverse!

Anonymous said...

Guy with AP Royal Oak is Brian Johnson from AC/DC :)