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Rolls-Royce, Vacheron Constantin come together for custom build

August 28, 2023

The Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail features a signature timepiece from the horology label. Image credit: Rolls-Royce The Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail features a signature timepiece from Vacheron Constantin. Image credit: Rolls-Royce


British automaker Rolls-Royce and Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin have teamed up for a one-of-a-kind release.

The luxury car manufacturer’s Coachbuild customization service has revealed the Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail — commissioned for a collector of both automobiles and timepieces, the model arrives with a specially-made watch by Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers tailoring arm. Comprehensively, the release showcases a skilled collaboration between both legacy maisons, the latest in a line of unexpected partnerships in the luxury space.

“The two-centuries-old brands share a quest for perfection that consists of constantly pushing the limits of feasibility,” said Christian Selmoni, director of style and heritage at Vacheron Constantin, in a statement.

“This philosophy is an excellent catalyst for innovation and good taste, both technically and aesthetically.”

Playing with personalization
Spotlighting one lucky buyer's personal passions, the Amethyst Droptail is an uber-exclusive, made doubly so due to its ties to horology.

Unveiled Aug. 24, in Gstaad, Switzerland, a resort town in the country’s German-speaking region, the unit is sure to hold appeal for those who pay close attention to the small details. The car's exterior paint color, for example, takes after a subdued purple hue with silver accents.

The shade is inspired by the globe amaranth wildflower, which grows near the client’s home.

“This stunning expression of Rolls-Royce Droptail truly captures the soul of its commissioning client,” Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in a statement.

“This distinguished and international individual exemplifies connoisseurship, and their global outlook, refined tastes and deep-rooted heritage were a broadening pleasure to explore,” Mr. Müller-Ötvös said. “The extraordinary projection of their spirit, captured in Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail, is a clear statement of Rolls-Royce Coachbuild’s intent: to collaborate profoundly as a means to produce a historic expression of applied art.

“These products reflect an exceptional clarity of vision, executed with absolute conviction; Amethyst Droptail captures these virtues in extremis.”

While the automobile is shown as a convertible, an attachable hard top transitions the unit into a coupe whenever the driver pleases, creating an even more unique vehicle.

Included by way of this feature is the largest wooden surface Rolls-Royce has ever installed, spanning from the back of the cabin over the entirety of the dashboard, constructed out of calamander light open-pore wood.

The dash also houses Vacheron Constantin’s contribution, an exclusive Les Cabinotiers Armillary Tourbillon timepiece, situated in a specially-made steel holder from which the watch can be removed.

Working on a project involving a car is a rarity for the company, potentially rendering this release a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.

“It is true that contrary to other Swiss watchmakers, Vacheron Constantin has not designed measuring instruments intended for aircraft cockpits or car fascia – with one exception recorded in our archives for the year 1928,” said Mr. Selmoni, in a statement.

“On the other hand, the Maison very quickly made its mark in the creation of watches for aviation professionals and motoring enthusiasts,” he said. “As to whether this model will be followed by others of the same type, it is obviously impossible to predict future requests from lovers of personalized watchmaking.”

The film spotlights the artistry behind the watch

The timepiece, made from stainless steel, is affixed to a baseplate forged from white gold and ornamented with a handcrafted sunburst guilloché pattern.

Incredibly detailed, the chronometer contains 45 jewels on its face, with its dial integrating amethyst-toned accent pieces, in a nod to the collaboration it is a part of.

Unexpected pairings
Vacheron Constantin has only worked with an automaker on one other project, almost 100 years ago.

Regarding this most recent engagement, Rolls-Royce states the historical importance of the partnership from its perspective, mentioning that the project represents the best of the marquee's customization abilities, enhanced when operating in harmony with an equally creative entity.

The timepiece slots easily into the Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail's dashboard. Image credit: Vacheron Constantin The timepiece slots easily into the custom commission's dashboard. Image credit: Vacheron Constantin

Alongside this unprecedented pairing, luxury names from throughout the space have similarly been making cross-industry moves throughout the summer.

Over the last few months, luxury car manufacturers such as German automaker Porsche and Italian automaker Lamborghini have collaborated with video game console makers (see story), paint companies (see story) and fountain pen suppliers (see story) among others, in stand-out gestures.