DRIVE TIME Deluxe Edition: Taking a Look Inside with Author Aaron Sigmond
In his latest exploration of the profound connection between watches and all-things automotive, author Aaron Sigmond inspires the mind and soul of fans of both timepieces and machines that go fast with a gorgeous book published by the esteemed house of Rizzoli New York.
As a self-professed fan of watches, cars, motorcycles, and racing – in roughly equal shares – I have nothing but admiration for Watchonista contributor Aaron Sigmond and his work. There is perhaps no other author who has neither the encyclopedic-like understanding of the long-standing yet ever-evolving intersections and connections between time-telling and fueled motion nor one with his finger so firmly on the pulse of current developments in those same areas.
In his latest edition of the popular DRIVE TIME series of books, so beautifully published by Rizzoli New York, Sigmond takes the opportunity to go even deeper into the topic. So, back in March, on the eve of the official launch of DRIVE TIME Deluxe Edition: Watches Inspired by Automobiles, Motorcycles, and Racing, Watchonista caught up with the author to talk about the project.
Watchonista: So, what’s your psychographic order of watches, autos, and bikes?
Aaron Sigmond: I’ve said it before many times: I am a car guy that loves watches, and not the other way around. I grew up in L.A. – the alpha and omega of car culture – and the Petersen Automotive Museum is decidedly one of my happy places.
You’ve tackled the profound connection between timepieces and cars, motorbikes, and motorsports in two previous editions of DRIVE TIME: Watches Inspired by Automobiles, Motorcycles, and Racing books. What makes this “Deluxe Edition” special?
People would often reach out to me via social media or chat with me at events and say, “I can’t find DRIVE TIME [which sold-out quickly in both instances];” or, “It is out of my budget” because, at one point, the first book was fetching north of $1,000 a copy. So, the direct feedback was one of the key factors for this “Deluxe Edition.”
The category of watches inspired by cars, motorcycles, and motorsports is ever shifting and morphing. Sure, it has its stalwart heritage classics, but it is always evolving. Many of the mega-partnerships and collaborations featured in the first book, for instance, don’t exist eight years later upon the release of this edition. There could be an updated DRIVE TIME edition every five to ten years, though that’s unlikely.
This third version isn’t just an update like the “Expanded Edition” from 2018. It is thoroughly revised, and has been completely redesigned, reimagined, re-curated, and reedited/rewritten – this is very much the book I always envisioned. It just took a while to get there.
Some of the book’s most intriguing content-points are the single-watch model collaborations with car and motorcycle makers, racing teams, and other automotive partnerships. Of all of these, which team-up did you find to be the most interesting?
Honestly, there are so many. Oddly, I am a sucker for the Rolls-Royce x Corum collab – it’s just outrageous. The Koenigsegg x Edox is quite original too.
When you curate a book like this, all of the watches really have to resonate with your sense of aesthetics and mechanical appreciation, one way or another.
Watches and cars, watches and bikes, watches and racing, which do you think is the most potent symbiotic relationship, and why?
Watches and racing – hands down. As I write in the book, “Henry Ford famously observed, ‘Auto racing began five minutes after the second car was built.’ Drivers had to time it all somehow.” I think that says it all.
The mid-century watches are the key to the entire topic. I call it “The Chronograph Era.” And it includes dual-pusher chronos starting with the Breitling Navitimer, moving on to the Omega Speedmaster, the Heuer Carrera, Monaco and Autavia, and of course, the Rolex Daytona – all designed with racing in mind.
What about upcoming promotional events and book signings? Where are your travels taking you?
Next up: the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, the first weekend in June – also with Chopard and produced by Hagerty.
Then, later in the year, there will be a third Chopard event in California, and one with TAG Heuer, likely at one of their boutiques. However, that has yet to be set.
Is there a timepiece and car-bike-motorsports collaboration that you think is a natural combo but just hasn’t happened yet?
For some reason I would really like to see an exceptional Cadillac-inspired timepiece. It’s like young Elvis and old Elvis, where do you draw the inspiration from?
There was an exceedingly briefly and unremarkable, though pretty integrated, Cadillac x Bulgari strategic partnership in the 2010s that yielded dash clocks, entire dashboard instrumentation displays, and a Bulgari x Cadillac XLR chronograph. But there’s certainly more there to mine.
Pricing & Availability
DRIVE TIME Deluxe Edition: Watches Inspired by Automobiles, Motorcycles, and Racing by Aaron Sigmond and published by Rizzoli New York, 2022, is on booksellers’ shelves as you read this and lists for $150.
You can find out more about the new book and purchase it online via the Rizzoli New York website.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)