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Brian M. Afuang
May 21, 2019    |    

REC Watches Creates A Unique Piece For Nissan

Watch honors BRE 510 driver John Morton

DANISH brand REC Watches has in the last three years or so largely built its horologic cred on timepieces using upcycled materials for its dials — sourced from Ford Mustangs and a Spitfire plane, no less. Mix this touch with clever designs plus the inherent cool factor of battered sheet metal, and the result are genuinely compelling wrist candy.    

Now REC has been tapped by Nissan Motor to create a watch for legendary race driver John Morton. The timepiece, the carmaker says, commemorates a friendship stretching 50 years back.

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The original Datsun BRE 510 John Morton drove to the 1971 and 1972 SCCA titles.
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Racing legend John Morton shows off his REC wristwatch made of parts from the #46 1971 Datsun BRE 510 car.

Morton is credited for elevating Datsun (Nissan’s erstwhile name) to a level which made the brand a serious contender in motor sports. This was in the early 1970s. Japanese cars were not as revered then as some of them are now. But Morton’s racetrack exploits paved the way for Datsun’s, if not Japanese cars’ altogether, rise in status. Eventually, Datsun gained a following.

Especially when Morton campaigned the No. 46 Datsun 510, built by Peter Brock’s Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE), and won the SCCA Trans Am 2.5-liter Championships in 1971 and 1972 with it. The 1971 race was considered a major upset and earned the No. 46 car a reputation as a “giant killer.” Today it’s an icon.   

Its significance isn’t lost on Nissan. So much so that one of its parts — a slightly damaged original chin spoiler — hung for decades on an office wall at Nissan’s headquarters. But hang it no longer does. Because now REC Watches has used this spoiler to create the caseback of a watch meant to honor Morton and the No. 46 BRE 510.

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Called the REC JM 46 Heritage, the watch is defined by many other significant nods to the BRE 510. Adorning its dial is the No. 46, the colors of the car’s livery, and Morton’s signature. Subtle accents, like the yellow second hand, pay homage to various components of the racecar which Brock had painted in striking Sperex VHT yellow, including the exhaust pipe.

Nissan North America calls the unique REC watch “a small token of appreciation for a valued friend of Nissan and a timeless legend to race fans all over the world.”

For his part, Morton says; “To see this watch with my name on it is such an honor. I can’t adequately express how pleased I was to be presented with this keepsake.”

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