November 9, 2021
New York-based boutique brand Autodromo has been dedicated to bringing sleek vintage automotive aesthetics to affordable watchmaking over the past decade, creating indie fan favorites inspired by ‘80s Group B rallying and the original Ford GT40 along the way. In celebration of its 10th anniversary for 2021, the automotive-inspired brand has paired with watch media platform Worn & Wound to deliver a limited-edition revival of one of its most beloved early models. With a clean new blue-on-gray colorway and a sharply modern twist on ‘70s sports chronograph cues, the new Autodromo x Worn & Wound Prototipo Limited Edition offers a sporty and handsomely versatile statement piece that celebrates a decade of Autodromo designs.
The 42mm stainless steel tonneau case of the Autodromo x Worn & Wound Prototipo Limited Edition evokes classic ‘70s chronograph case designs such as the Omega Speedmaster Mark II and the Heuer Montreal, but with a sleek contemporary veneer in initial images. Much of this more streamlined impression comes from the dimensions of the case itself, with a comparatively svelte 11.5mm thickness thanks to the meca-quartz movement within. The other side of this more modern character, naturally, comes from the Prototipo Limited Edition’s finishing. The gunmetal gray ion-plated coating gives the case a dark titanium-esque look in images while allowing the grain of the case’s aggressive brushing to shine through. Autodromo’s most distinctive design choice here, however, comes with the broad case chamfer. Rather than the usual polished line, the Prototipo opts for a matte blasted finish here, establishing the case edges as a darker outline rather than a traditional highlight. It’s a subtle change, but one that has a profound impact on the character of the design. The screw-fastened solid caseback is adorned with a unique commemorative engraving, celebrating the 10th anniversary of both Autodromo and Worn & Wound in Worn & Wound’s distinctive rounded graphic style. Water resistance for the Autodromo x Worn & Wound Prototipo Limited Edition is a rather underwhelming 50 meters.
In terms of finishing, the dial of the Autodromo x Worn & Wound Prototipo Limited Edition comfortably punches above its price range in images. The graphite gray main dial’s radial brushed finish is subtle and nuanced in images, with a pleasingly matte surface and a mélange of highlights and lowlights. The azurage on the recessed subdials is similarly well done, with a light and even finish. It’s the Prototipo’s use of color that really steals the show, however, with bold ice blue accents on the central chronograph seconds hand, subdial hands, minutes track, and the pulsometer scale of the raised Speedmaster Mark II-style internal bezel. Autodromo’s dial text work is also worth mentioning, with a smooth rounded typeface that balances clean modernism with the warmth of midcentury Italian graphic design in images. Like previous iterations of the Prototipo, however, this new dial is not without its controversial elements. First and foremost is the narrow black baton handset. Previous models in the series have drawn criticism for the length of the main hour hand, making hours and minutes difficult to differentiate, and this new model repeats this same decision. The undersized applied indices may also prove divisive, contributing to potential legibility issues in images.
The Autodromo x Worn & Wound Prototipo Limited Edition uses the Seiko VK63 meca-quartz chronograph movement. With a mechanical chronograph module that allows for a traditional 1/5-second sweep for the chronograph seconds hand and adds a satisfyingly snappy feel to the pushers, this increasingly common hybrid movement gives brands a way to bring the tactile experience of a mechanical chronograph to buyers at a far more affordable price point. The quartz base movement also gives this watch quartz-style accuracy and reliability but does saddle the Prototipo with a quartz-style ticking hand for the 6 o’clock running seconds subdial. Autodromo’s strap pairing for this new Prototipo is carefully considered, integrating handsomely into the overall colorway in images. This Italian-made perforated suede rally strap in medium gray pays tribute to the racing legacy of this design, while also imbuing it with a pop of rugged textural charm.
With a masculine and moody color palette coupled to excellent finishing and a classic vintage-inspired design, the Autodromo x Worn & Wound Prototipo Limited Edition offers a handsomely reserved and charismatic tribute to the brand’s first decade in watchmaking. Only 150 examples of the Autodromo x Worn & Wound Prototipo Limited Edition will be made, and the watch is available now exclusively through Worn & Wound’s Windup Watch Shop online sales platform at an MSRP of $625. For more details, please visit the Windup Watch Shop.