In Gear: Our pick of awesome gadgets in October

Our picks of the most awesome automotive-related gear we found in October

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Our monthly picks of the coolest gear we've found in October

Lego Technic Bugatti Chrion, $600

There’s possibly only one engineering feat in the automotive world more impressive than Bugatti’s unfathomable Chiron. The monstrous quad-turbo, 16-cylinder coupe might be able to get from zero to 400km/h and back again in 42 seconds but that kind of pales when you realise someone in a darkened room in Denmark worked out how to recreate the Chiron in 1:8 scale using nothing but Lego bricks. Assemble the 3599 pieces in the correct way and you’ll end up with an eight-speed gearbox clipped to an engine with moving pistons. And you can even move the active aero into the top-speed position using the special key, just like the real thing. Six jolly green giants is a lot of cash for a Lego set but it’s still about 6000 times cheaper than the version that gets built for you.

X1 Everest glass pool table, $131,000

Elite Innovations is singlehandedly ruining the ancient art of hide and seek. Sliding under a few hundred kilos of slate and oak used to guarantee safe concealment from even the most experienced seeker, but the X1 Everest pool table changes everything. Built using only CNC machining, 3D printing and laser cutting, this glass pool table is more transparent than a politician’s promises. A special rubber-like Levian layer above the 1-inch thick glass top and ultra-slim K-66 bumpers allow the supplied aramid balls to behave exactly as they would on cloth minus the intolerable problem of not being able to see your feet underneath. Let’s hope they don’t design a matching closet or the game of sardines is ruined as well.

Audi Driving Experience, from $999 

Don’t risk binning your shiny new Audi finding the limits on public roads and without the expert guidance of professional driving instructors; sign up for one of the four-ring Driving Experience courses and brush up on your skills the right way. Even at the entry level you’ll hop behind the wheel of high-performance S models but you can work your way up to more advanced modules in mad RS and R8 hardware, or even take a trip to Austria for a spot of snow driving. Keep everything out of the kitty litter and the final race experience instalment will slot you into a full-blown R8 LMS race car. We guarantee taking the wheel of a V10-powered race car on a track carries a little more kudos than a few laps of your favourite back roads.

Hot Wheels 50th Originals, $15 

It might have been the year that Boeing introduced its 747 Jumbo Jet, and Naru declared independence from Australia, but 1968 is surely most fondly remembered for the birth of Hot Wheels. In celebration of 50 years of the iconic toys, the brand has released a range of Originals that recast some of the very first models, presented in the same ultra-cool retro packaging. Choose from the Volkswagen Beetle, Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, Mercury Cougar or Plymouth Barracuda, each supplied with its own collectable button. Five decades is a long time and, coincidentally, equates to about one year for each of the Hot Wheels cars you’ll find scattered about the Wheels office.


Certina DS PH200M, $1000 

Go on, tick the boxes: here’s a handsome, Swiss-made mechanical watch, from a known brand, without an outrageous price tag. Certina is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year, and has reissued this 1960s model as part of its current Heritage Collection. The company, which is now part of the Swatch group, has a unique local connection as former supplier of dive watches to the Royal Australian Navy. While the look and feel of this piece is a like-for-like reprise (albeit slightly scaled up) of the original, its ETA automatic movement is entirely modern. The 200m water resistant case measures 42.8mm and it comes on a well-matched NATO strap.

Pulsar PZ6003X, $299

Pulsar brought electronic digital watches to the world back in 1972, and offered the first watch with an inbuilt calculator after Seiko’s takeover in the 1980s. Today, it produces timepieces in a variety of different styles including a range of chronographs off the back of its partnership with the Supercars championship. Some wear more overt Supercars branding for die-hard fans, but there are other offerings, including this particular solar-powered model. Its large (44mm) stainless-steel case is water resistant to 100m and houses a quartz movement.

TAG Heuer Monaco Bamford, $10,600

Steadfast purists be warned, you may find it hard to cope with this TAG Heuer Monaco. George Bamford is a leading voice in the custom watchmaking sphere, and while some traditionalists shun the modification of high-end timepieces that Bamford Watch Department does, TAG has now teamed up for an official, co-designed collaboration. Limited to 500 units, it uses a forged carbon case and actually costs less than a one-off Bamford Monaco made of regular steel. The distinct full black dial and aqua blue combo is unlike any other off-the-shelf version.


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