CR-1 Cafe Racer (1950’s)

Starting a movement

At the heart of CR-1 Cafe Racer is the beautiful Swiss Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement which is showcased through an engraved exhibition back. The polished case and matched profile DSL lugs are fully machined to aerospace standards from billet 316L stainless steel. Time adjustment is by a screw down knurled crown, which takes its design inspiration from the classic Leica camera.

A watch is defined by its dial and in the CR-1 Cafe Racer we have balanced vintage design with a contemporary feel. A satin steel index ring frames the steel embossed dial, which features skeletonised and drilled steel hands and cylindrical appliqued hour markers. The red, black and silver livery is evocative of the TT racers and great British bike manufacturers who dominated that racing scene.

CR-1 is fitted with a Zero West leather strap which is hand crafted in our workshop, giving a vintage feel that will develop a lovely patina over time.


Design Attributes

  • Latitude and Longitude reference the Ace Cafe
  • Fuel tank stripe, dial design
  • Period numbers referenced from race plates
  • Full exhibition watch back with custom rotor
  • Water resistance: 10ATM (100m) 100% tested


  • 44mm diameter 316L stainless steel billet machined & polished case
  • Match machined & polished 316L stainless steel DSL lugs
  • Polished and engraved 316L stainless steel back with exhibition sapphire crystal Winding Crown & Pushers

Main Crown

  • Screw lock & sprung diamond knurled & polished 316L stainless steel with triple seal technology
  • Chronograph Pushers: Sprung & double sealed pusher at 2 o’clock (start/stop red PVD over polished stainless steel) & 4 o’ clock (reset polished stainless steel)


  • Front: Custom double curved domed sapphire glass with blue AR coating on the internal surface
  • Rear Exhibition: Custom curved domed sapphire glass with blue AR coating on the internal surface


  • Valjoux 7750 30mm 13.25 calibre 28,800vph,
  • 25 jewels
  • Incabloc shock system
  • Self-winding ball bearing rotor
  • Day/date & 3-plane cam chronograph functions
  • Power reserve ~48 hours
  • Water resistance: 10ATM (100m) 100% tested


  • Embossed & metalised design with block cylindrical applique indexes
  • Sweep seconds sub-dial & minute & hour Chronograph sub-dials
  • Steel satin dial ring with 0.2 second resolution indexes


  • Skeletonised steel satin hour, minute & seconds hands
  • Red Chronograph function hands


  • 44mm diameter
  • 16.3mm thick
  • 22mm lug width
  • 50mm lug to lug pin spacing
  • Weight 120g including strap


  • 22/22mm Custom handmade leather strap
  • Single wide sliding keeper loop
  • Polished 316L stainless steel buckle with engraved ZW logo
  • 180mm – 220mm wrist circumference
CR1 technical drawing
CR1 watch on black leather strap close up wrist shot
Illustration of Norton motorbike
Home of the cafe racer movement. The Ace cafe London opened in 1938

Post-WWII 1950’s Britain witnessed a massive shift in urban culture following the social hardships endured during the recent world war. During the 1950’s there was a steady return to prosperity and as a result, the next generation began to rebel and free themselves from their post-war shackles.

Café Racers embodied a mix of carefree rebellious youth fueled by the new free rock’n’roll movement. This urban bike scene was borne out of the riders who frequented London’s Ace Café.

Triton motorcycle at Foundry motorcycles friends of Zero West watches

Arguably the Café Racer motorcycle developed out of the Isle of Man TT scene. With keen bike enthusiasts of the post war 1950’s emulating their racing heroes, the TT street racing subculture spilt onto British streets. Stock road bikes of the day were individually modified into hybrid machines. They were engineered to be low on comfort, high on style and quick….very quick!

Motorcycles were stripped down to the bare essentials and styled to mimic the contemporary edge of the Grand Prix road racer, with minimalist bodywork and tuned engines. They sported low mounted clip-on handlebars, single racing seats and elongated fuel tanks to reduce wind resistance and improve handling. It was also not unusual to fuse two bikes together and the 1960’s “Triton” for example was a stylish and efficient combination of a Triumph 650cc parallel-twin engine mounted in a Norton featherbed frame. It handled well and went well and was the epitome of a British Café race bike.

Man riding motorbike

TIME: 20/10/1950 – PLACE: 51.541°N – 0.277°W