Vintage. Heritage. Legacy.
Those three words encapsulate why we decided to release our Rebel-AR collection in 2020. The collection is our homage to motor racing and the exceptional skills that went into making some of the fastest, most exciting motorcars the world has ever seen.
But it’s more than just paying homage to motor racing.
You see, we at LIV Watches are all about watches and the time-honored beauty of watch-making. Because being a part of the finest engineering and meticulous craftsmanship is indeed a beautiful thing. Yeah, we know it may sound a little corny put like that, but trust us--there is something almost reverential about what we do.
In that context, it’s easy to understand why we so easily appreciate the design and engineering prowess of cars, especially vintage, classic cars. They were cars designed with the same passion, ambition, and drive (pardon the obvious pun) that inspires us every time we design and build a new watch collection.
So, we went on a photo shoot. We picked our favorite model (a real guy’s guy) to do his thing around four models--four classic Chevrolet models, that is.
We thought the outcome was pretty damn good.
We commence with a true golden oldie. Even the model we chose for this classic is painted in sunrise gold. The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air was the most upscale of three models released by General Motors in 1957 (the other two being the mid-range Two-Ten and the less expensive One-Fifty). The ‘57 Bel Air might have looked like a classic 1950s sedan, but it packed a helluva punch.
The reason was that it was relatively lightweight compared to contemporary full-sized cars at the time, which explains why it was loved by drag racers. But the ‘57 Chevrolet was a monster on proper race tracks too, winning 49 Grand National NASCAR races, which is the most of any car in NASCAR history.
It was also gorgeous, especially when brought to its former glory and with a fiery customized paint job, like the model our lucky guy got to enjoy.
Look closer and you can see him proudly wearing the LIV Rebel-AR Valencia Rose with its distinct chocolate brown dial and rose gold case:
Just a reminder that this golden-hued watch features a 26-Jewel Swiss-Made automatic movement with multi-layer dial (on a par with the paintwork on this ‘57 Bel Air, we think!). Like this classic Chevrolet, which shows off its gleaming lines and fins with pride, the dual sapphire crystals of our Valencia shows off the precision engineering of its Sellita 200-1 movement from within.
Because superb engineering, whether in a vintage car or in a Limited Edition watch, should always be seen to be truly appreciated.
One more time…classic Chevrolet power + LIV Rebel AR styling = true cool.
The ‘57 Chevrolet was truly a case of ‘Gentlemen, start your engines!’ among sedans. So, we turn to another 1950s classic automobile…
Design as evolution
The 1959 Chevrolet El Camino was a 1950s classic and first generation coupé utility vehicle designated by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) as a pick-up truck.
They sure don’t make front grilles like that any more…
It was an evolutionary design, in that General Motors adapted a standard two-door Chevrolet station wagon body and integrated a cab and cargo bed into its chassis. That was a first in the auto industry and was a bold move by the GM crowd.
Evolution by design…very much like how our Rebel-AR collection is the transformation of the original Rebel rounded-square shape and unfussy dial.
Because that is what true design does. It evolves into something different, yet intrinsically the same.
Attention to detail was the order of the day with car design back then--and, boy, did it show. Look at the lines on this baby...
Every line on that El Camino no doubt took days and weeks of thought and discussion before deciding on the best look. Because that is what it takes--and a smaller, more intimate scale, that is what we do withevery single design choice we make for any of our watches.
Just how cool does the LIV Rebel-AR Gulf Race Stripe or ‘Gulf Black’ look casually propped up against the side of this El Camino, huh?
The iconic ‘El Camino’ lettering (not to mention its chrome bumpers and hubcaps) evokes another time altogether--of when Eisenhower was in the White House, Ozzie and Harriet ruled television, and America was being criss-crossed with gleaming highways.
The turbulent 60s were yet to come and America basked in relative peace and prosperity.
Speaking of the 1960s, not to mention a bit of motor racing…
Pure racing heritage
The 1966 Chevrolet Yenko Stinger Stage IV Corvair - clearly a custom-made car. And it seems fitting that a car with such a complicated name should have had only 115 of it produced.
A rare car indeed--and one clearly inspired by racing, since every 1966 Stinger had its trio of racy blue stripes, running from the front (without a grille, also unusual for the time) and over the hood, roof, back to the rear. Sexy as hell, you’ll agree:
Racing lines were an integral part of our design ethos for the Rebel collection, including the updated Rebel-AR quintet. You can just about see them in this close-up of the Rebel-AR Le Mans (the ‘Le Mans White’), paired perfectly with the side of this racing car:
And seen more closely again here at the rear of this ramped-up Corvair, just above a number plate that reads: "The Heartbeat of America 'Yenko Stinger.'"
Just try to think of another sporty, Swiss-Made watch that looks that good against a 1960s American racing machine. Yeah, we didn’t think so.
The Le Mans White worn here has a leather strap, and we should note that we use only the finest leather sourced from Italy and France to produce our straps, all of which are handmade by artisans. Or you can opt for a custom-made metal bracelet made from 316L stainless steel and IP coating, with each link individually coated so as to make sure the color is evenly applied.
Regarding this classic car, a further note is this was the Stage IV version of the 1966 Chevrolet Yenko Stinger Corvair. This delivered the ultimate from its Yenko engine, namely 240 horsepower without need for supercharging or increasing displacement. That means the Stage IV was built strictly for one thing and one thing only: the racing track.
Looks can be deceiving
Admittedly, we’re not 100% sure about our fourth and final classic car, but we believe it’s a late 1960s Chevrolet Corvair Monza. It sure looks great:
The sporty, rear-engined, and fast-as-hell Corvair, stunned many when first released but it would become the poster child for one of the biggest auto controversies of the 1960s. According to Ralph Nader in his famous 1965 bookUnsafe at Any Speed!, the Corvair was essentially a death trap. He dubbed it the ‘unsafest car in the world.'
To be fair, Nader’s attack was on the first generation Corvair, while this looks to be a second-generation (late-1960s) model. Nevertheless, neither the Corvair or GM ever fully recovered from that controversy.
Interestingly, the Corvair has since proven much sought-after by classic car collectors, and even some of its controversy disputed by experts. Also, GM always stood by the model, even when it discontinued the model in 1969.
Luckily, we know our Rebel-AR collection will have no such controversy! We know the quality and dedication to detail we put into every one of our watches. That is why we confidently stand behind our watches.
That's why we offer a Five Year International Warranty against any manufacturer defects, such is our belief in our watches. It’s the LIV way of doing things.
It is also why our guy can wear his Le Mans White with clear confidence, whether inside his Chevrolet Corvair:
Or just standing in front of it, like any chill dude would do:
And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t think this looks pretty smooth?
But, like any classic car, it’s more than just great styling and superb engineering. It’s about constantly striving for better and more sophisticated. That’s why we upgraded the already-great Rebel-A to transform it into the exceptional Rebel-AR.
And how did we accomplish that? A thinner case and enlarged dial and hands, with more BGW9 Swiss Luminova for extra brightness at night were some enhancements. Racing stripes and the Rebel logo on the side were added for that inspiring racing-inspired flair. Read all about the design changes to the Rebel here.
Ultimately, we know this: Building great, fast cars and building beautiful, functional watches--it transcends the normal and inspires the very best in those who love what they do.