Let’s just say I have too many Honda cars. No, I’m not ready for a full coming-out. However, I am ready to share with you three vintage watches carrying the Honda logo that made my heart skip a beat. Let’s see how many fans of classic Honda cars we have among the Fratelli. Put a smile on my face, please, and sound off in the comments below.

My relationship with Honda cars isn’t what you would expect. It doesn’t involve my father or grandfather driving Honda cars or anything romantic like spending my first paycheck on a Honda. In fact, I was quite late to the Honda party.

Honda Prelude

VW vs. Honda

My father drove either local (but not very competitive) Czechoslovak cars or old, immortal German diesel cars by Volkswagen. If it had the smell of diesel and strong torque in low RPMs, it was my type of car. That was in total contrast to what I saw with my best friend’s family’s car, a ’90s Honda Civic. Each time I was driving with them, I felt like its engine was sure to have a heart attack from the revs they pushed it to…but it never did.

Guess what my first car was. During my university days, my father let me drive his 1980s 1.6TD VW Passat. It was an amazing car. It couldn’t shift into fourth gear, so we drove it for years shifting from first to second, to third, then straight to fifth. No one complained. Even the car was okay with that. The fuel efficiency was perfect too. Not to mention, we could’ve transported a concert piano in it. The sound of the doors closing is burnt deeper into my brain than “Nokia — Connecting People.”

Honda Civic

Climbing up Maslow’s pyramid

So it’s no surprise that my early productive years saw me driving newer generations of VW Golfs or Passats before eventually switching to modern BMWs (the 320d, of course). That was until I saw the first-gen Honda Prelude one day… I started researching late-’70s cars and bumped into the first-generation Civic and Accord. I found some online, booked sessions, and went to see all the cars. The idea was to choose one of them. Instead, I bought all three. That should be enough background as to why any Honda-branded vintage watch doesn’t leave me bored.

Rolex Honda Date 15000

Image: Wind Vintage

Cutting high with Rolex

I don’t text Eric Wind, the founder of Wind Vintage, but I wanted to do so instantly after I spotted the full-set NOS Rolex Honda Date ref. 15000 he listed on his website. It was the second known Rolex Honda watch, the first of which Eric listed some time ago. The engraving on the back says “Honda Bowl Winner ‘85,” which was a sales competition for Honda dealers. The original owner never wore this watch, which remained in its box for decades. I follow Honda memorabilia from that era, and I have never seen anything more stunning than this watch.

Image: Wind Vintage

According to Robb Report, “the Honda Rolex Date is powered by the manufacturer’s house-made calibre 3035, a.k.a. the first automatic movement to feature a quickset date function. It incorporates a Breguet overcoil alongside the watchmaker’s Microstella regulating system, which includes four timing screws that act as weights on the balance rim. The 27-jewel movement was designed to be half a millimeter thicker than the brand’s previous caliber 1570, and thanks to its fast-rotating barrel, it also provides you with a 50-hour power reserve for daily use.” That’s all nice, but nothing beats the red logo on the dial. If it were not from 1985 but two years earlier, my birth year, it would be impossible for me not to buy it. Even with a hefty US$25,000 price tag, the watch found its new owner quickly. I am officially jealous.

Honda Steering Wheel watch

Image: eBay

The Honda Steering Wheel watch

It’s not easy to admit this, but I still don’t own any of these. None. Zero. Zilch. I was watching some VW Steering Wheel watches in the past, but I never pulled the trigger, and I don’t know why. Coming back to it today again, I love it. It’s cheap, but it has an idea. The incorporation of the steering wheel is genuine, smart, and realistic. It’s not violent. Standard watch musculature offers to be reinterpreted as a steering wheel without making you say, “WTF is this?!” Obviously, it would never be a GPHG candidate or prize winner, but it’s just a smart way of combining two worlds that always run hand in hand. Sooner or later, I’ll get one.

Image: eBay

The Honda quartz problem

There are tons of Honda-branded quartz watches. Indeed, there are so many of them that the variety makes any single unit almost irrelevant. Hence, they are overlooked and not desirable. If there were just a single Honda-branded quartz watch, no matter the looks, I would instantly buy it.

Image: eBay

That changed with this Honda F-1 design. For the record, it’s nothing that would rewrite watch-design history. But it’s something that gets attention. We have no records of where this came from, and it’s probably irrelevant too. The actual cut of the track doesn’t make any sense, at least to me. Despite that, it has captivated me with its strange magical spell. Then there is the number angling, which doesn’t make much sense either, but, for some reason, it works. Let’s not look for more than the watch actually offers. It’s a cheap quartz watch, and that’s fine.

Last thoughts

I don’t know how many Honda nerds willing to buy cheap quartz Honda watches there are. But do you know what’s great? I’ve written almost 400 stories in the last six years, and yet, here we are, talking about a $30 quartz watch. And that’s what I love about our editor-in-chief RJ and the true Fratello DNA. We can talk about whatever we want. Here’s a toast to the vintage watch realm — how big it is! Stay humble. Happy hunting!