Expert advice on watches and jewellery Many watchmakers are collaborating with car manufacturers to launch limited-edition watches inspired by the motor-racing world. Experts say these partnerships are intended to increase the prestige of watchmakers' brands. 'It broadens the market for the watchmakers, helps with the variety of their product range and the image of being associated with high-end sports cars,' says Tim Bourne, international co-head of watches at Christie's. 'People who are interested in the mechanics of watches are likely to be interested in cars.' Bourne highlights the Breitling's Havanne watch in collaboration with Bentley, and says that the collaboration is likely to be beneficial to Breitling. Eric So, publisher of Spiral magazine, says these types of watches attract a group of car fanatics who may not otherwise be drawn to the watch brand. 'Some are fans of the car manufacturer but don't have the car, while some may get the watch to go with the car.' He says such collaborations are marketing gimmicks. Most sports-watch collaborations result in chronographs. The Speedmaster Legend by Omega is the preferred watch worn by Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher, while the Cosmograph Daytona by Rolex is popular in motor-racing circles. The built-in stopwatch or timer function in a chronograph makes the dial bigger and thicker, contributing to their sporty image. Bourne says the resale value of these watches depends on whether they come in limited editions. 'Girard-Perregaux introduced so many versions of the Ferrari watch that it didn't make any difference to their brand as a whole. It wasn't exclusive enough.' Check to see if the design is a variation of an existing model. New designs are naturally more attractive than variations of existing models. So says it's important for the watch to retain the brand's identity while incorporating distinctive elements of the car. The experts like the Millenary M12 tourbillon and chronograph, made by Audemars Piguet to celebrate Maserati's M12, the car that marks the Italian marque's return to high- level motor racing. Few of these collaborations result in complications beyond chronographs, but this watch also incorporates a tourbillon, power-reserve indicator and transparent sapphire crystal case at the back. Whether you're buying a sports car-inspired watch because you're a fan of the car manufacturer or the particular model, or are simply attracted to the athletic appeal of the watch, make sure you understand its functions and complications. A watch is more valuable if all of its parts are made by one watchmaker, not to mention if they come in limited pieces. Shopping list Audemars Piguet Available at Carlson Watch, Shop G8, China Building, Central, tel: 2525 5478; for other stocklists, tel: 2732 9140 Jaeger-LeCoultre Shop 321, Level 3, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 4388 Its latest partnership with Aston Martin is the AMVOX2 chronograph with a vertical-trigger, which enables the owner to start, stop and reset the stopwatch function by pressing on the sapphire crystal of the watch case, without the need for push buttons typically found in other watches. This technology has been patented by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Panerai Shop G30, G/F Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2522 9373 The Ferrari Granturismo chronograph with a yellow dial captures the essence of Ferrari, while maintaining the sporty look of Panerai watches.