Accurate timing is of critical importance in Formula One, so it comes as no surprise that many watch brands are associated with the sport.
With the most technically advanced cars in the world and a clear focus on precision, the links between Formula One and watchmaking have resulted in a number of long-term partnerships and innovative timepiece designs...
TAG Heuer and McLaren
's partnership with McLaren began in 1985, and marked the first time a watch brand had ever sponsored a Formula One team. Now one of the longest-running partnership agreements in F1 history, TAG Heuer and McLaren use their shared values of "performance, precision, prestige and innovation" to work together to develop new timing technology. TAG Heuer provides the team with an official Formula One timepiece and on-board timekeeping systems.
"[It has been] a long adventure, with many successes along the way," says Jean-Christophe Babin, TAG Heuer CEO. "140 victories, 134 pole positions, 373 podiums, 6 car-maker titles, and above all 9 world champions – from Prost to Senna and from Hakkinen to Hamilton – who have proudly worn our colours and chronographs on tracks all over the world."
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 16 Automatic Chronograph has a fine-brushed steel case with a 44 mm diameter. The bezel and bracelet feature brushed black ceramic, and 'racing red' touches appear on the hands, bezel and winding crown. A tachymeter scale facilitates average speed measurement.
Oris and Williams
and Willliams believe their successful 12-year partnership is a result of shared values such as "independence, a strive for precision in the most meticulous details, and a passionate team of people dedicated to achieving extraordinary results". Oris has created a number of special timepieces in tribute to Williams, including a limited edition watch to celebrate the team's 600th race.
Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal of Williams, says: "Our brands are highly complementary: we are family run businesses with a strong heritage, a history of innovation, and a desire to embrace new technologies."
The Oris WilliamsF1 Team Limited Edition has a multi-piece stainless steel case measuring 45 mm, and the matt black dial features blue elements and the Williams logo. A top ring with tachymeter is coated in black DLC and the watch has flexible horns that "respond with the same adaptiveness as racing suspensions". It is powered by Oris automatic mechanical movement 774 and comes with a rubber strap.
TW Steel and Force India
and the Sahara Force India F1 team joined forces at the start of the 2013 season. "We know the merits of being involved with a team competing in Formula One and the brand awareness that brings," Jordy Cobelens, TW Steel CEO, said at the time. "Our new partnership represents a relationship where both parties are keen to bring success to each other."
A special collection of watches was launched to celebrate the partnership, with three different models dedicated to the Formula One team. The timepieces were described as "outstanding" by Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal for Sahara Force India.
The TW Steel Sahara Force India Pilot Edition has a 48 mm brushed steel case, and is powered by TW Steel's new Chronograph Big Calibre Miyota 6S20 movement. The Sahara Force India logo appears on both the carbon fibre dial and as an engraving on the case back.
Casio and Red Bull
The Red Bull Racing Formula One team has been sponsored by Casio
since 2009, specifically by its collection of Edifice watches. Both the "youthful, energetic image" of the Red Bull team and its outstanding technology development capabilities is seen as a perfect match for the Edifice line, and a number of dedicated watches have been designed in the team's honour.
"We have built up a close alliance, which is due to our mutual understanding of the exacting nature of the environments we operate in," says Christian Horner, Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Team Principal. "Accuracy, attention to detail and reliability are core values of Formula One, Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Casio."
The Casio Edifice Red Bull Limited Edition has a 46.7 mm steel case and is powered by a quartz movement. The Red Bull Racing logo appears on the dial, and functions include a chronograph, thermometer, five daily alarms and a digital compass.