Car Guy Bob Lutz Debuts Line of Luxury Watches


  • VL Date Wheel Watch Picture

    VL Date Wheel Watch Picture

    The VL Date Wheel Watch with Bob Lutz's signature on its face costs $2,000. | July 01, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Former GM executive Bob Lutz has launched a line of luxury wristwatches.
  • The VL Date Wheel Watch with Lutz's signature on its face costs $2,000.
  • Lutz is also producing the VL Destino, a Fisker Karma with a 638-horsepower Corvette engine in place of the original plug-in hybrid power plant.

ROCHESTER, Michigan — Former General Motors executive Bob Lutz has launched a line of luxury wristwatches, crafted in Michigan with American-made parts.

The VL Date Wheel Watch debuted at Simply Marcella, a fashion accessory boutique in suburban Detroit. The $2,000 watch, with Lutz's signature on its analog face, features a stainless-steel case, 24-jewel automatic movement and patented date wheel calendar and is available with either a black leather strap or stainless steel bracelet.

According to the VL Web site, the unique date wheel function "allows the owner to precisely calculate delivery dates. This feature can be used to calculate production requirements, lead times, project forecasting and even maternity due dates."

The watch line is a collaboration between Lutz and industrialist Gilbert Villarreal, the V in VL. The two also partnered on the VL Destino, a modified version of the Fisker Karma that was introduced at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. The Destino sports a 6.2-liter, 638-horsepower supercharged V8 engine from a Corvette ZR1 in place of the Karma's plug-in hybrid powertrain.

For customers who want to purchase both the Destino and the watch, VL can match the serial numbers.

In addition to his stint with GM, during which he was responsible for the development of the Chevy Volt, Lutz held senior executive and operations positions with Ford, BMW and Chrysler, where he helped give birth to the legendary Viper.

Lutz also has written three books, Guts: 8 Laws of Business from One of the Most Innovative Business Leaders of Our Time, Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business and most recently Icons and Idiots: Straight Talk on Leadership.

The connection between cars and watches may seem a bit ethereal, but it is well established. Before coming to North America in 1900, Louis Chevrolet learned his mechanical skills from his father, a Swiss watch and clock maker. The first dashboard clock was introduced in 1911 by the Heuer Company. And in the 1930s, Breitling came out with a stopwatch designed to time races.

Since then, many watch companies, including Breitling, Tag Heuer, Rolex and Omega, have not only provided timing equipment, but have sponsored just about every kind of auto racing.

Partnerships between car and watch manufacturers have included Breitling and Bentley, Parmigiani Fleurier and Bugatti, Blancpain and Lamborghini, and Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin. Meanwhile, Porsche and Ferrari have preferred to design their own timepieces, contracting with specialists to produce the wristwatches carrying their logos.

Edmunds says: Clearly, Mr. Lutz is enjoying his "retirement."

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