Formula 1 races have always been an eagerly awaited event for F1 fans and watch enthusiasts. Yes, watch enthusiasts too because F1 and watches go hand in hand, quite literally. Brand collaborations and the deeply intertwined history between motorsports and watch brands have always played an integral role in the F1 tracks.
This season, F1 2022, was welcomed with radical rules, regulations, and redesigns. The year was already transforming to be an exhilarating run when a mix of new collaborations and long-established partnerships raced on the tracks. So, who’s wearing which watch? (A little tongue-twister for you)
Rolex: The Official Watchmaker Of Formula 1
Rolex is usually the first brand that pops up with any relation to F1. Being their official timekeeper since 2013, the brand has close ties with leading-edge technology, speed, and of course, motor racing.
At every race or Grand Prix, Rolex has an official pit lane clock as a reminder of its commitment to F1 and the importance of the reliability of timing. Its presence is seen in various degrees of F1 racing, from the many watches worn by drivers, owners, pit crews, and celebrities in the stands, its association with former celebrated F1 drivers, to its official affiliation with F1 and their collection Cosmograph Daytona ‘race watches.’
Richard Mille: McLaren and Ferrari
Going wheel to wheel, Richard Mille — the ultra-exclusive brand of the wealthy, has ties with Ferrari as well as McLaren.
The McLaren boys got the chance to produce their own million-euro watches. Richard Mille is renowned for producing lightweight shock-resistant ‘wrist-machines’ and some of the most sturdy watches in the world. The high-end automobile manufacturer’s ideal precision tool is the Richard Mille 50-03 McLaren. A 40-gram NPTP carbon case with a vibrant elastic band that houses a split-seconds chronograph with a tourbillon and torque indicators.
The imperception of the timepiece on the drivers’ wrists perfectly aligns with their approval, all thanks to Richard Mille’s lightweight technology.
Richard Mille also partnered with Scuderia Ferrari, replacing Hublot. They have created the RM UP-01 Ferrari together. The ultra-flat timepiece is an amalgamation of cutting-edge technology, challenging stylistic codes, and a budding relationship between the brands.
Apart from racing over the asphalt, Richard Mille appears among the wrists of celebrities in the stands, including the basketball legend, LeBron James. He sported an RM011-03 “Jean Todt” with a blue case interchanged with yellow straps at the Miami Grand Prix.
Girard-Perregaux And Aston Martin
Girard-Perregaux, the prestigious Swiss watch company, shook hands with the recently relaunched Aston Martin Racing team in a partnership agreement in 2021. The brand collaborated and designed the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges — Aston Martin Edition in June 2021 and the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph AM F1 Edition.
The Tourbillon watch dodged conventional expectations of a sporty watch. This fascinating timepiece embodies the 19th-century three-bridge pocket watch in a contemporary design; the titanium bridges replace the main plate and are polished with black DLC to give the watch a stealthy appearance.
The Laureato watch is a part of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 team as it integrates titanium powder and carbon parts, utilized in the GP rubber alloy, from race cars used in F1 2021. The British racing green made an appearance on the Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition dial.
The Tourbillon is the bridge of exclusive elegance between the histories of the two iconic brands and the Laureato exhibits the brand’s sporty DNA and the importance of performance.
IWC Schaffhausen And Mercedes AMG
IWC and Mercedes AMG are one of the best partnerships seen in the F1 world. Since 2013, the long-standing relationship between the brands and the genuine favoritism of its racers, Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas, has churned out various watch collaborations.
In 2021, the brands released Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” which is crafted using materials derived from F1 cars. The 43mm Pilot‘s Watch Chronograph is made with titanium and features a carbon fiber dial.
An interesting event took over the weekend of the Miami Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton was spotted wearing three IWC watches in response to the FIA’s ban on wearing jewelry while racing. IWC’s newly introduced Mercedes AMG F1 collaboration—the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team watch, the Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Mojave Desert, and his usual Big Pilot’s Watch wrapped around the racer’s wrists.
Both brands’ synonymous passionate, dedicated DNA was substantiated perfectly by their performance and craftsmanship, hence their time-honored partnership.
Bremont And Williams Racing
The alliance between Bremont and Williams Racing, two leading British engineering companies, was always intended to involve greater technical cooperation between them. Aside from the parallels in the sophisticated CNC machinery needed to produce parts with extremely tight tolerances, there is a significant overlap in manufacturing capabilities.
The Bremont WR-22 does justice to the brand’s ‘Tested beyond endurance’ motto that amalgamates excellent durability, high performance, and impressive design of the timepiece. The display layout of the 43mm chronograph is delightfully redolent of some of the iconic motoring chronographs of yesteryear, and it has a bi-directional tachymeter, a necessity for timing laps to precision.
The two industries seem to have niches that are poles apart from each other, but scratching the top of their relationship exposes an entire realm of rich historical ties and a future of growing together.