The best non-car stuff to buy from Bentley, Porsche and Rolls Royce
From rugged jackets to iconic sunglasses, fashion and accessories made by car makers are not as cheesy as they used to be
You’ve seen Friends, right?
Did you see the episode in which Joey dons a Porsche jacket and fanny pack, holds a Porsche keychain, and stands on the street near a pile of cardboard boxes shaped like a Porsche 911 underneath a cold-weather cover? The charming—but light-in-the-wallet—Joey uses the tableau to pick up women on the pretence of owning a cool car.
The kicker to the scene is that, as Joey tells his friends, “only an idiot would wear this stuff if he didn’t own the car". Ha, ha.
In the 1990s, most of the produce hawked from car brands was cheaply made and tacky. Years ago, the flimsiest pair of headphones I ever used were given to me by Lamborghini; any normal human, not to mention someone with a sliver of fashion sense, would baulk at the screaming-red polyester polo shirts produced en masse from Ferrari.
Things have changed. In fact, several automakers are producing some of the best-designed, most-functional—and yes, even coolest—watches, sunglasses, and leather goods in the market today.
Ferdinand Porsche created the 911 and, after the family decided to pull out of the car company’s operational management in 1972, founded Porsche Design, the company that creates and markets all the accessories.
Seventy years farther on in the car business and 46 in the accessories industry, Porsche “would be incomplete" without the watches, sunglasses, and many other items produced under the Porsche Design brand, says Roland Heiler, managing director of Porsche Design.
That’s quite a reputation to live up to. So far, so good. Here are some of the best items on sale from Porsche and a few other brands you’ll recognize.
Porsche design chronograph
This Chronotimer Series 1 resembles the designs from the 1970s—it’s based off the first run of watches Porsche made. It comes in a sapphire crystal dial cover with a sapphire case back, a polished titanium case and a black titanium, carbide-coated bracelet.
Porsche Design Sunglasses
A reproduction of the model from 1979 (worn by Yoko Ono), these are made of titanium and polycarbonate. When done right, they look killer.
Scuderia Ferrari x Puma Shoes
These shoes, made from brick-red cowhide, are cute and don’t scream for attention. They come with a thick, padded tongue and sock liner, with reinforced heel and toe.
Bentley driving gloves
These minimal gloves for ladies have a keyhole back, perforated fingers and a Bentley B stud closure that resembles the wheel-centres on the Continental coupe, among other Bentley cars.
Bentley Racing Bag
This heritage-style Bentley duffel is perfect to throw in the car for a weekend trip. It’s based on the famous “Bentley boys" racing team from the 1920s and 1930s and is made from sturdy leather in Bentley racing green. Interior side compartments are included.
Land Rover Heritage Leather Jacket
The soft-leather of Land Rover’s heritage field jacket has a logo-embossed front pocket, sleeve patches, side adjusters in the back and chequered palm lining. It’s subtle enough that no one will guess it’s made by a car company, just that you’ve had it for a long time. That’s a good thing.
Rolls-Royce picnic Hamper
The teak hamper carries lead-crystal wine glasses, Wedgwood crockery, and handmade stainless-steel cutlery. It’s trimmed in saddle leather and polished aluminium. Fine plates, pots and bowls come with service for four.
Porsche Design Luggage
Sleek, functional and low-key. The bag’s locking set comes with ergonomic aluminium grips and lightweight side bars, independently rotating wheels and two large, main compartments with a mesh divider.
Bentley Fountain Pen
For the pen collector who has everything, Bentley makes an unexpected gift. This one, by the 102-year-old Italian brand Tibaldi, has an 18-carat solid gold nib and Tibaldi’s famously smooth ink flow. Call it perfect for updating the maintenance ledger on the Mulsanne.
This black umbrella is probably the most subdued item Ferrari makes. It comes with a rubberized grip, sturdy aluminium structure and a carbon-fibre effect on the outside canvas that helps block UV rays. Keep it in the trunk; you’ll be glad you did. Bloomberg