For many, this weekend sort of marks the end of the first quarter of 2021 (prematurely). But for the motorheads, this weekend is rather exciting indeed. It is the start of the new season of Formula 1.
Six Motorsports-Related Watches to Kickstart the 2021 Formula 1 Season
The 2021 Formula 1 season is proving to be rather tantalising, if last night’s qualifying session and the past practice sessions were anything to go by. The midfielder pack looks tighter than ever, and Red Bull seem to be on the cusp of breaking Mercedes-AMG’s dominance.
Interestingly, most motorsports fans and automotive enthusiasts like watches as well. That explains the number of sponsorships between these two groups of companies. We reckon it can be contributed either by the “cool factor” that these two entities possess, or the fact that people are attracted to the engineering and mechanical aspects of these two subjects.
Over the years, we have seen some interesting collaborations between the world of motorsports and horology. In fact, we have covered quite a number of such timepieces over the years. Hence, for today’s article, we will be looking at some of our favourite motorsports-related timepieces before the Bahrain Grand Prix begins at 11pm (Singapore Time). What have we selected? Let us find out!
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
We kickstart the article today with a timepiece from the Official Timekeeper of Formula 1: Rolex.
The 40mm Cosmograph Daytona is perhaps one of the most well-known and sought-after timepieces in the brand’s repertoire. But beyond that, the Daytona is a timepiece that was designed for the high-performance world of motor racing. It is entrenched in its namesake, which was derived from both the Daytona International Speedway race track and the Daytona 500 racing event in the 1960s.
The latest variant of the Cosmograph Daytona features a monobloc Cerachrom tachymeter bezel insert, as well as a movement with more rigorous in-house testing that ensures the movement is accurate up to a daily deviation of a mere 2 seconds.
Price of the base stainless steel model is at S$17,460. It is good value for something that is of such calibre, but that also means the demand of this watch will far outstrip the supply. Notably, there is a long wait-list for this, but then again, good things are definitely worth the wait.
Casio EDIFICE Scuderia AlphaTauri Edition
Following that, we have a modestly-priced timepiece in the form of the new Casio EDIFICE Scuderia AlphaTauri Edition.
The AlphaTauri F1 Team, formerly known as Toro Rosso, is one of the most exciting midfield teams in the sports. While it is not as illustrious as the likes of Mercedes-AMG and the sister Red Bull team, the outfit still showed certainly signs of brilliance with a promising line-up of two up-and-coming drivers in the form of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda. In fact, Pierre Gasly even won the Monza GP last year – which is an incredible accomplishment considering the strength of its competitors.
This new timepiece notably features both the brand colours of Casio and AlphaTauri, and it coincidentally commemorates the collection’s 20th anniversary. We like its functionality, as well as the dual analog and digital display. It is priced well at S$429, and similar to the F1 team it partners, the watch offers great value without having to shout loudly about it.
TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most iconic races in the F1 calendar. What better way would it be than to pay tribute to this with a timepiece from an iconic watch manufacturer that has a collection that shares the same nomenclature? Cue the TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition.
The TAG Heuer Monaco is an icon in its own right, with its signature square case and provenance that cement its reputation in the world of motorsports. This particular edition, which was produced in partnership with the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM), features a bold red and silver sunburst dial that was also inspired by the colours of the Principality.
Back in the calendar this season, the Monaco Grand Prix is certainly one of the races to look out for. Pair the occasion with such a compelling piece is an interesting prospect, especially for a motorhead who loves his or her watches as well. The 1,000-piece limited edition watch is priced at CHF6,700 (approximately S$9,600).
Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS18
Over the last few years, Bell & Ross had partnered with the Renault F1 team and produced some interesting timepieces as part of the collaboration. Whilst this year the brand had rebranded itself as the Alpine F1 team, Bell & Ross had remained partners with the racing outfit, and we are certainly excited to see what the brand has in store for us.
In the previous collaborations, most of Bell & Ross’ watches from the collection were inspired by the different components of the Renault F1 race cars. For the 2018 season in particular, the main focus was the race chassis – which results in a rather intriguing design featuring a hollowed-out titanium case and a skeletonised dial. It looks rather technical, and the design certainly works for sure. In fact, it is certainly one of our favourites amongst the many brilliant watches that the two brands have produced over the period.
Priced at S$31,900, the BR-X1 R.S. 18 is not exactly inexpensive. However, it does look rather cool, and for hardcore Renault fans, this is perhaps a great watch to wear if one is able to pair it with the excellent Megane or Clio RS performance cars.
Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT
Combining a classic Italian luxury sports car maker and a contemporary watch manufacturer does not sound promising on paper, but the partnership between Ferrari and Hublot had actually surprised us with some brilliant creations over the years.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT, launched in 2019, is one such watch. Despite sharing the same namesake as the other Classic Fusion brethren, it is pretty much unlike any others. This particular run of watches features a unique curvaceous case, which is pretty much unlike the typical angular cases that were fitted to the regular Classic Fusions. It might perhaps be alluded to the modern Ferrari cars, which are known to have sensuous curves in their design language in recent years (think Ferrari Roma, Portofino, and F8 Tributo). It does look slightly different – but in a refreshing and novel way.
Powering the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT is the tried-and-tested Calibre HUB1280. The 354-part movement has a power reserve of three days, and it separately boasts four different patents as well. One interesting thing to point out with this particular piece is its winding rotor, which noticeably resembles a Ferrar steering wheel.
The Classic Fusion Ferrari GT is available in three different materials – namely Titanium, 3D Carbon, and King Gold. Prices begin at US$22,000 (approximately S$29,610) for the Titanium variant, and up to US$38,800 (approximately S$52,220) for the King Gold model. We truly like how different this particular Hublot is, and we reckon it is a great piece for someone who likes something bold and distinctive from the usual crowd.
Richard Mille RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph
While the season has yet to be started, the pre-season testings have shown that McLaren is a team that one should not trifle with – especially with a highly-competitive line-up of young hot-shot Lando Norris and veteran stalwart Daniel Ricciardo.
McLaren is a team that is constantly pushing boundaries, and this makes the partnership with Richard Mille even more appropriate. Sharing the same ethos, Richard Mille had constantly reinvent themselves by pursuing new materials, and the RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph is a result of that. Fitted with the watch is the brand’s signature TPT® case, this time in the form of Carbon TPT® interlaced with Orange Quartz TPT®. This results in an extremely strong and lightweight case – which is similar to McLaren’s philosophy in car manufacturing. It also features the brand’s colours, although it might be polarising considering its bold and striking approach in terms of its aesthetic.
In terms of complications, the watch is no slouch either. It features a fly-back chronograph, as well as a big date function. This is all thanks to the self-winding RMAC3 calibre, which also boasts a twin-barrel that gives the watch a power reserve of around 55 hours. This 500-piece limited edition watch is priced at CHF180,000 (approximately S$257,915), and it is surely a great combination for any current McLaren car owners as well.
There are notably many interesting watches through these collaborations, as we have seen in today’s article. But it is only the tip of the iceberg as there are more than just these partners – for instance, IWC and Girard-Perregaux are partners of both Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin Formula 1 Team respectively. We do expect to see more interesting novelties from these watch manufacturers as the season progresses.
We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s article. Do let us know if you think there are other watches that deserve a spot on the list, as well as the topics that you will want us to cover, in the comments section below. Till then, ciao!