When Autodromo debuted earlier this year, they did so with an interesting and distinct line of watches that were exclusively quartz powered. Nine times out of ten, the average watch nerd would likely prefer a mechanically powered watch and this is just what Autodromo has announced with their newest model. The new Autodromo Monoposto is the brand’s first mechanical model and it is a beautiful one at that.
The Monoposto is built around a 43 x 10 mm stainless steel case with wire-style lugs and a distinctly vintage vibe (aside from the admittedly modern sizing). Exposed above the dial is a domed KL glass crystal which has a sapphire coating. “Monoposto” translates to “single seat” and the crystal on the Monoposto features a red strip that is meant to recall the days before race cars had rev limiters. Mechanics had to apply a red strip to the glass on a car’s tachometer so that the driver would have a way to quickly check if they were pushing the engine too hard. While I think that this may cause some confusion (at-a-glance) with the also-red seconds hand, the overall look is pretty cool and it certainly fits the aesthetic they have developed across the Autodromo line up.
The Monoposto is powered by a Miyota 821A Japanese automatic movement which offers a three-hand display with date and a power reserve of 42 hours. The 821A is a new revision of the 8215 auto we have used seen in many watches in the past. Like the 8215, the 821A does allow for hand winding but does not offer hacking (a stopping of the seconds hand when the crown is pulled out for time setting). With a quoted timekeeping of -20~+40 seconds a day, the 821A is certainly an entry level movement, but it should prove to be as dependable and cheap to service as its predecessor. Additionally, the Monoposto is fitted with a display case back which allows a view of the movement within.
Autodromo is making just 500 examples of the Monoposto, half with a black dial and half with silver. Selling directly through Autodromo’s website, the Monoposto costs $875 USD and includes a leather strap and a numbered presentation box. I think the Monoposto is beautiful and certainly Autodromo’s best looking watch to-date. The wire lugs, domed crystal and minimal dial design are perfect and nicely exhibits the care and attention to detail that Autodromo invested in the Monoposto design. Given the price point, it would have been nice to see a sapphire crystal or even an uprated Miyota 9015 ticking within. That said, the fairly lack-luster movement is made good my a beautiful design that should appeal to anyone who loves the idiosyncrasies and beauty of vintage automotive design. That’s all of us, right?