REC is a Danish watch company created by avid car enthusiasts whose motto is “Recover, Recycle, Reclaim.” To that end, their company makes beautiful watches from salvaged iconic cars, preserving as much of the character of the original vehicle as possible. No two watches are identical, making each one a unique collectible.
The company has previously released watch collections based on reclaimed Porsches and Mini Coopers, but the P-51 collection is sure to rev the engine of any gearhead who grew up watching the coolest movie star race over the hills of San Francisco in his ’68 Mustang GT Fastback.
“Most people would just see a pile of metal, a ghost of a Mustang,” co-founder Christian Mygh told the Detroit Free Press. “We see something completely different — the soul of a car and a story that needs to be told. I’m not cutting up Mustangs. I’m bringing Mustangs that are beyond repair back to life as a watch.”
The watchmaker uses the steel roofs, door panels, and hoods from ‘60s-era Mustangs to create each dial, which has been rhodium plated and finished. The designers went to extraordinary lengths to trace the history of each vehicle, all the way back to the original owner when possible.
Approximately 250 watches can be created from a single car, but each one comes with an individual Story Card, which contains an NFC chip and a QR code where you can watch a short video detailing the back story of that specific vehicle.
The P-51 collection, the result of a Kickstarter campaign, consists of three different watches, each retailing for about $1,500. The name “P-51” comes from the American WWII fighter plane, as the company explained in a press release announcing the new collection: “Ford Lead Designer John Najjar Ferzely proposed the Mustang name for the first concept vehicle back in the early ’60s. As an avid aviation enthusiast, he compared the diminutive but sleek profile of the new sports car with the North American P-51 Mustang fighter plane.”
Powered by a Miyota 9130, each watch is made from stainless steel, with sapphire crystal glass and a handcrafted metal dial that resembles the instrument panel on a muscle car. The power level on top is represented by a fuel gauge, with a speedometer-style dial below and a date window at the bottom. In addition, each watch face also has a small plate containing the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car it was created from.
The company calls the new collection “recycling horsepower,” but the watch site Monochrome describes it as “a cool, car-inspired watch with an automatic movement and a properly cool story to tell.”