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Do you love cars? Do you also love watches? If so, check out these handsomely designed instrument clusters which have stood out in cars over the years.

12 Sep 2022


Having a beautifully-designed instrument cluster has often been an underrated aspect of a car. While these instruments tell you some of the most vital information, it would be a huge shame if you had to stare at a boringly designed dial whenever you checked whether you were going over the speed limit.

This will certainly be a bigger consideration or even a concern if you are a watch aficionado, who has a sharp eye for elegantly designed dials. Being huge enthusiasts of both cars and watches, we have brought to you a selection of the most beautifully-crafted car instrument clusters to ever exist.

Toyota Altezza

Fancy a chronograph-like dial in your Toyota? The Altezza is the way to go
Who says that only exotic, highly priced cars have exquisite looking dials? The Toyota Altezza possessed a dial which literally looked like a chronograph watch from a renowned watch maker.

The dials on the chronograph showed readings for temperature, fuel economy and volts in an easy-to-read design. 

It may not have been machined out of aluminium or an expensive metal, but it certainly added a touch of flair to the otherwise understated looking Altezza. Regardless of the price, we are certain that no other car to this day has an instrument cluster quite like that of the Altezza's.

Ferrari F430

When was the last time you saw yellow dials in a car? 
We move on from the humble Toyota to something a little more exotic. Being an Italian car, the Ferrari F430 is expected to have beauty oozing out from every single pore of its existence. Fortunately, the instrument cluster fulfilled this Italian car's 'duty'.

This F430 dial which is in the famous Ferrari 'Giallo Modena' colour contrasts perfectly with the black fonts, making the job of reading your revs an easier one.

The timeless yet elegant black Prancing Horse logo engraved on the rev counter also helps remind you of the specialness of the car you are driving, should you ever forget.

TVR Cerbera

From the driver's point of view, the TVR Cerbera looks as if a dial-making factory had exploded all over it
In the grand scheme of things, the TVR Cerbera is possibly one of the nuttiest cars ever made. That is especially true when it comes to the car's wayward handling characteristics, even more scary when you consider the car did not come with traction control or other driving aids.

However, that level of nuttiness pales in comparison to the instrument clusters. Just look at it. An actual clock and a fuel gauge below your steering wheel?

It might not be the most practical concept in the world, but we dare you to say that it is anything less than sub-zero cool. At least you can say that you crashed in style if you ever find yourself in a hedge.

Lamborghini Reventon

The Reventon's instrument cluster is one that Maverick would certainly approve of
This list would certainly not be complete without the inclusion of the utterly magnificent dials on the Lamborghini Reventon. It consisted of three liquid-crystal displays, displaying data which emphasised more on the speed of the engine rather than the speed of the car (weird, I know).

The display on the left gives you revs and change-up points while the middle one gives you a g-force reading. If this does not sound like you are flying a literal fighter plane, we do not know what else will. They may have been a digital design from back in 2007 but we dare say that no other digitalised instrument cluster have beaten the Reventon's 15 years later in 2022.

It really begs the question why Lamborghini did not fit this painfully cool digital cluster (or at least an inspired version) to the rest of its cars.

Porsche 911 (964)

Porsche's air-cooled back catalogue is simplicity personified, just as it should be
Here we have our first German, the Porsche 911, specifically of 964 generation vintage. The 911's 5 dials certainly are a world away from the visual drama of the previous dials found on the Reventon.

Does it make it any worse? Certainly not. This instrument cluster is certainly one of the best ever conceived, with clear, concise, very Teutonic (no nonsense) looking fonts with one objective in mind - feed the driver with essential driving data.

In a pure, unadultered driver''s car like an air-cooled Porsche 911, all that you need is less fluff and more focus. This instrument cluster certainly nails the brief to a T.

Lexus LFA

An epic engine deserves a similarly epic instrument cluster
Possibly one of the greatest supercars ever made in recent times also came with one of the coolest instrument clusters.

The speedometer in the LFA was particularly unique due to its ability to display how fast the V10 was able to go from idle to 9,000rpm in just 0.6 seconds. That means it is possibly one of the only dials which was directly shaped by its engine.

It also possessed a glowing, 3D luminescence, probably inspired by the sounds of that magnificent V10, which was engineered to sound like an 'angel's voice'.

McLaren 720S

We can't think of any other car which has a revolving instrument cluster like the McLaren 720's
Name one other car whose instrument cluster has 2 modes of transformation. The McLaren 720S certainly deserves a spot in this list with its ability to transition between as McLaren calls it, Full Display Mode and Slim Display Mode.

The Full Display gives you access to a full dial which displays selected gear, tachometre and other information. When the going gets even more serious as we imagine often happens in a McLaren 720S, the driver can choose Slim Display Mode.

This only shows the most essential information for spirited driving such as gear, revs and speed. Cool as it is, we certainly hope that the revolving mechanism does not translate to one more thing that could potentially break on the car given McLaren's less than stellar reliability record.

Spyker C8 Preliator

Sitting in this interior will cause you to have hallucinations of being on an actual bombing raid mission 
The Spyker C8 Preliator's dials are the polar opposite of the McLaren 720's high tech instrument cluster. Most people would not be surprised if you told them they were ripped out of a Supermarine Spitfire, and subsequently fitted on the car.

However, this is no bad thing as we can certainly say that the dials have a timeless quality to them in the same way a Rolex Submariner does.

The elegant cream-coloured dials and the polished bezel around them do provide an elegant vibe that no other car on this list can match.

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