Start the Season with a Formula 1 Watch
With the Formula 1 season kicking off this weekend, all eyes are on the new sponorship deal between Rolex and Formula 1, who is Official Timekeeper for the season, along with IWC‘s new partnership with Mercedes.
There has been no deficit of Formula 1 watches made over the years, including brands which have officially partnered with F1, brands that have partnered with race teams and brands that have simply decided to produce timepieces in honour of the event. With this in mind, I’m going to discuss a selection of key Formula 1 watches to whet your appetite for the season ahead.
One of the longest running Formula 1 watch series is the TAG Heuer Formula 1 family. In the 1980’s, this collection began as a very reasonably priced quartz watch and that concept remains today. No longer does the watch feature a cheap plastic bezel and kid-like colourful appearance. Today’s TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection has certainly matured with larger cases, more bold styling and durable construction. Still, the price of TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches hovers around £1,000. Formula 1 watches from the racing watch brand are offered in clever chronograph variants or the more popular three-hand models.
ROLEX & HUBLOT
The newest official watch maker and timekeeper of Formula 1 is Rolex. For a long time the brand hovered around this idea as the official name behind the Daytona race way (and its races), but last year they finally penned the deal. This year Rolex celebrates 50 years of the Daytona, so we wait to see what they will launch off the back of this, as Rolex isn’t the type of brand to produce limited edition watches.
Hublot was the previous official timekeeper of Formula 1 and during that relationship they produced a number of interesting limited edition King Power model versions which celebrated Formula racing, as well as specific countries. As such, we saw special models for Brazil, India, Japan, etc… Hublot Formula watches were large at 48mm wide and included ceramic bezels machined to look like brake discs (often also made in ceramic coincidentally enough).
IWC are among the newer brands to celebrate racing, namely Formula 1 this year. For 2013, IWC re-launched their historical Ingenieur collection as a racing watch. They are also bringing their sponsorship of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing team more into the limelight with special Ingenieur models. I like the Ingenieur chronograph models which best feature in-house made IWC movements. Expect IWC to evolve their race watch collection more into the future, and enjoy all the race-themed watches out there.