Drive Time

The relationship between watches and cars is getting cozier as more watch firms focus on automotive brands, events, and designs to boost consumer awareness, build sales, and attract new customers. "The tendency of more watch companies is to align themselves with cars and car events to take their brands to the next level of business," says Carol Levey, senior director of marketing for Swiss watchmaker Maurice Lacroix. Breitling and Bulgari recently entered into co-branding agreements with Bentley and Cadillac, respectively, and at least one mid-priced Swiss brand is considering something similar. Oris, Girard-Perregaux, Chopard, Rolex, Breitling, TAG Heuer, and Maurice Lacroix have expanded or added sponsorships, supplier pacts (as "official watch" or "watch partner"), and marketing uses of motorsports. Meanwhile, auto design—both classic and current—influences the look of several

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