REC Your Car
Iconic 1960s Ford Mustang, classic Morris and Austin Minis taken apart and put together in a completely new shape and form; the team behind REC presents a watch concept unlike any other. “Recover. Recycle. Reclaim.” the motto and the idea after which the brand named itself, REC brings to its customers an ingenious product, each with a remarkable story of its own. The brand not only takes inspiration from the vintage automotive industry, but also salvages the classic cars’ parts to create timeless, elegant, and stylish watches from them. Distributor in Bahrain–and the Middle East–and a watch aficionado himself, Khaled Zainalabedin speaks to Perle Magazine about the exceptional brand and how his own love for horology lead him to becoming a part of the REC lifestyle.
Recognised for being the first for introducing and selling the infamous Andrea Black and TVs in the GCC in the 50s and 60s, the Zainalabedin family had long established its roots in the entrepreneurial realm, and it was inevitable that Khaled too would follow that path. Inspired by his father, Khaled says it was also his support for his interest in entrepreneurship that further allowed him to embark in this field. Though his father was not an entrepreneur, Khaled says that it was through him that he was introduced to the world of trade and commerce and opened his mind to the world of banking– which Khaled also himself pursued as an entrepreneurial banker. Another aspect of Khaled’s life that was greatly affected by his father was his keenness towards watches. “Although my father was not a collector and had a limited collection, he always knew what watch to wear for which occasion and I loved every part of it”, he says, and adds that his father would notice Khaled viewing his watches with great passion and even asking to wear some of them. Khaled’s affection towards horology was further encouraged when he was initially gifted the Casio Calculator and the now-classic Casio F91W watch by his father, followed by the Seiko watches, which lead him to falling in love in Japanese watches. On his 16th birthday, Khaled says, he realised his passion towards Swiss-made watches when he received his first Swiss watch, an Omega De Ville. Keeping his profession (as a banker) and passion side by side, Khaled started collecting vintage watches, which lead to forming a new business venture to further pursue his interest in horology, and eventually leading to his partnership with REC Watches.
The brainchild of Christian Mygh and Jonathan Kamstrup, REC, was created by the Danish entrepreneurs when they realised they both shared the same enthusiasm towards watches and cars. In the hopes to transform their passions into truly unique timepieces by fusing the two elements, REC was born and launched in 2014 out of Copenhagen, Denmark. Boasting two exciting lines currently, the P-51 Collection and the Mini Line, the watch brand goes above and beyond to design watches that can capture the essence and elegance of the vintage automotive industry, without being too ostentatious.
Acquiring the cars to turn into watches, Khaled explains, is a lengthy and carefully researched method. Since the watches are produced using actual vintage cars, they have to be of a specific model produced in certain time frames, thus making it difficult to obtain certain cars. Using hoods, car doors, bonnets, chassis, engines, spare parts, and whatever part of the car needed based on design, Khaled explains it is important to ensure that not only is the car available and the design is feasible alongside the movements that will be fitted within the watch, but also that the car itself is of good health, shape, and form. Once a car that is to be used is found, the REC team sends specialists to inspect the car to make sure the car is in good condition and of high quality in order to match the brand’s standards. Having produced over 5000 watches to date, Khaled says the process of developing an entire collection can take anywhere between six months to a year, depending on all the factors that come into play while working on a collection.
With many exciting and interesting projects in the pipeline, REC is currently working on the design phases for limited editions for the P-51 for two major car clubs in the region, as well as limited editions with a Middle Eastern touch by working with car parts recovered from the Middle East. One of the most exciting plans, Khaled says, is the launch of watches made using the classic Porsche 911. “The design is something out of this world. You really feel like you have got a Porsche 911 on your wrist!” he says of the watch that will be launched in the first quarter of 2017. The brand is also considering to launch watches developed from the infamous Volkswagen Mirco Bus and the classic Dodge Challenger.
Already present in 30 countries worldwide, REC is retailed through Khaled in the GCC region, with presence in major watch retailers such as Prime Retail Ltd, Beidoun, and Al Batel watches in Kuwait; sold and showcased exclusively at Luxury Signature, an outstanding watches showroom in the Pearl Qatar, Qatar; whereas interested persons from UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman can order their pieces from Bahrain through Khaled until their launch in the aforementioned countries in November.
“The concept of REC started with cars and shall continue, however, our core concept is built around Recover, Recycle, and Reclaim, and thus don’t be surprised if you see REC introducing timepieces from other machines and vehicles!” Khaled says and assures that with REC around, there will be no shortage of stunning and classy watches with an interesting story.
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