The Complete Watanabe Falcon Collection

I’m not quite sure exactly how this happened, but I’m about to share an absolutely obscene photo with you all.

So many Falcons.

So many Falcons.

I didn’t start out with this goal in mind, but having every Watanabe Falcon steering wheel variant? Oh man. So sweet.

Let’s back up.

Back in 2015, I got the silver Falcon. And it remains the only one I’ve personally seen for sale. I know two other individuals with silver ones. They seem rare as hen’s teeth.

It was my first Falcon steering wheel.

With chrome button.

With chrome button.

A while back, I found myself with a legit black Falcon horn button in hand. I compared it to my chrome one and discovered they were from the same mold.

This is the chrome Falcon horn button I’ve seen photos of. It is likely the most rare Falcon accessory.

Wood Falcon

Wood Falcon

Then I added a “Wood Falcon” to my collection. It’s made by Arigorni (Ammigoni?) and is identical to the leather-wrapped Watanabe steering wheels. Clearly they came from the same factory.

The wood Arigorni wheels are not too rare. I see them pop up on auction sites once in a while. If you’re a fan of Watanabe or the Falcon steering wheel, you need one. It feels just as good as the leather one and is made exactly the same way with the angled grip.

Wood back.

Wood back.

The logo - Arigorni?

The logo – Arigorni?

Custom horn button

Custom horn button

Split.

Split.

My own Arigorni wheel is a 330mm. It has the “Made in Italy” stamp on the back. I know there are some in the 340mm and 350mm range. The small one feels really great.

Mine has a split in the wood all the way around where the two halves attach. I need to repair it and fill that crack. That’ll be a future blog post. I’ve not had time to learn that skill just yet.

Even with the crack, it’s a fantastic wheel. It feels better than any wood wheel I’ve ever used.

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

And that brings us up to my most recent addition – a black Watanabe Falcon.

These pop up on auction sites once in a great while. The black ones seem to be the most common.

Not that a 1-of-250 wheel made in the 80s is really a common thing…

Rearview

Rearview

Falcon!

Falcon!

340mm

340mm

Just like the silver, this one is 340mm. No “Made in Italy” stamp on the back. Pristine leather with wonderful grip. Squishy thumb depressions. Angled grip with finger recesses.

So wonderful.

Double Falcon

Double Falcon

Fully dressed.

Fully dressed.

I added a legit black horn button to my collection and paired it with a replica trim ring. The rings themselves are becoming super rare in that the originals are disintegrating. The plastic gets gooey and requires special care to re-surface.

At least there are replicas.

With the trim ring and legit horn button, this black Falcon just looks the business. I wish I had something more intelligent to say about it, but words are failing me.

The hex trim ring looked okay on the silver wheel, but on the black it just looks perfect. Proper. Like it was meant to be.

Sharka's new beater wheel.

Sharka’s new beater wheel.

I actually prefer a black center wheel in Sharka. I love my silver Falcon and won’t be getting rid of it at all, but the black center just matches much more nicely. It seems more harmonious.

And if it’s possible, this black wheel FEELS better than the silver. The leather finish is not as glove-soft as on the silver. And while soft leather is one of the best things in the world, this ever-so-slightly rougher finish gives better grip.

Yeah, it’s gonna be a long time before one of my MOMO or Nardi wheels will be back in rotation in Sharka.

Perfect.

Perfect.

Thanks to my three friends who helped me put this together – Bo, Chris, and Christian. You guys rock!

All I wanna do is sit in that driver’s seat for a couple thousand miles and become one with this new-to-me wheel. Anyone have a Miata event planned?

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  • JohnnyWholesome says:

    Niiiiice. Steering wheel porn.

  • timmy201 says:

    I always like seeing your new posts, although I lost an hour or so into the steering wheel post archive…

    I’ve recently added a Les Leston Grand Prix to my collection for my mini, although that only takes me up to a total of 4 steering wheels so I have so catching up to do!

  • Alex says:

    Absolute perfection Adam, Sharka remains in my opinion the best miata/MX-5/Roadster in the world.
    keep up the great work and thanks for all the inspiration for my own build.
    Sharka is the reason i bought an NA!.

  • Brappuccino says:

    Things to start collecting for the cappo…. too bad i need like a 290mm 😀

  • Grange track day Dec 2nd or KINOD Christmas party on the 8th? 🙂

    Love this story and thank you again for both showing me the magic of how these leather Falcon’s feel as well as completing the one I picked up shortly after!!

  • Alex says:

    Hi, I am interested in purchasing your Type H Horn Button for a Momo MOD 78 330mm steering wheel. I am wondering if you can customize the colors for the horn button. I would like to have a silver badge color for the horn and have the H done in red, similar to the color combination of the NSX-R Horn Button. Do you think you could create a custom order for this color combo please? Thank you.

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