"Drivers, start your engines." In American motor sport, notably NASCAR and Indycar, these are the famous words that begin each race. French brand SYE is inspired by motoring, cars and drivers - and so takes its initials from that famous command: SYE standing for "Start Your Engines". This young brand's strictly limited ranges of subtle timepieces with bold detailing are designated as items of "sports tailoring" and it's not hard to see why. These are watches that will go perfectly with your Ferrari 250 GTO.
SYE is a brand with its roots firmly in France, with all design and final assembly taking place there. SYE founder Arnaud Pézeron is a watch and motoring obsessive who sees SYE as an opportunity to bring these two fascinations together. He says he wants his watches to "make you feel just the same as when you gaze at the smooth curves of a top-range car, listen to [its] throaty growl ... see the flash of sparkling chrome or feel the sensual touch of leather that has acquired a unique patina over time". There isn't a petrolhead who won't disagree with that.
Pézeron's chosen designers are Ludovic Blanquer and Michel Berra and they've created timepieces conceived to evoke the lines of classic sports cars or the form follows function precision of a thoroughbred V12 engine. The stainless steel casing of each watch combines seamlessly with straps crafted by Jean Rousseau Paris, just as the leather seats on a sports classic complement a sensuous outer design.
Of course, it's the internals that make a great timepiece, just as it's the engine that makes a great car. SYE sports watches offer analogue automatic mechanical movements with all the satisfaction that tradition offers, rather like a perfectly engineered manual gearbox. SYE's chronographs are fitted with Seiko's meca-quartz caliber internals for precision timing when you're at the Goodwood Revival, and perhaps echoing the high-speed automatic gearchanges of a Formula One car. Whichever is your choice, we'd say SYE's place on the podium is pretty much guaranteed.