Autodromo’s watches have always intrigued me, but I could never quite connect with most of their releases. The automotive-inspired watches have always been beautiful in their own way and I never disliked them, but I just never felt compelled to purchase one. That is until the Autodromo Intereuropa launched.
The Intereuropa strikes a dressier appearance than some of their other releases and on the surface feels more traditional in its design. The watch is still heavily automotive-inspired and those familiar with old gauge clusters will notice a resemblance to Italian sport car gauge clusters from the 50s and 60s. The Intereuropa has plenty of looks; the design is beautiful. Let’s take a closer look.
On the Wrist
Autodromo gives design credit for the Intereuropa to Italian sports cars of the 50s and 60s. These sports cars were meant to be luxurious but still competitive on the track. The Intereuropa embodies that feeling in a wristwatch and it is apparent as soon as you strap it on. The 39mm case width is matched with a relatively short 43mm lug-to-lug. Combined with the 10.3mm case height, it practically disappears on the wrist. However, the face of the watch is almost all dial save for a multi-level fixed bezel. For a smaller watch it commands a decent amount of wrist presence.
The wire lugs make the Intereuropa feel somewhat like a smaller pocket watch conversion. The lugs are thin enough to make the case of the watch feel completely round. Because the underside of the case slopes in slightly, it diminishes the contact surface of the watch. These elements together make it comfortable, so much so that you almost forget it’s there.
When I first looked at the watch, I was concerned the white hands would disappear against the silver-blue dial. I didn’t think there would be enough contrast to tell the time at a quick glance. However, the hands levitate far enough above the dial that they cast a subtle shadow, creating some contrast and making the white hands stand out from the dial. Even though the hands are short, the minute hand reaches the edge of the minute track and the hour hand’s design differs enough to differentiate the two.
The Intereuropa’s dial is packed with subtle surprises and great details. Starting from the outside of the dial is the minute track. The minute track itself sits slightly higher than the inside portion of the dial and is a beautiful gray. The numerals are both printed and appear to be floating above the track. The numerals are printed on the underside of the crystal. When you look at the watch straight on, the effect is subtle enough you don’t notice it. When you look at it from the side, it creates a 3D effect and further separates the numerals from the minute track.
The minute track is interrupted at 6 o’clock with a cutout to allow for the manual wind text. This cutout further enhances the gauge cluster appearance of the watch. If you picture a speedometer or tachometer in your head, the numerals don’t go completely around the gauge; they are usually cut off at some point on the dial.
Stepping down from the minute track is the beautiful silver-blue sunburst inner portion of the dial. There are a few elements on this part of the dial that create some texture and detail. A subdial is at 6 o’clock for running seconds. Printed in red underneath this subdial is Intereuropa. Another subtle detail on the dial are the two screws at 3 and 9 o’clock. These screws were often present on gauges from which the Intereuropa draws inspiration. All of these small details show the attention to detail and automotive inspiration the Intereuropa has.
Case and strap
While the case of the Intereuropa isn’t plain, it isn’t overly flashy either. Despite being completely polished, there are enough lines on the case to break it up. The fixed bezel steps down as it leaves the dial, creating an effect like that of the elegant hood to fender lines on a 1960s Ferrari 250 GT.
Before I wound the Intereuropa for the first time, I thought the crown was going to take away from the fun of manually winding the watch. It isn’t thick but is relatively wide. The crown sits a little lower on the case, so it extends past where the bottom of the case slopes in. This allows you to get a good grip on the crown to wind it. I was also able to easily wind the ETA 7001 using just one finger on the bottom of the crown.
The strap fitted to the Intereuropa is a blue Saffiano leather rally strap. The strap ties in perfectly with the automotive themes of the watch. The strap was extremely comfortable out of the box; it felt like a strap that had already been broken in, yet never worn.
Automotive-inspired watches aren’t limited to Autodromo, but they are rare especially when looking at small manually wound dressy options. Automotive watches tend to be larger chronographs from Tag Heuer or Omega. However, if you look at beautifully designed manually wound minimalist watches, the field begins to open up.
Junghans Master Driver
I don’t think you can get any closer to a watch that directly competes with the Intereuropa than the Junghans Master Driver manual wind. The watches share a similar design aesthetic, automotive inspiration, and dimensions. The Junghans feels slightly older in its appearance, almost as if the Master Driver was the first evolution that led to the Intereuropa.
The Vero 36 is a manual-winding watch from the American watch manufacturer. While the design isn’t automotive-inspired, it does fit into the minimalist manual-winding category. The design is straightforward and comes in a compact case that won’t command a ton of wrist presence.
Good design is part of any great watch. You want the outside looks to match the mechanical components inside. Autodromo brings automotive design elements to the watch world and they are the class leader in doing so. Their watches evoke different eras of automotive design and influences and they never stray from this mission. The Intereuropa is the most elegant example of this.
This is a watch you could show to someone and he or she would most likely think it looks like a speedometer out of an old car. If you’re into cars (as many watch people seem to be) and have been looking for a way to combine your love of watches and cars, the Intereuropa has you covered.
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Autodromo Intereuropa Specs