I got tired counting all the times the interior cabin says “Jaguar.” Its a refined environment, but it still doesn’t feel as comfortable in its own skin as does, say, an Audi. While Jaguar is clearly doing something right when it comes to how their cars look on the outside, the inside feels like a very evolved work in progress. Then again, I should say that I’m very (very) hard on car interiors, as I nitpick everything from ergonomics to material choices. Few car interiors have truly passed my scrutiny. I’m like a dreadful butler with a white glove looking for dusty landings. The grade I gave was one of somebody who genuinely enjoyed being in the Jaguar XJ and driving it around, willing to put up with some of the mostly ergonomic quibbles I had – which are common to many newer cars that haven’t quite figured out how people want to control the climate or media system using a combination of touch screens, physical input devices, and traditional buttons. Example: you need to press a physical button to activate seat heating or cooling mode, but then need to consult with the center console touchscreen to actually adjust anything.

Jaguar stuffed the XJ with more features than I had the patience to play around with. I wasn’t going to surf the internet though the web browser in the car’s software, nor was I going to tweak the Meridian sound system to shake the seats. I did, however, appreciate the quiet cabin even during loud rush hour – though you’ll need to turn the fans on (noise) to get some air circulation with the windows closed. Also, the Jaguar XJ has a four-exterior-camera system which – despite taking some getting used to – helps famously when trying to park or maneuver in tight spots. I am all for more cameras on cars these days.

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Did I mention that the Jaguar XJ was pretty? From most angles, when gazing at the car you can’t help but think how lucky you are to be in one of those vehicles that isn’t going to look like a “vestige of another age” a few decades from now. Jaguar is, for the most part, releasing very classy designs. And here, with its sedan-style and long body, the Jaguar XJ’s large car format is the perfect platform to make a very attractive profile with noteworthy details. The front grill, headlamps, wheel arches, rear window and end-of-car are all very successful areas on their own. Together, there is a fluid harmony that you don’t find in that many new cars. Moreover, Callum’s team did a great job restraining superfluous design elements when necessary, but reminding you that this is unequivocally a car of today.

Environmental and economic considerations aside, long-live the large, comfortable, hard-to-pass-on-the-highway cars. I’ve been driving an SUV for a few years now, but I have a pleasant history with “luxo-sedans,” as I call them. Riding high in a commanding style has its pleasures, for sure, but cruising low while relaxing and feeling swanky is an art form that “car-trucks” haven’t quite taken to as well as other pursuits. This is the type of vehicle to get if you truly enjoy a good driving experience, aren’t seeking an adrenaline rush each five miles, and often do long stretches on the road.

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That leads me to the question of who I think the Jaguar XJ is best for. There is no one answer, but I have a response that I think people will find interesting. The Jaguar XJ is the perfect car for a dignified wife, one that her car-loving husband won’t mind driving around at least once in a while. Allow me to explain.

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The style of the car is certainly fitting for a stylish and mature woman, albeit one who isn’t afraid to remind people she is attractive. Furthermore, it is the car’s ride and features which appear to be designed for parents and those concerned about their passengers. Jaguar also designed some quite decent cup holders. People concerned about the safety of children can look to make sure people are buckled up. A range of parking assist features enable those who need to pay attention to a lot of things to park a bit more conveniently. The cabin has a lot of chargers and various climate control zones which will more likely be used by families.


I’m not trying to stereotype or say that this car is ideally suited to one sex over the other. I am saying that it is hard to find interesting vehicles that stand out but that are also practical. It takes very little thought for someone to stroll into a Mercedes-Benz or Lexus dealer and select something socially acceptable. It takes a lot more thought to find well-designed vehicles with strong personalities and strong opinions on what a modern “cultured” car should be like. Those above two companies seem stuck in responding to every single car permutation luxury consumer seem to want to buy. While Jaguar certainly has its options, you still feel like each of their car models has a reason, and that Jaguar themselves want each car to have independent automotive culture value aside from “appealing to X demographic.”


A final thought on the Bremont Jaguar watch collection. When writing about the Breitling for Bentley watches in a review here, I mentioned that owning a Breitling for Bentley watch (another car-plus-watch brand relationship), was seemingly odd at times if you didn’t actually own the car as well. Oddly enough, I don’t harbor the same feelings for the Bremont Jaguar collection, even though the product is similarly themed. I thought about why I didn’t feel it odd to own a Bremont Jaguar watch without actually owning a Jaguar car, and I think it is because the watch isn’t trying to evoke the design language of the cars, so much as it is about celebrating a particular look and feel to an instrument from one of the cars.

The watches are about merging a nostalgic look of one instrument gauge with another, and making it wearable. The watch is as much inspired by any tachometer scale as it is a Jaguar tachometer. Moreover, rather than evoking the look and feel the car brand today, it celebrates a set of values that the car maker had (and, ideally, still has) which all car lovers should be able to appreciate.

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Going back to cars; Jaguar, together with Land Rover under Indian Tata Group ownership, isn’t the company today that built E-Types in the 1960s. They are, however, the company the decided to build 1960s E-Types today. Tata as a parent company is relatively hands-off… and, at least the last time I checked, seemed to want British people to run a British car brand. They realized Jaguar needed to shape up a bit and get on par with modern expectations of mechanical quality and reliability. They did that, but it’s still a brand some people like to associate with pretty lines on a stationary car in a mechanic’s garage. With that said, Jaguar cars have arguably never been better built than they are today.


The Jaguar XJ is a formidable choice in its class, and will only get better when the entire model range is updated. It nevertheless still holds its own amongst the competition. Base MSRP for the XJ ranges from $74,400 to $121,000, with this particular XJ R-Sport AWD configuration being priced at about $85,000. Price for the Bremont Jaguar MkI watch is $10,950.


Necessary Data
>Brand: Bremont
>Model: Jaguar MkI
>Price: $10,950
>Size: 43mm wide and 16mm thick
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: People who own a Jaguar of course come to mind. Also anyone who relates to the aesthetic of refined classic sports cars, and wants a subtle but noted reminder of that on their wrist.
>Best characteristic of watch: Manages to be a “car brand watch” that doesn’t feel weird to wear if you don’t actually own the car. Handsome, conservative looks.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Some might consider the design to be too conservative. Pricey compared to the competition.

>Brand: Jaguar
>Model: XJ R-Sport AWD
>Price: About $85,000 as tested ($77,900 base MSRP)
>Size: 202 inches long; 58 inches wide; 4,112-pound curb weight.
>Engine: 340 hp supercharged 3.0-Liter V6
>0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds in this configuration.
>Fuel Consumption: 17 city / 26 highway
>Would reviewer personally drive it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Design lover seeking as close to a timeless design in a modern luxury sedan as possible in an automobile well-suited to daily commuting.
>Best characteristic of car: Platform is aging gracefully, and while it is difficult to point out areas that the XJ is best at, the totality of its parts comes together well for a truly refined, comfortable, and capable driving experience. A car I looked forward to driving each time.
>Worst characteristic of car: Typical ergonomic issues of many similar cars when it comes to handling the many interior features and controls. Default always-on Eco Mode is rather annoying and done for regulatory purposes.

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