Think classic motor racing watches, and thanks to history and Hollywood celebrity, coupled with ruthless marketing, there are two watches that instantly spring to mind, McQueen with his ( pre TAG ) Heuer Monaco, and Paul Newman with the Rolex Daytona. Both are iconic and command sums that are eye watering. There’s plenty more. Omega Speedmaster was a racing watch that went to the Moon. Andretti favoured a Rallygraf, Tudor made the Monte-Carlo and so on. They are all beautiful, and will cost you thousands.

At MP Towers, whilst we can appreciate a vintage Monaco or Newman era Daytona, fiscal reality means we’re not likely to own one. That’s probably for the best, as we’d more than likely flog it to finance something quite silly, like an entire season of Lemons racing, or a flaky, eighties Maserati for a staff car.

If you want the style of a vintage chronometer to go with your classic, there’s more affordable stuff out there. Amongst them is an independent watchmaker and serious petrolhead, who creates retro styled watches for less than the price of a service on a Swiss luxury offering.

Credit Indiana Anders

From an early age David Campo was surrounded by fast machines and antique timepieces. Grandpa was a test engineer working with the Swedish Airforce. David was allowed to play on the base as Grandpa inspected aircraft and recounted tales of wartime aviators he called Roughnecks. Grandpa’s uncle collected antique pocket watches. David recalls sifting through them on a kitchen table just as fascinated by their style and design as he was by the Saab Lansens, Drakens and Viggens on the airbase.

        Credit Indiana Anders

Speed and time, and the design of such things, left an impression on him. Later he would become a creative designer working for international fashion houses before branching out on his own to form Nezumi Studios. His break out watch was the Voiture, a retro styled racing chronograph with shades of Universal Geneve, Tudor Monte-Carlo and Rallygraf in its design. Its strong vintage aesthetic is pumped by the rally style Rindt leather strap. Powered by the VK63 Seiko ‘mecha’ quartz movement, its both reliable and eminently affordable. If a mechanical watch is a must, there’s also a hand wound Voiture on a steel bracelet available.


     Credit Indiana Anders

The Voiture can also claim some genuine automotive links of its own, with sold out limited editions made with legendary performance house, Ruf

“It was totally by chance. I was talking to a customer who worked for Ruf and asked, if he could connect me with Alois and Estonia Ruf. They both appreciated what I did with Nezumi and we quickly decided to do a watch together.”

What followed was a genuine collaboration as opposed to a licence agreement. David worked primarily with Estonia Ruf on the design that honoured the green, first Ruf 911 build. The resulting limited edition of 200 Ruf Voiture swiftly sold out.

                                                                                     credit David Campo

Inspired by the response David again collaborated with Estonia and Alois to celebrate the Ruf CTR ‘Yellowbird’ the twin turbo, eighties savage that (unofficially) decimated the Nurburgring lap time.

credit David Campo

For David. a collaboration with Ruf was an opportunity he was not going to miss. Away from work his free time was consumed by a passion for air-cooled Porsches. Not the pristine parade queens of the auction rooms and show circuit, but old classic machines that had already lived a life, ones that he could renovate and put his own creative stamp on. He found many friends who liked his ideas, and his style, so he formed a club called the Roughneck Brigade with modded classic 911s at its core. His current car, Kermit, is a prime example of his styling. A 3.0 SC with a bespoke interior and body modifications. “I’d say it’s very close to a show car. With all my builds, I never cut corners, I just run with it until the plan is fulfilled”

Painted a vintage green, it’s nigh on perfection as a useable and eye catching ‘hot rod’ classic 911.


Credit Indiana Anders

Kermit is a survivor of his garage 911 cull. “At one point I counted six air cooled Porsches plus another I was fixing up for a friend. I thought, this is getting out of hand, there are other cars to explore”

He sold some of his Porsches but added a JCW R53 Mini, and a VR6 Corrado now repainted Porsche mint green and wearing Porsche Cup1 wheels. He’s also plunged into the classic Japanese domestic market with a first gen TA22 Celica. David plans some restomod tweaking, sympathetic to the old school factory style. “I didn’t know this until I got the car, but it was offered from the factory with  wide body fender flares as an option. Their factory option catalogue back in the day was amazing. I’m going to be doing some wide body work on mine.”

A Supra next? No. His latest purchase is a Mitsubishi 3000 twin turbo. “They get a lot of crap because they are hard to work on, but it’s a great car – four wheel drive, four wheel steering, active aero, it’s just  a car before its time. Supras get all the love but they are not for me, I dare to say they are overhyped now.”

On the long term want list is a Ferrari 328. “Definitely not red, I’d love to get one in black and put a set of bronze wheels on it.”

Meantime he has plenty of watches to keep him busy. His latest automotive special edition is recalling Swedish playboy racer and wild man, Ulf Norinder. The watch celebrates the time Norinder purchased a Ferrari 250 GTO painted it in Swedish national colours and took it on the 1964 Targa Florio, finishing second in class and ninth overall.

  Credit Michael DiPleco

Frequently pictured with racing stars and celebrities, his racing was overshadowed  by week long parties at his mansion. It’s said. when the booze ran low Norinder deployed his helicopter on a resupply mission to keep his guests hydrated.

         Credit Michael DiPleco                                                                                           Cust David Campo

       There;s also a new watch just launched, a GMT called Aviera.

Credit David Campo

It joins a wide range of retro inspired pieces from classic, aviation, and racing chronographs to diver watches. If you want something with a motorsport tie in, David says there are more collaborations on the way. He’s just not saying who or what just yet. We’ll have to wait and see, although its guaranteed to be created by a petrolhead for petrolheads, and a lot more fun than window licking at your local Swiss watch emporium.

Images subject to copyright
Image credits David Campo, Indiana Anders, (Norinder Ferrari) Micheal DiPleco
additional images Ruf CTR, Saab Draken, Ferrari, via Wikicommons

About The Author

Steve Swanson

Steve turns any opportunity to write about cars into a roadtrip. It's seen him ride shotgun in a Bentley Blower with Clive Cussler, and cross paths with automotive YouTubers in Canada and the US. His work has been published in Magneto, Classic Cars, Classic American and some magazines that no MotorPunk reader has ever heard of. When he's not writing or driving you can find him kicking tyres at seedy auctions and hawking junk optimistically described as Automobilia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.