Cecil Purnell Pit Lane Tourbillon Watch Review

Cecil Purnell Pit Lane Tourbillon Watch Review

Cecil Purnell Pit Lane Tourbillon Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

It is called the "Pit Lane" and it has a tourbillon. That pretty much sums the personality of this Cecil Purnell brand timepiece I am about to review. Priced at about $200,000 and designed to be wild, what you are looking at is more than a simple timepiece, but an example of luxury watch art. Love it or hate it, the Pit Lane is a fantasy watch for men who need items to go with their fantasy car, fantasy home, fantasy job, and fantasy life. It is a true experience of the wealthy to own products such as this, and I take a deep look into its guts.

Timepieces like the Pit Lane prove difficult to review in the normal sense of a product review. For example, you can't really consider concepts like practicality. That is because a product like this is intentionally interested in disregarding practicality in terms of how it looks, what it costs, and how it is intended to be worn. In fact, chances are that you'll never see a watch like this in your entire life. For this particular version of the Pit Lane, Cecil Purnell is producing 10 pieces. There is also a version in an all titanium case that will produced as another 10 piece limited edition. That means 20 Pit Lane watches for the entire world, period.

Cecil Purnell Pit Lane Tourbillon Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Now let's assume that Cecil Purnell produces a few more limited editions; there are still likely to be less than 50 Pit Lanes ever made - and most of them will be sold directly from the brand to the end-customer. Welcome to the world of ultra-exclusivity. One step below totally bespoke goods, such ultra-exclusive items represent an entire world of products that exist outside what most people are aware of. This is one of the allures of high-end watches for people like me. You get to live as a sort of horological explorer. Not every watch made ends up online being written about by popular websites. There is still so much stuff out there that you aren't going to find unless you seek it out. In fact, most watch collector's will often be quick to tell you that the hunt is often so much more fun than the acquisition.

Cecil Purnell is a brand that we've written about on aBlogtoWatch before, but it is still a company we know little about. What we know is that their timepieces are anything but conservative or traditional and their annual production is very limited. Those who find most of their watch satisfaction from Rolex or Patek Philippe will have little interest in weird stuff like this. Having said that, people looking for serious novelty and willing to pay for effort that sometimes rides a fine line between talent and madness... will enjoy something like this. The good news is that it is actually quite comfortable on the wrist.

Cecil Purnell Pit Lane Tourbillon Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Cecil Purnell Pit Lane Tourbillon Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

There are design elements about the Pit Lane that I enjoy and others that I feel could have been done in a more refined way. Then again, there are dozens upon dozens of design elements to the watch. Many timepieces today attempt to be elegant, simple, classic... Opting to go with a more modern sense of artistic expression that communicates a totality using as few lines as possible. While I have great respect for many of those watches, that really isn't what a piece like the Pit Lane is all about. In fact, while the design is of course contemporary, the aesthetic philosophy of the Pit Lane is ancient. It goes back to a time when a composition was judged more by its aggregated effort as opposed to the totality of its grace and poise. This is creation that wants to suggest, "I'm complicated."

With a name like "Pit Lane" you'd expect a degree of auto racing inspiration. This particular version has checkered black and white hands which are a bit like racing flags but otherwise I am not really seeing too much "motor sport" inspiration. Rather, it looks like a watch inspired by industrial loading trucks. If you are the type of land baron who feels that on any given day your choice of vehicle is a massive dump truck with high-end two-tone leather seats and 6 foot rims for the tires, then the Pit Lane is the watch for you. And here I was thinking that the watch industry had all but abandoned the needs of real industrialists in favor of the fashion elite. There is still a timepiece for everyone out there.

Cecil Purnell Pit Lane Tourbillon Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

18 comments
JeviarDfirst
JeviarDfirst

saw it a few months ago with my friend...., unknown brand trying to pushing up on nothing, the store doesn't have any distinctive design, just a raw wood that arranged like a restaurant, the service also horrible.... then nothing special on the watch itself... it really-really look like the tourby-replica watches in the plaza nearby.... and the one that make me irritating is how they treat somebody by it look just like they already established in the market for a few years or something....

Ayreonaut
Ayreonaut

Ariel, I would love to see an in depth article on the people who actually buy this stuff.  That would be "vile yet compelling."

emenezes
emenezes

I wouldn't call its design futuristic, but rather steam punk, I guess.


And pardon a peasant like me insist on practicality by expecting that the time can be easily read on a watch.  Were the hands rose gold, they would probably be much more readable.

Grinnie Jax
Grinnie Jax

This pile of scattered parts was finally put together by random order...

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

The secret thinking at Cecil Purnell: "Hmmm, there are plenty of uber-expensive watches that are classy or have actual complications. What need to do is appeal to the demographic that has too much money and zero taste, no class and no appreciation or knowledge of horology." So this is what they came up with...

The $200K Invicta for ballers and dope moguls.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Vile yet compelling.  It's very angular, very spiky.  Now, the layman would consider these rough unfinished edges to be a sign of poor craftsmanship straight from the Apple school of wrist-scratching industrial design, but they'd be wrong.  The sharp corners and edges are a sign of rebellion against the snooty establishment, with their ridiculous pursuit of fine engineering and ergonomics.  After looking at these pictures and reading the article, I can only recall two words that best describe this watch; "massive dump". 

BigMike213
BigMike213

Oh look, it's an invicta made with precious metals! Worst. Watch. Ever.(comic book guy's voice)

BIGCHRONO
BIGCHRONO

The populace deserves infinitely better than this steampunked, financially raping/violating tripe.

Ryan B
Ryan B

Why, just why are there striped hour hands?

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Of being bolted on, this watch has uncontrollable night terrors and bad dreams about screwdrivers.


Also, hard lines and angles - MOAR hard lines and angles, said Cecil Purnell, as he cracked a whip made out of LEGO at his design team. "Cecil, how do we attach the.." "BOLT IT ON", Cecil proclaims. "OK, but we are having trouble getting the crystal to stay on the.." "BOLT IT ON" Cecil screams, LEGO whip forever in the faces of his Minions. 


"Cecil, we don't have room for any more bolts, we're maxed out". "I WANT MY NAME ON THE DIAL IN CURSIVE, SO PEOPLE UNDERSTAND HOW FANCY I AM" Cecil tells everyone. "Ok, but I thought you wanted the name of the watch in US ARMY font - won't that be confusing to..." "BOLT IT ON", Cecil booms, daring anyone to challenge his LEGO whip.  


Tune in next watch for the continuing saga of Cecil Purnell and his rambling thoughts expressed in wristwatch form. 

Frauss
Frauss

Pit Bull might be a more apt name for this illegible wonder. Whoever buys it deserves it.

DangerussArt
DangerussArt

Good God, it's stunning, sort of like seeing a plane crash.

antjay
antjay

looks like an Invicta , only less tasteful..

JosephW
JosephW

Do you know, I have actually seen this on the wrist of one of my coworkers, but for some odd reason the one on his wrist had "Diesel" on the dial.

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

Pit Lane.... sounds like a street in the cheaper part of the London red light district. Where you could safely go wearing this thing, with no fear that anyone would want to steal it.


" Is there room in the world for luxury toys of this nature?"


No.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

@MarkCarson That's a pretty large demographic, sadly.  I think the Swiss watch industry wouldn't exist without it.