The new Bentley Bentayga SUV will be available with the world’s most expensive in-car option, thanks to a Breitling Mulliner Tourbillon watch available for the centre console - priced at just over $300,000 (150,000 pounds).
That makes it about three quarters the price of the Bentley Bentayga, which will begin arriving in Australia from April with a starting price of $420,000.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the new Bentayga in California, USA, Bentley’s head of interior design, Darren Day, joked that the Bentayga will become “The world’s most expensive watch winder.”
Unlike most interior clocks, the Tourbillon watch has no actual electric connection with the car. Instead, the device's enclosure will wind the watch up every 15 minutes (even if the car is turned off) by spinning it in a truly showy fashion.
“The first thing is, it’s a Tourbillon - if you look at the mechanism, you see it’s going around really slowly. Traditionally, when watch makers were making watches more and more accurate, they realised that when you move your hand, if you have an automatic, you get the gravity and the movement of your wrist is decelerating and accelerating the spring and there’s no compensation for moving.
"So the idea of the Tourbillon is because it goes round and round, it must average out all of the movements of your wrist, so over time it becomes more accurate.”
According to Bentley, only four of these watches can be made per year, due to the highly specialised work required. Two buyers have already optioned the watch for their Bentayga so far in 2016.
“We wanted an automatic but we wanted the ultimate automatic. Then we said to Breitling, you design the watch, we will design the mechanism. Because it’s a mechanical watch, there’s no connection to electricity supply of the car. There’s no feed. It’s purely mechanical. The only way of actually winding that clock up is for the Bentayga to wind it up itself, so every fifteen minutes the Bentley spins it.”
The watch is made from solid gold, wears the same graphics as a Breitling Emergency B50, but there are diamonds for the index, black mother of pearl for the face and the case can be had in either white or rose gold.
Day admits that while many have had doubts, the watch is not out of place for its customers.
“Most of our customer are wearing watches easily the price of the car. A lot of people have said to me who in their right mind would have a 150k option sitting in the middle of their car? But the people that buy that are not going to leave the car in a car park somewhere, they are going to show off, they are going to say to their mates, ‘look what I’ve got’”.
As for deterring thieves, who no doubt would be keen to get their hands on one, the Breitling Mulliner Tourbillon is hard fixed into the dash.
“You can’t take it out, it’s fixed. You only take it out when you have to service the watch. Every two years or so.”
If that’s not enough, Bentley also sells the watch as a desk piece, so you can also have one in your office.
However, for those Bentley customers that can’t justify ticking the $300,000 option, there’s always the standard Bentley watch in its place (above and top of article), which tells the time just as well.
If you happen to buy one of the first edition Bentaygas, Bentley will even throw in a standard Breitling B50 emergency.