Geneva, Switzerland—Swiss watch-making giant Rolex is teaming up with Swiss automaker Rinspeed to develop a self-winding car, which will revolutionize the auto industry and make gas guzzlers, like watches themselves thanks to cell phones, a thing of the past. They plan to unveil it at the Geneva Motor Show next March.
“We are literally kicking ourselves that we didn’t head down this route before,” said Rinspeed spokesman Auguste Agassiz. “The technology has been there for years, but not until my mistress called me up crying because her Alfa Romeo would not start did the idea come to me. She yelled at me, ‘Why can they have a watch that always works just by moving it, but not a car?’ And I thought it was brilliant!”
Rolex has been making self-winding watches since the 1930s, but felt the mechanisms necessary to make a vehicle run were cost-prohibitive, said Rolex spokesman Louis Euler. “But then my wife insisted that I re-examine the possibility after her Alfa Romeo would not start. So, I made some calls and we took a look, and then within just a day or two we got a call from the folks at Rinspeed out of the blue, and off we went!”
The way the vehicle will work is based on watch technology where a watch gets wound automatically by the natural motion of the wearer’s arm, providing energy to run the watch. In the case of the vehicle, it will simply need to stay in motion for 55 minutes out of every hour to work properly. So long as the driver avoids any traffic jams and terribly long stop lights, it should run just fine.
Euler said there is already a waiting list for the vehicle, which will be called the körperlich.
Agassiz said that each car will be made by hand, but should only take about eight months to complete. The upper-end models will also have a pair of scissors, a screwdriver and a nail file that fold out from the dashboard.