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In Gear: Our pick of awesome gadgets in August

By The Wheels team, 19 Aug 2017 Features

In Gear Our pick of awesome gadgets in August

In this month's trawl of awesome gear and gadgets: Ferraris we might actually afford, watches we can't, and an ejector seat office chair!

Thrustmaster T-GT, $1180

(available late 2017)

shop.thrustmaster.com

Gone are the days when the only way you could experience forced feedback steering in a driving simulator was to head down to the arcade and jump on Sega Rally at a rate of $2 a pop. Gaming is big business and serious gamers are willing to invest serious cash in their passion – exactly why Thrustmaster has launched its T-GT flagship.

It has a high-grade brushless motor for simulating steering feedback as well as track vibrations and comes complete with alloy pedals and a quick-detach leather-upholstered wheel in case you have a massive stack and need to exit the bedroom in a hurry.


Bburago Ferrari F40 or 312P 1:18 scale model $180 and $1225 respectively

store.ferrari.com/au

What better way to celebrate a midlife crisis than by taking delivery of your very own Ferrari F40, 30 years after posters of it hit your bedroom wall? But if, like us, your budget falls short by $1,999,820 then you could opt for one of these.

Model car authority Bburago has recast this 1:18 scale F40 from the original dies it used when the F40 was new, for an unrivalled dose of nostalgia and feeling like you haven’t done enough with your life.

With a more handsome budget you could splash out on the Ferrari 312P from CMC, which adds an incredible level of detail and tools, so you can play little pits.


Aston Martin x Hogan Olympia sneakers $500 (estimated)

storehogan.com

See the words Hogan and shoes in the same sentence and you would be forgiven for immediately visualising crocodile skin boots, but the collaboration between Hogan footware and Aston Martin has produced something a little more sophisticated.

The “ultimate luxury sneaker” was revealed at London Fashion Week and is on offer in a choice of four hide colours, none of which is reptile.


1978 Martin Baker Aircraft ejector seat $9941

1stdibs.com

We’ve all been there. You have friends around and someone has just started talking about how cars that can go faster than 100km/h are unnecessary and we should all be driving around in autonomous convoys.

Well that mind-numbing conversation could be a thing of the past with this unusual office chair. As soon as your guests touch a sensitive subject you can immediately launch yourself through the ceiling and hopefully into better company.

The seller reports the ejector seat’s condition is “consistent with age and use” which raises more questions than it answers.


Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook, $2500 (estimated)

rado.com

You might not have heard of Rado watches, and to its obsessive fans, that’s exactly the appeal. It is a proper Swiss watchmaker and celebrates its centenary this year. But its under-the-radar image means that its prices have remained semi-sensible by comparison with more mainstream Swiss brands.

It also has a very distinctive ethos, centred on the invention of new, better materials from which to make watches. Even the fanciest Patek will look a bit tired after six months on your wrist, so Rado has developed new scratchproof materials. In recent years (and long before the car industry did) it has focused on ceramics, which are light and hypoallergenic as well as being potentially harder than diamond.

This Rado only has a ceramic bezel, but its cool retro look made it one of the stars of this year’s Baselworld watch show. And there’s an Aussie connection: called the Captain Cook, it’s a reissue of an explorer’s watch Rado first made in the 1960s. If you don’t like the big-watch trend, you can have it in a very trad 37mm diameter. If you do, choose the 45mm version. Either way, fellow Rado-nuts will approve.


Montblanc Timewalker Rally Timer 100, $37,700 (estimated)

montblanc.com

Montblanc is the official timer for the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year. The pen-maker long ago expanded into watchmaking by buying the Minerva factory in the Swiss Jura mountains. Minerva made much-admired dash-mounted stopwatches for early racers.

Montblanc is paying tribute to them with its Timewalker Rally Timer, a chronograph that can be detached from its strap and mounted to a dashboard. It also sprouts tiny legs so you can prop it up and use it as a desk clock. The movement inside is a work of art: which is something else you could buy with the price. More sensibly priced Montblancs are available.


Singer Track1, $55,000 (estimated)

singerreimagined.com

Singer, the Californian creator of the most insanely desirable (and expensive) re-engineered old 911s has now made a watch which is, predictably, insanely expensive and desirable.

Singer’s British-born founder Rob Dickinson has collaborated with a cutting-edge watchmaker and designer to make something which genuinely reflects the nature of his cars. The exterior is vintage racing-driver’s chronograph, with a twist. But inside is a radical reimagining of the mechanical chrono movement which puts the stopwatch function at the centre and relegates the actual time to two rotating discs at the periphery. Useful? Maybe. Cool? Yes.