Watch brands and Formula 1
Formula 1 returns for 2023 and with just two missed races and a further 21 to go there is still a long way to go for drivers and teams in contention for the championship.
As part of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, we decided to take a look at the watch brands associated with each F1 team.
Watches have always been associated with motorsport. Before digital stopwatches and automatic timekeeping, races were measured with chronographs. And some of the most famous chronographs we have today, like the Rolex Daytona, the TAG Heuer Carrera or the TAG Heuer Monaco, have their roots in motorsport.
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It’s no surprise that many major watch brands form major sponsors for a sport like Formula 1.
Red Bull Racing and TAG Heuer
Red Bull is the current king of the paddock, led by Christian Horner as team principal.
Max Verstappen is aiming for his third consecutive Drivers’ Championship and the Red Bull team are eyeing back-to-back Constructors’ Championships after overtaking Ferrari in 2022 and ousting Mercedes in 2021.
Sergio Perez is currently in second place and appears to be in form again this year, so there is hope for rivalry between the teams for the Drivers’ Championship here too.
Day, this year
TAG Heuer has a long-standing relationship with Red Bull Racing, even collaborating with the team on the TAG Heuer Formula 1 X Red Bull Racing Chronograph.
These days, you’ll often see Christian Horner wearing either an Autavia Flyback chronograph or, more recently, a Carrera 60th Anniversary chronograph.
Ferrari and Richard Mille
Ferrari has long been the favorite team in F1 and has a dedicated fan base in the tifosi.
However, it’s been a while since it’s been at the top after a turbulent 2022 season that consisted of too many mistakes on and off the track.
Hopefully with new team boss Frederic Vasseur added to the driving skills of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz we can see it return to its former glory.
Richard Mille is at the cutting edge of watchmaking technology, with sport often at the heart of its timepieces, so it’s not surprising that it has teamed up with Ferrari.
A Richard Mille can be seen on the wrists of Charles Leclerc (who often wears a version of this RM 67-02) and Carlos Sainz, not to mention half the crew!
Mercedes AMG Petronas and IWC
Mercedes was a modern force in F1 until last year’s updated regulations which plagued the team with performance issues. It seems that this year it still hasn’t ironed out its weaknesses – at least for now.
IWC doesn’t seem like the natural choice to partner with an F1 team, being a brand known for pilot’s watches, but partnerships range from F1 to Mercedes-Benz road cars.
IWC has done a lot with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team in recent years, such as collaborating on the watch presented here.
Aston Martin and Girard Perregaux
Aston Martin is one of the longest-lived supercar manufacturers in the world and while its form in Formula 1 has come and gone, its current status shows it could have a stellar 2023.
Like IWC, Girard-Perregaux has expanded its F1 association even further, with collaborations with the Aston Martin F1 Team on the Laureato Absolute Chronograph F1 Edition, as well as with parent brand Aston Martin, such as the new 42mm Laureato Green Ceramic Aston Martin Edition.
The green is striking and absolutely beautiful in ceramic. If you look at the F1, you can’t help but notice these pieces on the wrists of the drivers and the whole team, especially the Laureato Chronograph F1 Edition!
McLaren and Richard Mille
McLaren’s history in Formula 1 needs no introduction. As one of the most successful and well-known brands in racing, the current state of the McLaren Formula 1 team is a poor reflection of the past few years.
Nevertheless, hopefully it has a bright future with many changes in the team.
It’s unusual for a brand to sponsor two teams and the teams to accept sponsorship from the same brand, but Richard Mille did just that. Having deals with McLaren and Ferrari makes it somewhat unique in this area.
In order not to play favourites, they also outfitted the McLaren team with their famous RM67-02 watches. And yes, that’s the same watch Lando was mugged for last year!
Williams and Bremont
The Williams F1 team appears to be shedding its status as a ‘backmarker’ for 2023 and going strong with a decent chassis and engine combo and Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant at the wheel.
Bremont Chronometers is a British brand founded by brothers Giles and Nick English and is known for its reliability.
It supplies the British military, so the clocks must work. The connection with Williams makes sense as they are one high precision British brand catered for another. The pair recently released their first watch, the Bremont RW-22, as part of their partnership.
You’ll see this model on the wrists of Albon and Sargeant often this year as the team struggles to climb the Constructors’ ladder.
Alfa Romeo and rebellion
Originally the Sauber F1 Team, Alfa Romeo has operated as Alfa Romeo for the past five years and has had some mixed results in recent years. It is home to rookie Zhou Guanyu and veteran Valtteri Bottas.
Rebellion Timepieces is a small independent Swiss-based brand that makes automotive and machine-inspired timepieces. They are part Richard Mille, part MB&F and part Hublot.
The partnership with Alfa Romeo F1 fits well considering its roots (albeit just 14 years ago) and it has two pieces designed specifically for Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu – the Re-Volt C43 (pictured). They even have small parts from the Alfa Romeo F1 car on each side!
Alpine and Bell & Ross
Alpine, formerly Renault, are contenders this year after finishing fourth last year.
After losing Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin but bringing Pierre Gasly to Esteban Ocon and team boss Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine has a good chance of fighting for a few podiums this year.
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross is best known for its instrument clocks, which were originally developed based on aircraft cockpit instruments and for specific purposes. These days they are perfect for F1 drivers who steer their machines around the track at 320 km/h.
The Bell & Ross BR 03-94 A521 was designed specifically for the Alpine F1 team and with timing in mind. The alpine blue is reflected in the dial and materials tested on the F1 cars themselves have been used.
Thanks to our friends at WatchAdvice for helping with this article.
https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/motoring/watch-brands-and-formula-1-c-10221805 Watch brands and Formula 1