Automotive-inspired design in watchmaking is a supremely tricky concept. If one wants to step beyond the classic “racing watch” archetype and incorporate elements of classic cars on the wrist, it’s an incredibly thin line between recognizably translating famous automotive themes and cues to watch design, and coming across as clumsy and over-literal. Young Belgian brand Atelier Jalaper understands this balance impressively well, and for its second major collection, it takes both stylistic cues and actual material from the ancestor of all modern supercars — the classic Lamborghini Miura. With crisp, impactful styling, bold use of color, and a dial made from aluminum from an original 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S, the new limited edition Atelier Jalaper Miura AJ-P400-V offers thoughtful Italian supercar nods for those in the know and a robust ‘70s sporting feel for everyone else.
Although it measures in at a balanced 39.5mm wide and 10.3mm thick, the Atelier Jalaper Miura AJ-P400-V’s stainless steel case carries a more muscular stance on the wrist than the numbers might indicate. The tonneau-style main case body is broad and charismatically simple, featuring sharply downturned hooded lugs and a broad, continuous polished chamfer separating the vertically brushed upper case and horizontally brushed case sides. While it may not directly ape any one vintage reference, it effectively captures the feel of a variety of classic late ‘60s/early ‘70s sports watches on the wrist, with a pleasingly substantial wrist stance to match. An arcing polished undercut does help to remove some of the visual weight from the vertical case sides, but the Miura AJ-P400-V’s real sculptural work shines through in its bezel. This tall, polished elliptical design seems to drape over the main case body and creates some genuinely captivating light play, but this shape is more than just a unique visual flourish. Those familiar with the Lamborghini Miura are aware of the car’s unique “eyelashes” — the dramatic straked black trim pieces added around the car’s circular pop-up headlights by designer Marcello Gandini to give the already dramatic design an even more distinctive look on the road. The watch’s oval bezel follows the contours of the Miura’s “eyelashes” exactly, creating a deft visual tribute for the cognoscenti while providing a bright, dynamic visual highlight that stands tall even without context. Atelier Jalaper finishes the case off with a smoked sapphire display caseback, and rates the watch for a less-than-sporting 50 meters of water resistance.
Atelier Jalaper continues the Miura AJ-P400-V’s Lamborghini inspiration through the dial, but here the visual cues are bolder and more direct. The gauge-style printed white dial layout, with its bold line indices, simple Arabic numerals, and cutout between 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock are all directly lifted from the Lamborghini Miura’s dashboard gauge cluster, as is the fuel gauge-style power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock. While this tachometer-style dial captures the sharp ‘60s modernist look of the Miura’s dashboard well, it’s worth noting that this layout comes with some significant legibility hindrances. As a start, the white printed indices are arranged at 1.25-minute intervals, which makes quick reading at a glance potentially confusing. The lack of markers for 5 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 7 o’clock exacerbates this issue, but the brand does offer a solution. The sloping outer chapter ring features a full standard minutes scale, allowing for accurate reading with a touch more scrutiny. Radially brushed and finished in a visually arresting “Verde Miura” lime green, this ring adds a hefty visual punch to the layout in addition to its functional benefits. Atelier Jalaper offers the watch with chapter rings in four colorways – green, orange, light blue, and black, all matched to paint codes available on the Miura P400 S. Even more interesting, however, is the patinated, scratched finish of the watch’s charcoal gray dial surface. This dial is made from aluminum recovered from the body of a fire-damaged Lamborghini Miura P400 S, and the dark coloration and heavily worn look help to reflect that car’s unique story.
Inside the Atelier Jalaper Miura AJ-P400-V beats the Sellita SW270-1 M handwound power reserve movement. Offering a respectable 45-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate, the SW270-1 M performed solidly through our testing period with an average of +7 seconds per day in accuracy. On the aesthetic side, the movement is sharp if unspectacular, with Côtes de Genève for the bridges and balance cock, perlage on the mainplate, and sunburst brushing for the exposed wheels connecting to the mainspring barrel.
The Atelier Jalaper Miura AJ-P400-V’s deployant strap adds one final automotive nod to the design. Rendered in supple, glossy black leather, the strap features a prominently ribbed central inset that adds a visual edge on the wrist while echoing the stylized ribbed seats used by Lamborghini for the Miura. In normal wear, it’s both striking and comfortable, with a flexible feel and a suitably racy style.
Adapting one of the most beloved car designs of all time to the wrist is no easy design feat, but Atelier Jalaper has found a striking, charismatic balance with the limited-edition Miura AJ-P400-V. With just enough Lamborghini visual DNA to be recognizable to the initiated but sufficient personality to stand on its own, this vintage supercar-inspired sports watch is a genuinely striking sophomore effort for the brand. The Atelier Jalaper Miura AJ-P400-V is available now through the brand’s e-commerce platform, and only 400 examples of each colorway will be made (with all four colorways combined, 1,600 watches will be made). MSRP for this watch stands at $2,000 USD as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.
>Brand: Atelier Jalaper
>Model: Miura AJ-P400-V
>Price: $2,000 USD
>Size: 39.5mm wide, 10.3mm thick
>When reviewer would personally wear it: As a design-forward “IYKYK” accent to automotive-themed outfits.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Car enthusiasts wanting to celebrate both their automotive and watch passions on the wrist.
>Best characteristic of watch: Bright, visually dramatic “eyelash” bezel is an eye-catching centerpiece; Lamborghini-inspired design nods are both faithful and impressively subtle.
>Worst characteristic of watch: For those unfamiliar with the Miura, the dial may feel sterile or unexciting; the vibrant chapter ring may put off some enthusiasts.