Trains and boats and planes and cars. Most of the great watch companies have intersected with all these modes of transport; from station clocks to cutting-edge car design. The famous Mercedes three-pointed star, for instance, points to land, sea, and air: all these modes of transport shared engines made by the German manufacturer. Heuer’s famous Autavia signifies ‘automotive’ and ‘aviation’ but the company made a watch for boats and yachting as well. First created in 1968, the Heuer Skipper made its debut in a Carrera case, featuring a modified Valjoux 7730 movement. The Skipper was produced all the way until the mid-1980s and remains something of a cult watch today. With a deep metallic blue dial and multi-coloured right subdial, it’s a classic yachting timepiece that is instantly recognisable. It also served as inspiration for many watches that came after it – including the WatchGecko exclusive FORZO G2 Drive King Summer Edition Chronograph. There was no such thing as a generic Skipper though: it went through various iterations, at one point being sold in an Autavia case, while there were also various low-cost versions produced in the 1970s. But the most valuable of them all is known as the ‘Skipperera’ – from the very first series (with the Carrera case) that was made in 1968. The colours reflect the colours of the American yacht ‘Intrepid’, which was defending its America’s Cup title that year. The chronograph minute recorder was modified for regatta timing. Instead of the chronograph counting up to 30 minutes, the minute register counted down the 15 minutes from the sounding of the first horn to the moment when the competitors may cross the starting line. Following the style of yacht timers, each five-minute segment had a distinctive colour, with the three segments of the Skipper being dark green, blue, and bright orange. Less than 500 of those earliest Skippers were made, but the family resemblance lingered throughout the range; thanks to that distinctively multicoloured timer. With yachtsmen expected to keep their eyes on the sea at all times, these were watches designed for instant legibility, in order to have an accurate read on the timing of the competition. Of course, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever use your Skipper in a proper regatta, but you don’t need to have a yacht to own a Rolex Yacht Master either. What you will need – for both – is serious money: the value of the Skipper, which is a watch on the verge of becoming a true cult classic these days, is only going up….
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Drive King Miami Yellow
A Pursuit of Passion
A watch brand that unites some of the classic themes seen throughout the history of motorsport with the cutting-edge design that is a hallmark of modern automotive competition.
The FORZO Journal
Read more about what inspires us to always produce quality products, backed by incredible stories.
Some racing events are truly iconic rather than merely famous. And one of them is the Mille Miglia. Between 1927 and 1957, this event (which translates to ‘thousand miles’ in Italian) was an open-road endurance race that captured the public’s imagination like nothing else. Cancelled on safety grounds – with inevitable fatalities every year – the event was revived under a new format in the late 1970s and, since then, it has revelled in its latest lease of life as a prestigious historic event today. The Mille Miglia used to be about flat-out speed but it’s now a regularity race for classic cars rather than the outright sprint it used to be. The main aim for competitors is to arrive on time and with reliability. It runs from Brescia in the north of the country to Rome and back and is currently reserved for cars produced no later than 1957, in keeping with those cars which raced in the original period. Plenty of celebrities take part, ranging from Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff to supermodel Jodie Kidd. Chopard has been inexorably linked with the Mille Miglia since 1988, two years after the race adopted its current format. Since then, the Swiss brand has produced its very own Mille Miglia watch, which is given to all competitors as a souvenir of the event. Other versions are available for sale. There’s an incredible romance at beauty to this quintessentially Italian competition. Enzo Ferrari once described the Mille Miglia as “the most beautiful race in the world” and Chopard – official time keepers for the event – set about creating a watch collection to do it justice. Every year, Chopard has released a new watch into its Mille Miglia collection, ranging from the sturdy and stylish GTS and the Classic Chronograph to the latest 2022 Race Edition. Throughout the collection, Chopard’s watches combine style, practicality and elegance, with details such as the optional tyre tread-style vintage rubber strap, which is available on a number of models. Jacky Ickx handing Max Verstappen the Pirelli Award at the Belgian Grand Prix. This is where Chopard delivers on its motorsport heritage and, particularly, its links with the Mille Miglia. That association is helped by the company’s hard-working brand ambassador: six-time Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx, who was a long-time Ferrari driver in Formula 1 as well. The Belgian is one of the most recognised personalities in motorsport – and is well-known for being a perfect gentleman as well. He has become synonymous with Chopard thanks to a relationship that has lasted 34 years and is nearly always seen with a Chopard watch on his wrist…most often on a leather rally strap, which the Mille Miglia watch is also often paired with. There are plenty of Mille Miglia watches to choose from. The Classic Chronograph blends elegance, comfort and precision of the 1930s and 1940s, while the 45mm, Stainless Steel Mille Miglia GTS Automatic is a sturdy, stylish and accurate chronometer with modern touches. The Mille Miglia watch that everyone wants is of course the competitors’ version, which is as exclusive as it gets. But the other versions are reasonably easy to get hold of, with the all-important ‘red arrow’ Mille Miglia logo that marks it out as a member of the family. The latest 2022 Race Edition is available in steel or a combination of steel and gold. It’s big at 44mm, but this reflects its traditional motorsport utility: everything has to be easy to read and operate at speeds of over 100mph. The Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition - Image credit Chopard. In reality, it’s the co-driver’s job to keep time and make the most of functions such as the tachymeter scale – and of course, there’s a bright lume to help read the watch clearly in low light conditions. The case back always identifies the special edition each watch belongs to, which is normally available for a year in various quantities: this year’s steel watch is produced in 1000 pieces, whereas there are just 250 examples of the more expensive steel and gold model. Inside, there’s a Valjoux movement to underline the Swiss heritage. The spirit of all these watches though is definitely Italian. Inspiration There’s no such thing as a single generic Mille Miglia watch: instead, the name describes a series of fascinating and long-standing iterations on the same classic theme. And that’s an inspiration for us, in terms of how a watch brand can create an enduring and defining partnership with a single event, person, or organisation. Chopard – by no means one of the most prominent Swiss watch brands – is nonetheless the Mille Miglia and Jacky Ickx personified. And this aspect inspires us to seek out iconic events and people to partner with, with the goal of creating synonymous long-term partnerships that play a prominent role in the automotive world.
The year is 1966. In the world of motor racing, and specifically Formula 1, it’s the heyday of the glory years. Old school circuits were just circuits, and the drivers were viewed as gladiators teetering on the edge of disaster at every corner. That same year, the original 45 Dato from Tag Heuer was unveiled to the world. In keeping with the era, it was a classy, stylish and high-quality timepiece that would go on to stand the test of time: in every possible way. There are a number of landmark watches from the past that regularly endure for generations to come. And the Dato – derived from the Carrera – is one of those automotive watches that people keep going back to. As the name suggests, the Tag Heuer Carrera was inspired by the iconic Carrera Panamericana: a Mexican road race made famous by Porsche, which eventually named some of its best-known cars after the event. The iconic German manufacturer and Tag Heuer are now synonymous, with the watch company taking further inspiration from its motoring brother through the simplicity, design and clockwork efficiency of its watches. As has always been the case with Tag Heuer, the Carrera watch soon evolved after its original launch in 1964, with the 45 Dato quickly becoming a popular addition. Available with either black or white dials, the original Dato watch – very much a prized rarity now – had a pair of chronograph recorders, one for each side. A 45-minute recorder was on the right-hand side, while the running seconds was on the left. Above both was the date window, which subsequently replaced the running seconds recorder in the second edition, released in 1968. This is the one that’s now known as the definitive Dato, with just a single subdial as the signature look. Since then, the design of the 45 Dato remained largely the same and it quickly became a staple of Tag Heuer’s repertoire in the coming years. The biggest selling point of the original 45 Dato was its automatic calendar: “Ideal for the businessman who needs a chronograph but can never remember the date.” That was how the Carrera 45 Dato was advertised back in the day, though it’s safe to say that there are now more modern ways of knowing the date. So the selling point for the Carrera 45 Dato comes down to a mixture of tradition and fashion. This is a common theme among watch companies, which the 2021 Hodinkee Limited Edition tapped into when a much-acclaimed Dato reissue came out last year. Both in the 1960s and now, it’s a truly striking piece of kit. The watch face itself is simple, easy to read and uncluttered: exactly what’s needed in any form of automotive-inspired watch, where instant legibility is paramount. The more modern watch is also a classic yet still a resolutely modern timepiece, waterproof up to 100 metres and complete with an in-house Calibre Heuer02 automatic movement featuring an 80-hour power reserve. The Hodinkee edition is probably the most accessible way into a Dato these days, and of course, Hodinkee has a long history with Tag Heuer, having worked with the Swiss firm on the equally famous Skipperrera. Hodinkee’s reissue brings new life into the 45 Dato, which features a typically charming aesthetic: including a vintage Heuer logo as part of the 39mm ‘glassbox’ case, as well as a matte black dial with a white subdial. It’s amazing to think that the Dato is coming up to its 60th birthday now. Because compared to all the alternatives, the Carrera 45 Dato still provides far more real-world practicality for its owners, which is why it includes a 30-minute register. After all, are you more likely to time something that’s under 30 minutes, or track an entire 12-hour experience?’ That’s just one of the reasons why the Carrera 45 Dato makes so much sense, while maintaining a unique brand of individualism. Both back then, and today. Inspiration The Dato may not be one of Heuer’s best-known names, but it’s had an important subliminal inspiration over many of the watches we make, thanks to its clean lines and sheer simplicity. The uncluttered aesthetic is an aspect that we’ve tried to carry through to all our watches, avoiding brash logos or other unnecessary adornments. With just one subdial, the Dato should appear to be jarringly asymmetrical: instead, this peculiarity has been skilfully incorporated into the overall design in such a way that it becomes a distinctive feature. This too is exactly what we try and do with all the special details that make our FORZO watches unique. The Dato shows that there’s absolutely no need to follow the herd.
One of the greatest Italian racing heroes was Tazio Nuvolari. Known as ‘the flying Mantuan’ (after his home town of Mantova, in northern Italy not far from Verona), he had a stellar record in both Grand Prix racing and the epic road races that characterised the Italian motorsport scene at the time, such as the Targa Florio and the Mille Miglia. These were races that were powered by not just petrol but also pure testosterone, where bravery coupled with endurance was key to victory. Accidents back then were common, and often fatal – for spectators as well as competitors. Racing was a shared adventure, where the danger was an inextricable part of the romance. Drivers were perceived more like pioneering astronauts or aviators than the corporate athletes they are now. Ferdinand Porsche – another pioneer of the racing world – called Nuvolari: “the greatest driver of the past, the present, and future.” So his place in motorsport’s pantheon of legends can’t be underestimated. On a recent road trip through Italy – driving a Porsche, appropriately enough – I happened to pass through the city of Mantova, which was as sleepy as any small Italian town at midday in mid-summer gets. But in a converted church, I happened to stumble across a small (and stiflingly hot) museum dedicated to Mantova’s most famous son. As a museum, it’s gloriously chaotic and random. Exhibits included Tazio’s driving licence, a Fiat road car from the 1930s similar to what he drove at home at the time, and a few of the trophies that he picked up over the years (in total he won 72 races, so it would have been practically impossible to display them all). One of the most intriguing items is a piece of jewellery: a small golden tortoise. It was given to him by renowned Italian poet Gabriele d’Annunzio – a long-time admirer of Nuvolari’s – for a very special reason. The dedication that came with it said: “To the fastest man, the slowest animal.” Nuvolari loved it and the tortoise became his personal talisman. He even incorporated the tortoise logo into some steering wheels that he had made for his racing cars. And there was somewhere else I spotted that tortoise too. Because among the eclectic exhibits – which included a mounted stag’s head, made after Nuvolari hit the unlucky stag in question at Donington Park – there was also a watch, which featured a small golden tortoise on the bracelet. The Tazio Nuvolari ref. 31030.5 - Image credit Eberhard. This turned out to be part of the Eberhard Nuvolari edition, a series of mechanical watches released by the Swiss brand to celebrate the Italian racing legend. Eberhard originally dates back to 1887 (owned by an Italian family since 1969) and it’s had a family of watches (in various declinations) dedicated to Nuvolari since 1992: the centenary of the Italian champion’s birth. These watches can actually be surprisingly affordable, with an automatic watch released in 2017 providing an accessible entry point. All of them incorporate the famous tortoise. It’s unknown whether or not Nuvolari ever wore an Eberhard himself, but the company has done a great job at capturing the spirit of one of Italy’s all-time driving heroes, reinforcing the eternal connection between cars and watches.
Watch brands and Formula 1 go hand-in-hand, as timing is everything. Whether it’s in qualifying or during the race itself, the fastest wins and the slowest doesn’t. Formula 1 is also about style, innovation and performance, so it’s even more understandable that watches are an important part of the F1 environment. As such, almost every F1 team has some sort of partnership with a watch brand, and it’s a source of constant inspiration for us, as we look to create authentic automotive watches that speak to people. Watch brands have been pretty much constant in F1 since the 60s, an iconic decade that our Drive King range pays homage to, with some of the biggest names in the industry associating themselves with teams ever since. FORZO doesn’t have a Formula 1 deal yet, but you never know in the future… Mercedes and IWC Schaffhausen Image credit - Reuters Long-term partners of the Mercedes-AMG F1 Team, IWC Schaffhausen have some pretty amazing timepieces in their arsenal, and they make plenty of appearances over a Grand Prix weekend on the wrist of multiple world champion Lewis Hamilton. The Englishman tends to wear a number of different watches, including the Big Pilot’s Watch, the Big Pilot’s Top Gun Mojave Desert and the Pilot’s Chronograph 41. These stylish pilot watches give a particular nod to the German origins of the team – which despite being Mercedes, operates largely out of the Brackley factory in the UK. Red Bull Racing and TAG Heuer Image credit - TAG Heuer TAG Heuer has been in motor racing for almost two decades longer than the Red Bull Racing Team even began competing, such is the brand’s intrinsic part of Formula 1 history. Not just a major sponsor of the team, TAG Heuer is also the official watch supplier of Red Bull. Reigning world champion Max Verstappen is often seen wearing his very own 44m automatic chronograph, the Max Verstappen Special Edition which was produced in 2019. His Red Bull Racing team-mate Sergio Perez doesn’t have his own line of watches, but still keeps on brand with a TAG Heuer Connected smartwatch during the season. Richard Mille Image credit - Essentiallysports If there is one watch brand which has a particularly special relationship with motorsport, it has to be Richard Mille. While the watch industry is his main interest, the creator of the company, Richard Mille himself, is a key proponent of women in motorsport and heads up the FIA’s Endurance Commission. His name is also attached to a sportscar team, which for two years fielded a 100% female driver line-up, competing at the Le Mans 24 Hours. In Formula 1, the brand has been associated with Alfa Romeo, Haas, McLaren and, more recently, Ferrari. The latter two teams need no introduction. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has been spotted wearing the RM 35-01 Rafael Nadal watch as well as the RM 67-02 in the red and white colours of Ferrari, while McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has sported the luxurious RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph. Hublot and Rebellion Image credit - Watches-News Despite the Alfa Romeo team striking a deal with Rebellion timepieces, both of its drivers – Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou – also have their own deals with different brands: a not uncommon situation in Formula 1, where money always talks. Hublot was once a partner of Ferrari before the Prancing Horse team switched to Richard Mille in 2021, but there’s also a personal deal with Zhou, who has been spotted several times this season sporting a Spirit of Big Bang Carbon Gold Tiger timepiece on his wrist. Team-mate Bottas also once had an Oris watch named after him (when the company sponsored Williams) and he has his own personal partnership with Finnish brand S.U.F Helsinki. Rebellion recently released two limited-edition watches inspired by both Alfa drivers as well: the RE-Volt C42 (in both Bottas and Zhou versions). What made these super-exclusive watches so special was that a piece of the Formula 1 car was incorporated into each one, with the Bottas watch including a piece of his car’s rear wing, and the Zhou watch including a chunk of sidepod.
There’s a gentle pace of life in the town of Duns, located in the Scottish Borders, which is surrounded by fields of sheep, watched over by generations of farming families. But one of those farmers went on to achieve lasting fame in the world of motorsport – and subsequently, the world of watches. The watch we’re talking about is of course the Enicar Sherpa Graph, also known as the ‘Jim Clark’ chronograph. Motorsport fans need no introduction to Clark, as he’s quite simply racing royalty. A two-time Formula 1 world champion in 1963 and 1965, this quiet farmer from the Scottish borders was the Ayrton Senna of his age – and he met a similar tragic end, at a banal Formula 2 race in Germany in 1968. He won 25 races, and had his life not been cut short by a tree at the age of just 32, who knows what else he would have gone on to achieve? Jim Clark - Image credit Bernard Cahier Getty Images. Clark was photographed wearing several watches over the years – notably a Gallet MultiChron as well as Breitling Navitimer – but it’s probably the Enicar Sherpa Graph he’s most closely associated with. Back then, big commercial deals between drivers and watch brands were only in their infancy (started off by Jack Heuer) so drivers tended to wear watches just because they liked them, not because they were being paid to do so. Clark probably wore a Sherpa Graph because Sir Stirling Moss – the template for all British drivers at the time – wore one too, but we’ll never know. Despite the sound of the name, Enicar had actually nothing to do with cars. Instead, it was simply the surname of the Swiss founder Aristide Racine spelt backwards. As for ‘Sherpa’ Graph, that was inspired by the courageous Himalayan locals assisting the climbers in a 1956 Swiss expedition to Everest, who relied on their Enicar watches. ‘Sherpa’ has yet another automotive connection as it was also the name of a British Leyland van from the 1970s, but the less said about that, the better. The Enicar Sherpa Graph - Image credit WatchCollecting These were watches that were painstakingly built to do a job in extreme conditions, and the Jim Clark chronograph is no exception. There weren’t the same sophisticated automatic timing systems that you see in modern Formula 1 back then, so the motorsport scene relied on chronographs. Enicar’s quality was second to none – with a tried-and-trusted Valjoux 72 movement, also used by Rolex at the time – beating inside this particular watch. There are all sorts of other wonderful touches to it, such as the traditional pushers being replaced by stout buttons (easier to operate with a gloved hand) and that bright red ‘lollipop’ chronograph hand, which is the defining feature of this watch. It’s 40 millimetres (somewhat bigger than most of its contemporaries) which makes it particularly easy to read – even at Formula 1 speed. It also means that the carefully-crafted chronograph subdials are a lot more legible. In short, pretty much everything about the Sherpa Graph is desirable, from the intangible heritage to the very tangible (and beautifully detailed) caseback and crown, not to mention the distinctive Enicar logo. Inspiration In terms of landmark motorsport watches, the Sherpa Graph is iconic. And people have definitely woken up to that fact, with prices at auction now on an inevitable upwards curve. The Enicar Sherpa Graph - Image credit: WatchCollecting For a long time, this was a watch that found itself in the relative doldrums, but the classical motifs and heritage have now been recognised to a point that the Sherpa Graph has almost become a template for the archetypal motorsport watch – even though its origins (as the name suggests) come from mountain climbing. What’s most inspiring about it is the whole classical vibe to the design, which comes together in a way that’s incredibly satisfying: especially when paired with a colourful rally (or NATO) strap. There are plenty of watches that look like it, but none other that capture the holistic Enicar design language that places it firmly in the 1960s. For a brand that only die-hard fans have heard of, this watch has had an incredibly profound effect, setting the standard for so many more to follow. The Enicar Sherpa Graph was a game changer – just take a look at it to see why.
Traditionally, British policemen used to always like to say to speeding motorists: “who do you think you are, Stirling Moss?” Over in America, it was exactly the same thing with the nation’s numerous state troopers, only substituting the name “Mario Andretti” for Moss. Andretti is simply synonymous with cars and driving in America. He’s also a collector with a lot of very nice watches. But perhaps the most personal of them is the Yema Rallye Andretti, which he wore when he won the Indy 500 in 1969. To be precise, it was actually a Wesley’s Rallye back then: at the time, Yema made watches for other companies to put their name to, but the unique design was of course Yema’s own. Mario actually bought and paid for this watch with his own money – unlike the many others, which were gifted or won subsequently. Mario Andretti - Image credit Motorsportmagazine. In Mario’s own words: “I love wristwatches almost as much as I love racing. I bought the Rallye in the 1960s because I thought it was really cool. At the time, it was state-of-the-art and right on the cutting edge of modern. I got many compliments on it so I wore it often. I actually wore it daily for the entire month of May 1969 in preparation for the Indianapolis 500 – for practice, qualifying and during the race itself. It certainly became sentimental after I won that race, just like the helmet I wore that day and the fire suit. And the race car that carried me across the finish line ended up in the Smithsonian Museum. All of these things became part of a day that changed my life.” That’s quite some tribute, so it’s no surprise that Yema decided to reissue the watch in 2019, in a limited edition of 1969 examples. There was the Yema rather than Wesley’s name on the dial, but apart from that, it was very similar to the original, although the newer watch has a date window and a few extra design details to celebrate its illustrious heritage. Alongside that, a quartz version was released, powered by a Seiko VK64 mechaquartz movement. Which all goes to show just how emblematic this watch came to be in motorsport history. But to understand the watches, first, you have to understand the man. Mario Andretti was born in 1940 in Montona, Istria, in what was then Italy (it’s now Motovun in Croatia). By 1955 the Andretti family had emigrated to the United States, where Mario found fame and fortune by racing and winning in nearly all the categories of American racing out there, including the epic Indy 500. But as well as the United States – which had given so much to the Andretti family over the years – Mario was looking at Europe, where he had already raced in 1966 with a Ford GT40 at Le Mans. Specifically, his Italian roots drew him to Ferrari. By the late 1960s he was a regular in Formula 1, and it was Enzo Ferrari himself – impressed by Mario’s performances – who decided to put him in one of the red cars for 1971. Although he truly loved Ferrari, Mario could never be a full-time Ferrari driver. Drive for Ferrari, as Niki Lauda once pointed out, and you have to sell your soul as well as your services. Mario just had too much on, too many ties with America, and too many other interests to deliver that sort of exclusive commitment to one manufacturer. Nonetheless, he won the Formula 1 world title with Lotus in 1978 and then went on to race in America right into the 2000s. He always had a watch on his wrist, even when he was driving, and his collection now is epic. But the Wesley’s (or Yema, depending on how you want to look at it) was the watch that started off the whole story. It's fair to say that there’s no other watch out there quite like it, which is of course what first attracted Mario to this model all those years ago. Inspiration: With the two unusually-shaped (yet symmetrical) sub-dials plus the pair of distinctive red racing stripes on the left of the face, the Rallye is not a conventionally beautiful watch – which perhaps isn't surprising as it’s meant to reflect a car’s dashboard; rarely an object of art. Yet it’s the form that draws you in and it’s a watch that holds an almost visceral link to its racing heritage. Put on this watch and you understand where it has come from and what it stands for. And of course, once you feel that connection, it instantly becomes beautiful. Part of the aesthetic beauty comes from the tachymeter dial, which in theory allows you to calculate speed and distance. And while it’s extremely unlikely that anybody actually still does this, the design screams automotive heritage. It’s evident that there’s been so much attention to detail lavished on this watch within a relatively contained budget, which has become a Yema speciality. It’s undoubtedly a watch that has inspired us, with some of the FORZO mechaquartz models using the same movement.
Jochen Rindt won the Formula 1 World Championship aged 28 (which back in 1970, was still young in Grand Prix terms) but never knew it. That sums up Rindt’s all too brief time on earth: a German by birth but an Austrian by passport who stood for speed with a capital S. That raw speed was his truly defining characteristic, yet he’ll always be known as Formula 1’s only posthumous world champion. Jochen Rindt at Hockenheim in 1970 - Image credit Montrespubliques. He's also famous for being an ambassador for watches in the racing world, as one of the first drivers to put Heuer on the map, thanks to his friendship with Jack Heuer and Jo Siffert: Heuer’s original brand ambassador (they were briefly teammates in 1964). And undoubtedly the most famous watch that Rindt wore was his black Autavia, known as the ‘Jochen Rindt’, complete with a beads of rice bracelet. Specifically, that’s the reference 2446 with the venerable Valjoux 72 movement, featuring three subdials and an outer rotating 60-minute bezel. It’s now hugely popular with a commensurate price tag. But in 2017, you could buy a reissue Autavia for somewhat less money, complete with authentic period markings that feature only ‘Heuer’ branding. And that’s exactly what I did, loving the classical looks and the association with some of the biggest heroes in motorsport. I’d always been fascinated by the stories around Jochen Rindt – a true rock star of his era – so to wear his watch was an obvious ambition that I saved hard for. When I had to go to Austria and Germany on Formula 1 business recently, the Autavia was the natural companion, especially as I was driving there. Because there’s a strong connection between Rindt and both countries. The young Jochen, born in Mainz, Germany, in 1942 lost his parents in an allied bombing and was brought up by his paternal grandparents in Austria. Right from the beginning, cars and races were his overriding passion. He wasn't even 20 years old when he sold the small company he had inherited from his father and bought a rally car. Jochen then quickly switched to touring car racing, driving an Alfa Romeo, which mapped out his destiny on the world’s racing circuits. In 1963 he made his Formula Junior debut, and then the following year he made the step up to Formula 2: where he would collect pole positions and victories right up to his untimely death (at a time when even the top drivers regularly raced in Formula 2 as well as Formula 1). At the Crystal Palace circuit close to London, Rindt beat Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark. This opened up the doors to Formula 1 – but he also won the 1965 Le Mans 24 Hours with a privateer Ferrari. Nobody knows for sure, but it was at around that time when he first started wearing Heuer watches, introduced to the brand by Siffert (who was on the Heuer payroll, earning 25,000 CHF a year – a small fortune back then – as the company’s brand ambassador). Given how many drivers Siffert got wearing Heuer watches, it was money well spent. Rindt’s early years were prone to mistakes. Denis Jenkinson, the renowned British journalist wagered: ‘when Rindt wins a Grand Prix, I’ll cut off my beard.’ This was quite some statement, as the diminutive Jenkinson was renowned for the length of his luxuriant beard. But Jenkinson’s facial hair was soon in jeopardy, as by October 1969 Rindt had won the United States Grand Prix, igniting what would go on to become a stellar career at the top of the sport. In 1970, the Lotus 72 – designed by the genius that was Colin Chapman – was practically made to measure for Rindt. The results came instantly: five pole positions and five Grand Prix wins at the start of the season. Rindt – by then, an established Heuer man in his own right – was on top of the world, having become the most famous man to wear an Autavia (a lot of people have forgotten that there was a ‘Siffert’ Autavia too, with just two subdials – but these are generally less valuable). The Austrian came to Monza in Italy, at the start of September, in a clear lead in the championship. But a sickening accident in practice, caused by a mechanical failure, fired his Lotus into the outside of the famous Parabolica bend, where it snapped in two after impacting the barriers. The consequences were terrible: Rindt was extracted in critical condition but then died in the ambulance. It's hard to tell precisely from the photographs of that fateful day, but he appears to have been wearing his Autavia. That was how Karl Jochen Rindt lived and died: with fierce loyalty and an other-worldly turn of speed that took him to places on the track that no other drivers dared to go; finding grip that seemingly didn't exist. It wasn’t just this though that made people like me want to be like him. It was the effortless charisma that Rindt exuded, as a true trendsetter. When it was cold, he often wore a full-length fur coat in the pit lane, paired with aviator sunglasses. On anyone else, it would have seemed ridiculous. But as his famous compatriot Niki Lauda remembered: “On him, it just looked magnificent.” Rindt’s watch was an essential part of that look. Driving down through the lush green landscapes of Austria – which really do look like something straight out of The Sound of Music – I was thinking a lot about Lauda, but especially Rindt, whenever I looked at my Autavia. It’s only a small country, but perhaps because of that, it’s produced a lot of heroes. The Autavia too has reached iconic status: the original ‘Rindt’ examples from the 1960s now sell for anything up to £15,000 – not too far off the value of Siffert’s original Heuer retainer. I’m more than happy with my 2017 example though. It’s perhaps the most satisfying watch that I own, dripping with heritage, but also perfect for contemporary road trips. In terms of clarity and quality – now equipped with TAG Heuer’s own in-house movement – it’s hard to think of any other driving chronograph that beats it.
In today’s age of knowing everything about anything, there is something rather appealing about the relatively hidden and unknown. One good example is the Heuer Montreal: an often-overlooked sibling to the much more famous Monaco and Silverstone. In fact, pretty much all of Heuer’s motorsport watches, starting with the Carrera and Autavia, are celebrated now – apart from this one. So where did it come from? And why is there so little love for it? Heuer has a rich history in motorsport of course, especially in Formula 1, where it has supplied a litany of personalities with watches, most notably Jo Siffert, Derek Bell and Colin Chapman. Canada, although only boasting one world champion – Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 – has enjoyed a similar love affair with Formula 1, hosting its first Grand Prix in 1967 at a specially-built circuit that was appropriately enough called Mosport, close to Toronto. The Heuer Montreal ref.110.503W - Image credit ClassicHeuer. But the Heuer Montreal wasn’t actually created to commemorate the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in 1978. In fact, it first appeared in catalogues at the start of the decade, possibly to celebrate the city’s selection as the host venue for the 1976 Olympic Games. Whatever the real reason, though, it’s clear that the Heuer Montreal was designed with the racer in mind. And a pretty eclectic racer too. The design is a striking one, with an oversized dial, bright and contrasting colours, as well as brushed and polished finishes. As a result, some people think that it’s just too much, and it’s true that there’s a lot going on. But the Montreal aimed to capture a zeitgeist, as the Canadian city had hosted the world fair in 1967 – and in a curious case of life imitating art, that very same Expo Park on the Notre Dame island would go on to host the city’s Formula 1 circuit. The point being, back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, that Montreal was an emerging city, renowned for culture, art and excitement. The perfect inspiration for an avant-garde watch. Image credit: Analog Shift The watch initially ran with the in-house calibre 12 movement for four years before being moved to the 7750 Valjoux movement. These days, the calibre 12 movements are the most sought-after. Part of the allure surrounding the Heuer Montreal – despite the fact that it hardly gets a mention among watch aficionados – is that it’s definitely a rarity now, given how relatively short its lifespan was. It was sold for only 11 years, first appearing in 1972 before production stopped in 1983: a mere qualifying lap in the race to the top of the mainstream racing watch world. But what of the Heuer Montreal’s legacy, with the benefit of hindsight? On the one hand, it’s right up there with similar rarities; a child of its time and very much a collector’s product today. On the other hand, it’s also been lost in translation by people who don’t ‘get’ it, as better known Heuer timepieces take the limelight. Which is a shame, as the Montreal is actually one of the most stylish, practical and classy racing-themed watches out there. A proper collector’s item, in the true sense of the word. Image credit: https://www.matthewbaininc.com/ Just take a look at it. This was – and still is – the most colourful watch that Heuer ever produced, reinforcing the company’s reputation for not being afraid to take new and completely different design directions whenever needed (the Monaco being a case in point). Heuer produced the Montreal to make a statement and the oversized case makes it stand out even more, along with the alluring combination of brushed and polished surfaces. The bi-compax layout is perhaps the most traditional thing about it, but everything else broke the mould, without compromising legibility or utility. This approach is particularly clear to see in the most popular white dial Montreal (blue and black were also originally available) that really makes the colours pop but is eminently readable. The most outrageous version however was the gold-plated one, complete with champagne dial. It won’t be to everyone’s taste – even I think it was a step too far – but it’s the true unicorn of Montreals and a glorious tribute to the early 1970s. Image credit: https://www.matthewbaininc.com/ As time went on, a more restrained look was introduced from 1974 onwards. But that misses the point slightly. The Montreal is inspirational because of its iconoclasm, showing that a true driving chronograph doesn’t necessarily have to be always rooted in the classic design language of the 1960s.
Perhaps the ultimate driving watch is the Vacheron Constantin ‘Historiques American 1921’ as the whole dial design is predicated on motoring. The dial and crown are tilted, so that 12 o’clock is more or less where 2 o’clock would normally be, with the crown directly on top of it. The chronograph function, by contrast, is the right way round. But how did this happen? As is so often the case, it depends on who you want to believe: and there’s one explanation that’s considerably more appealing to the other, to the extent that it’s now passed into urban legend. The story goes that the design was arrived at so that pioneering American motorists could glance at the time when driving, even when their wrists were resting on the steering wheel in the classic ‘10 to 2’ driving position (or more likely ’20 to 4’, as steering wheels were huge back then). At the time, many early motorists wore their watches on the inside rather than the outside of their wrists, partly to guard against flying stone chips (many cars were open-topped) and also because the outside of the wrist was often covered by a driving glove, which is also the reason why we have ‘glove boxes’ in cars… Image Credit: Vacheron Constantin Or there’s a less romantic explanation, which is predicated by the fact that these early watches were based on pocket watches, which of course had the crown at 12 o’clock. So that means, if you wanted to convert it into a wristwatch, you had to tilt the dial in order to fit a strap – otherwise you had to re-engineer the whole thing. Only when movements were specifically manufactured for wristwatches did the problem solve itself. And that’s where the truth of the 1921 concept probably lies. But it’s no surprise that many people prefer to believe the first version – and with so much time and water having passed under the bridge, does it really matter now anyway? Image Credit: Vacheron Constantin The 1921 watch is itself a copy of the original 1919 Vacheron Constantin: with the more refined 1921 version being produced at first for the American market (hence the name). From there, it really took off – right up to the present day, when the ‘1921’ has been acknowledged as one of the all-time horological design classics. Put simply, there’s nothing else out there quite like it. In a curious example of life imitating art – or is it the other way round? – the instruments on a racing car were often canted over to improve readability. So this breath-taking Vacheron Constantin has now become synonymous with motoring and the early days of motorsport, whatever the reality of its origins. Image Credit: Vacheron Constantin The ‘1921’ watch was recently reissued, 100 years after the original, so it’s a significant milestone for this tribute to the golden age of the car. A variety of styles and cases are available – including one version that swapped the crown from the right side to the left side – but whichever you choose; it needs a healthy budget: a decent example will set you back around £25,000.
Trains and boats and planes…and cars. Most of the great watch companies have intersected with all these modes of transport; from station clocks to the cutting-edge of car design. And all these things are strangely interlinked and circular: steam-powered cars eventually gave rise to trains, but even before people started powering horseless carriages by steam, the very first ‘cars’ in the early half of the nineteenth century were in fact electric – touted as the way of the future now, nearly 200 years later. The famous Mercedes three-pointed star points to land, sea, and air: all of which shared engines made by the German manufacturer. Heuer’s Autavia name signifies automotive and aviation. Image Credit: Balazs Ferenczi The same multi-modal approach is true for watches, with the latest creation from FORZO enjoying a maritime influence that’s in no ways at odds with the brand’s automotive ethos. Two important seafaring watches from the past have particularly influenced the new Yachting Blue Drive King. Abercrombie and Fitch may now be known as a fashion brand championed by impossibly thin and beautiful people, but it actually started life as a store that provided equipment for rugged outdoor pursuits – such as hiking and sailing. One such piece of vital equipment was a watch, which is how Heuer – a renowned automotive brand – started making watches for Abercrombie and Fitch, under the Seafarer model name. Image Credit: Analog/Shift Specifically designed for yachters, the Seafarer paved the way for others in its field due to its elegant look, cutting-edge innovations and usability. It featured a unique display for the ‘tide dial’, which took the place of the running seconds dial, using a slightly modified Valjoux movement. The mechanics and ingenuity of the Seafarer are impressive on their own, but what makes the Seafarer stand out are the colourful ‘pennants’ on the face, perfectly reflecting its maritime heritage. Several different designs and cases were used over the years (from the 1950s to the 1970s, when it was discontinued) but the Seafarer was always instantly recognisable. That was one of the motifs we tried to incorporate. But it’s not just the Seafarer that has its history marked across the latest FORZO Drive King. Heuer’s Skipper is another influence; forming another landmark in the intersection between watches and water. Image Credit: FORZO Watches First created in 1968, the Skipper made its debut in a Carrera case, featuring a modified Valjoux 7730 movement. The Skipper was produced all the way until the mid-1980s and remains something of a cult watch today. With a deep metallic blue dial and multi-coloured right subdial, it’s another yachting timepiece that is instantly recognisable. Again, the Skipper went through various iterations, at one point being sold in an Autavia case, while there were also various low-cost versions produced in the 1970s. But the most valuable of them all is known as the ‘Skipperera’ – from the very first series (with the Carrera case) that was made in 1968. The colours reflect the colours of the American yacht ‘Intrepid’, which was defending its America’s Cup title that year. Image Credit: Fellows The chronograph minute recorder was modified for regatta timing. Instead of the chronograph counting up to 30 minutes, the minute register counted down the 15 minutes from the sounding of the first horn to the moment when the competitors may cross the start line. Following the style of yacht timers, each five-minute segment had a distinctive colour, with the three segments of the Skipper being dark green, blue, and bright orange. Less than 500 of those earliest Skippers were made, but the family resemblance lingered throughout the range; thanks to that distinctively multicoloured timer. With yachtsmen expected to keep their eyes on the sea at all times, these were watches designed for instant legibility, in order to have an accurate read on the timing of the competition. Image Credit: Menta Watches Because that’s what racing is all about: measuring who is fastest. Whether you’re in a car, on a boat, or in the air is almost irrelevant…and this is why the colourful Yachting Blue has joined our Drive King range.
A representative of a very well-known sports car manufacturer recently mentioned to me that for the first time in recent history, manual cars were now outselling their trick cars with semi-automatic gearboxes and flappy paddles on the steering wheel. It seems that not everyone wants to be a Formula 1 driver after all – or at least, not a Formula 1 driver in the current era. Exactly the same is true of watches, which are intrinsically linked to cars and driving: especially in the case of FORZO, which was entirely inspired by the golden age of motoring and motorsport. That’s why we’ve decided to release a mechanical version of the Drive King watch for the first time, complete with a manual wind. In a world that is increasingly automated and digitised, we’ve found that people welcome a simple interaction with their watch on a regular basis, putting them literally in touch with a horological heritage that stretches back to the very beginnings of the wristwatch as we know it. Call it a daily connection with history and engineering. The world was a very different place back when manually-wound watches were the norm: as the late, great Stirling Moss put it, this was a time when “sex was safe, and motorsport was dangerous.” Life was for living with no limits, and that’s perhaps why the 1960 and 1970s in particular were characterised by bright colours both in the automotive world and in general: shades such as viper green, fluorescent orange, and vibrant blue. The green you might recognise from the iconic Lamborghini Miura, for example, which adopted a similar shade. The Miura, styled by Italy’s Marcello Gandini, was a car that set new standards when it came to engineering and design. Launched in 1967, the car shot to popular fame when it was used in the opening sequence of the 1969 film: “The Italian Job”. Some of the road cars from the era that were often seen in bright orange included the rally-inspired Fiat 131, not to mention the classic rear-wheel drive Ford Escort and the McLaren M7 racing car. McLaren made orange a trademark, or rather ‘papaya’: a colour inextricably linked with the company’s founder Bruce McLaren, who raced the car in the late 1960s. The M7 was part of a family of cars, all in orange, with the M7A claiming McLaren’s first victory at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1968 (with Bruce McLaren at the wheel). This was the first McLaren to use wings, now a common feature in Formula 1, and the team continued to paint their cars papaya right up until 1972, when they obtained Yardley cigarette sponsorship and became white and brown. Many of these original hues took inspiration from each country’s traditional racing colours, which became a hallmark of racing during the golden age. France, for example, was represented by blue – with teams and makes such as Matra and Ligier – whereas Britain was naturally green (although a much darker green as seen on the Miura). All of those colourways are represented in our new FORZO Drive King mechanical range, along with a classic pale gold. Black and gold is one of the classic colour schemes in motorsport, typified by the John Player Special-based Lotus cars in particular, which is the key reason why we wanted to include it as well. It was in black and gold JPS Lotus cars that legendary drivers such as Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna made their names, thanks also to the engineering genius of Colin Chapman, who put in place a culture of innovation and excellence that meant Lotus became a benchmark in competition. Whichever of the four colours you choose, there’s a beautiful contrast with the black panda sub dials: a classic design that’s truly redolent of the era, when drivers and teams needed to have as much information as possible on a wristwatch. FORZO is a brand that’s driven by passion and authenticity, which is why we have been very careful to do our research into what was real and popular at the time. So the Drive King Mechanical range has all the hallmarks of vintage watches from the 1960s, but with modern reliability that comes from the ever-popular Seagull movement, which is actually based on an original Swiss design from many years ago. We’ve taken inspiration from some of the great motorsport chronographs that were used for driving in the 60s and beyond, such as the Enicar Sherpa Graph – to name but one example – but updated the concepts for people to now enjoy the best of both worlds. Why did we do it? Because we realised that we were able to create a mechanical watch for only a little more than the price of the standard mecha-quartz models, and people told us that they wanted a mechanical watch – in order to tap in even more closely to the retro vibe that’s offered by the Drive King. And because we were tired of vintage manual-wind watches looking great but always breaking down. The original watches still look amazing, but they are hard to rely on as accurate time-keepers. We’ve also updated the lume and legibility to make our watches incredibly easy to read. FORZO mechanical Drive King watches come with a bespoke rally-style textured rubber strap to differentiate them even further, adding to the period look. The power reserve is around 40 hours, meaning that one full wind should suffice for a couple of days. However, in our experience, people enjoy the process of winding a watch every day, feeling the movement at work through their fingertips and forming a special bond with their timepiece. The 40mm Mechanical Drive King is available to pre-order now featuring a special introductory discount, with the first watches due for delivery in October. This is an unashamedly retro watch, which encapsulates everything that was great about the golden age of motoring.
The limited-edition FORZO Drive King 70s summer chronograph is exclusively available at our sister company, WatchGecko. This new timepiece is influenced by the iconic yachting watches of the 1970s, and thanks to its vibrant colours it’s also reminiscent of the golden age of motorsport: the reason behind the FORZO brand. While yachts and cars may seem like an unlikely combination to some, in reality the two forms of transport have gone together for many years. Even the famous Mercedes three-pointed star was originally designed to point to ‘land, sea, and air’ – three spaces for which the company made engines. Similarly, the BMW logo refers to a plane propeller, while companies as diverse as Bugatti, Aston Martin and Jaguar have all put their name to yachts. Tyre manufacturer Pirelli even makes rubber dinghies, still today, while Porsche Design has also collaborated with a yacht manufacturer in the past. So this is the FORZO Drive King’s own tribute to multimodal transport, echoing the crossover heritage of many automotive brands that have taken to water over the years. The 40mm racing-style chronograph is strictly limited to only 50 pieces worldwide, presenting the perfect opportunity to own a watch that is not only unique in looks and style, but also exceptionally exclusive. The distinctive blue dial features a multi-layered design with applied indices and tachymeter scale – in common with all the Drive King models – as well as a striking orange seconds hand: perfect for instant legibility. All the 2022 Drive King models have upgraded bracelets to feature quick-release springbars, as well as using a new sapphire crystal for increased dial clarity and reduced distortion compared to the previous versions. Because whether you’re in charge of a yacht or a car, you need to be able to focus on what you’re doing. The solid 316L stainless steel case has polished and brushed textures, benefitting from a signed screw-down crown and embossed caseback, giving a water resistance of 100 metres. This watch also features a bi-directional 60-click 12 hour-bezel with a crisply finished aluminium insert: perfect for keeping track of a second time zone whether you are on the race track or a yacht. This limited-edition watch sits within our new '70s summer' collection and is brand new for 2022. It takes inspiration from the great yachting watches from the 1970s and earlier, such as the Heuer Skipper, and Abercrombie & Fitch Seafarer: evolving and re-interpreting those iconic design cues into an affordable and robust package that’s perfect for everyday use but doesn’t compromise on quality. In line with its yachting lineage, our exclusive colourway uses the deepest blue and is the only version in the range to feature red in the chronograph minutes subdial. We’ve focussed on the smallest details to help create a sense of depth and clarity that’s true to purpose, also mirrored in the shades of orange on the hands and dial. Powering the Drive King 70s Summer is a reliable Seiko VK64 mech-quartz movement, combining the precision of a quartz movement with mechanical features like a sweeping chronograph hand and instant resetting chronograph function. It all adds up to the best of both possible worlds: both on land and sea. Simply click here to check it out on WatchGecko! Why This Watch Special pre-order price of £399. A WatchGecko exclusive model limited to only 50 pieces. Impressive specs and craftsmanship at an affordable price. Watch Strap Option Steel Movement Type MechaQuartz Watch Movement Seiko VK64 Mehca-Quartz Watch Lug Width 20mm Watch Case Colour Silver Case Diameter 40mm Case Thickness 12.5mm case thickness (excluding crystal) Case Back Screw-down embossed caseback Lug to Lug Length 47mm Case Material 316L stainless steel Case Finish Brushed Water Resistance 100 Mtrs (10ATM) Glass Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating Luminescence Swiss Super-LumiNova® Old Radium Lume. Functions Hours, minutes, central chronograph seconds, date, 1/5 seconds, 60 minute counter at 9:00, 24-hour register at 3:00 Crown Signed screw-down crown Warranty 2-year manufacturer guarantee
One of our racing partners at FORZO - Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus – returned to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year and secured a landmark achievement, sealing a third place podium behind the Toyota giants. An incredible accomplishment for a small team from New York, given that this was only their second time running in the top class. And from the very beginning of this remarkable story in 2020, when the boutique hypercar manufacturer from New York decided to take on the biggest carmakers in the world, FORZO was chosen as Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus’s official watch partner. According to team principal Jim Glickenhaus, the team is now the first American manufacturer to finish on the podium at Le Mans in the top class since 1967 (the GT40s that achieved a similar feat in 1969 weren't actually made by Ford, so they don’t count). The Glickenhaus crew that finished on the podium consisted of Australian Ryan Briscoe, Frenchman Franck Mailleux, and Richard Westbrook from England: all of them experienced racers who didn’t put a foot wrong. Watching over them from the pit wall all day and all night was none other than the boss: Jim Glickenhaus, as ever with his FORZO watch strapped to his wrist. FORZO watches were also supplied to the drivers, with the other crew consisting of Brazilian Pipo Derani, and Frenchmen Romain Dumas (a former Le Mans winner) and Olivier Pla. They hit some problems, but still fought back to follow the other car home across the line. “We feel great,” said Jim. “It was a gruelling weekend—we had some good luck and some bad luck – but we fought through it. We had to repair the one car, losing about 12 minutes. That put the car back to about 19th, but we pushed hard and got it back up to fourth by the finish. “I think we showed people that a small manufacturer has a chance. It’s been emotional.” Owners of the bespoke Glickenhaus FORZO watches were able to share the excitement from anywhere in the world, thanks to a dedicated WhatsApp group for Glickenhaus watch customers, with everyone following the action closely and able to ask the team questions in real time. Even the team’s rivals were impressed. Toyota technical director Pascal Vasselon was one of the first to pay tribute to the efforts put in by the Glickenhaus squad, operating on a fraction of the budget of the big teams. “They could do the same times on a clear track, so on pure potential they were on the same level as us,” he said. “They just lacked consistency in certain conditions.” The Glickenhaus cars lined up in fourth and fifth on the grid for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, which got underway at 4pm on Saturday 12 June: reflected by the 24-hour timer subdial on the FORZO Glickenhaus watch. The cars enjoyed a reliable run to the finish, with the #709 car that finished third (one place ahead of its sister car) requiring only a sensor change in the second hour. As a result, Glickenhaus is now realistically targeting the top step of the podium of the toughest race in the world.. “We don't go down easy,” concluded Jim Glickenhaus. “We always get up and we come back hard. We are Glickenhaus. All of you and all of us."
We'd like to thank the amazing members of the FORZO community who have taken the time to review our watches! If you'd like to learn more about our brand and hear some honest thoughts be sure to check out the reviews below. If you'd like to submit your own comments on your watch, make sure to tag us in your post and we'll do our best to add it to the list.
With a never ending stream of watches going through eBay, we thought we'd have a sit down and see what peaks our interest in the sold section - since eBay is simultaneously the best and worst place to buy a watch (or anything, really...) we knew we'd be able to find some gems. VILLARD Vintage Racing Chronograph Starting things off I wanted to look at a mid-range price to find something of decent quality, but that would still fly under the radar. I think this Villard chronograph fits that bill perfectly! It is very striking with the coloured hands and subdial text, while remaining very classic in appearance thanks to the no-frills bicompax layout. This Villard chronograph is reminiscent of classic chronographs from the likes of Heuer and Breitling, but differentiates itself with the funky and very 70's 'tv style' shaped subdials. Image credit: eBay The watch is said to be from the 1970s and has a great looking Valjoux 7733 inside. The watch is also in pretty great condition overall. This sold for around the £600 mark which seems like excellent value for a swiss equipped fully mechanical chronograph. "The Valjoux 7730 is a hand-wound, dual-register chronograph movement produced from 1966 to 1973. The 7730 includes a small seconds sub-dial at 9:00, a jumping 30-minute counter at 3:00, and a central seconds counter. With no date complication, the crown moves between just two positions, a refreshingly simple configuration. Originating as an alternative to column-wheel chronographs, the 7730 employs an affordable cam-switching system that helped to democratize the chronograph watch during the middle of the last century." - Worn & Wound Image credit: eBay Vintage Heuer Chronograph - Reverse Panda Dial Next up we have this stunning reverse panda dialled Heuer chronograph. This definitely fits closer to the 'grail' category than the last watch, which is also reflected in the price! This watch went for about £1,800, which compared to a modern day TAG Heuer actually seems exceptionally good value. This Heuer is known as the reference 73321 and actually shares the same base caliber Valjoux 7733 as the Villard above. This watch was from a more affordable Heuer range in the 1970s, sharing the same chrome plated case that Heuer used to assemble other brands but with a Carrera handset. Image credit: eBay Image credit: 1970 Heuer Catalogue listed at the OnTheDash The pictures speak for themselves really with this one. A stunning and undeniably classic chronograph in a great condition considering the age. The patina is even and very attractive, just looks like it desperately needs a new strap to properly do justice to the watch as this one is slightly too wide. Image credit: eBay Vintage Seiko 5 Chronograph Finally I thought I'd look at the cheaper end of the spectrum and came across this charming little Seiko 5. The orange dial with the red accents definitely captures that classic motorsport vibe, a lot of fun for the modest £124 selling price. The single subdial chronograph movement is also quite unique and just goes to show what interesting watches can be found for very little. Image credit: eBay However, since the description was simply just: "vintage seiko chronograph day date function 38mm funky sports chrono. Needs a service. Dial reconditioned. Great wrist presence" You'd definitely need to bid with an open mind, as it would be very hard to tell what running condition it would be in when it arrives!
Cars and watches just go together, don’t they? But what are the top five watches for driving? We take a quick look and come up with our own eclectic list: plus five other honourable mentions. It’s fair to say that they might just surprise you…. Vacheron Constantin Perhaps the ultimate driving watch is the Vacherin Constantin ‘Historiques American 1921’ as the whole dial design is predicated on motoring. The dial and crown are tilted, so that 12 o’clock is more or less where 2 o’clock would normally be, with the crown directly on top of it. The chronograph function, by contrast, is the right way round. This design was arrived at so that pioneering American motorists could glance at the time when driving, even when their wrists were resting on the steering wheel in the classic ‘10 to 2’ driving position. At the time, many early motorists wore their watches on the inside rather than the outside of their wrists, partly to guard against flying stone chips (many cars were open-topped) and also because the outside of the wrist was often covered by a driving glove, which is also the reason why we have ‘glove boxes’ in cars… Image credit: Monochrome watches The breath-taking Vacheron Constantin takes inspiration not only from practicality, but also from the way that a car’s instruments were often canted to improve readability. The ‘1921’ watch was recently reissued, 100 years after the original, so it’s a significant milestone for this tribute to the golden age of motoring. A variety of styles and cases are available but whichever one you choose; it needs a healthy budget: one of these watches will set you back around £25,000. Heuer Of course, it would be impossible to write anything about driving watches without mentioning Heuer (which became TAG Heuer – a name still seen in Formula 1 now – in the mid-1980s). Without Heuer, there may never have been such a thing as a driving watch. Suffice it to say that models such as the Carrera and Autavia practically defined the genre, while later there were a number of interesting spin-offs that paid tribute to the great racing circuits of the world: Monaco, Montreal, Monza and Silverstone, for example. Image credit: TAG Heuer There’s even the TAG Heuer ‘Formula 1’ watch, cutting right to the heart of the well-known intersection between cars and watches. And the heritage is as authentic as it gets, because Heuer originally made dashboard clocks that were installed in cars for long-distance rallies, before switching the focus to timepieces that drivers could wear on their wrists. There are many top Heuer driving watches to choose from, but if I were forced to select just one, it would be the stunning Autavia: a crystal-clear chronograph originally from the 1960s (although the name was first used in 1933) that works well in every context and will forever be associated with glamorous grand prix stars such as Jochen Rindt. Enicar First things first: the name ‘Enicar’ actually has nothing to do with cars. Instead, it’s just the surname of the founder (Ariste Racine) spelt backwards. So it’s ironic that, having initially sponsored a Swiss climbing team – which resulted in the creation of the Sherpa Graph name – the company would go on to become much better known for their driving watches, thanks to heroes such as Stirling Moss and Jim Clark, who regularly wore them, especially during their early careers. This was probably because they represented the perfect balance between quality (thanks to the use of the Valjoux 72 movement, which also famously drove the Rolex Daytona), legibility, and price – as back then, drivers either had to buy their own watches or hope to be given them for free (especially if they then encouraged other drivers to buy the brand). Image credit: Watch Collecting As a result of these high-profile associations, Enicar became extremely successful in the 1960s, without ever quite reaching the status of Rolex or Heuer. Although the Sherpa Graph is superficially similar to the Autavia in looks, it has a number of distinct Enicar signatures, which is why the model has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent years with values creeping steadily upwards. Straton Now for something completely different. If you want a driving watch that’s out there, the Straton is the one for you. It’s unashamedly inspired by the watches of the 1970s, and to my mind, the Heuer Silverstone in particular (more about Heuer later), which was the television-shaped timepiece intended to take over the mantle of the iconic Monaco. To say that Straton picks up that idea and runs with it is something of an understatement, and like all 70s fashions, it won’t be to everyone’s taste. But the people who like it will absolutely love it. The 42-millimetre Straton Speciale Automatic Chronograph comes in a number of different colours, from a subtle (yet very period) brown and white, to day-glo yellow to a much more restrained blue. But the one to go for is the purple; a colour that harks back to an era when the bodywork of even a Ford Cortina was as flared as your average man’s trousers. But the Straton is about much more than mere appearance. There’s an ETA 7750 movement inside, so reliability is guaranteed, and a sapphire crystal to keep everything looking pristine. If you’ve got a 1970s car, there’s arguably no better driving watch. Omologato Omologato is a British watch brand that was founded 25 years ago, claiming to have the biggest range of motorsport watches in the world – and the company has certainly forged some impressive partnerships with well-known drivers and circuits. The watches themselves come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, at an accessible price point that starts from £99 with the Tifosi range. Image credit: Omologato Omologato is not afraid to shy away from bold colours and motifs: if you want a watch with racing stripes or even a cartoon face, you can get it here. As well as watches, Omologato also produces wall clocks for garages. The pick of the bunch? It won’t be for everyone, but the Tiffany blue square Panamericana really stands out. Autodromo Autodromo – created in New York in 2011 – believes in a simple aesthetic, using shapes and colours that pay tribute to the iconic cars of the past, with a distinct nod to the 1980s. There are handsome watches from earlier eras too, back when stringback gloves were an essential accessory for driving. Image credit: Autodromo And in fact, Autodromo will sell you those too (along with caps and sunglasses) describing themselves as offering “instruments for motoring.” There’s a much smaller range of watches than Omologato, but a step up in price as well, with most of the watches costing in the region of $1000 USD. For me, the Group B Safari is the pick of the bunch. Rolex It might sound like heresy to some to relegate Rolex to the status of ‘honourable mention’ but although the company is at the forefront of Formula 1 and Le Mans, it’s oddly soulless there: perhaps because of the decision to associate the brand mainly with events rather than people. Image credit: Rolex Of course there are brand ambassadors too, the most notable of whom is Sir Jackie Stewart. But it’s still somehow hard to feel passionate about Rolex and driving. Maybe it’s just me. Although of course, I wouldn’t say no to a Daytona: Rolex’s biggest legacy to the automotive world. Omega Another icon stumbles, with Omega relegated to the list of also-rans in our (very subjective) list of driving watches. But that’s because their greatest driving watch isn’t well-known as a driving watch. Image credit: Omega We could devote a whole separate feature to this topic – and perhaps one day we will – but the Speedmaster is, to me at least, a driving watch. After all, it was introduced back in 1957 as a “sports and racing chronograph”. There was no mention at all of going to the moon with it, yet that’s the over-riding reputation that has lingered ever since… Apple Yes, this might also seem a slightly odd model to include on a list of the top 10 driving watches. But think about it. An Apple Watch is the modern day equivalent of the Vacheron Constantin (yes, a bold statement) as it puts all the information you need in the format you want, exactly where you want it: on your wrist. So at a glance you can get navigation, text messages, even car and traffic information – without ever taking your hands off the wheel. Image credit: Evo Granted, it may not be as romantic as the other watches mentioned here. But has anyone tried putting an Apple watch on a rally strap yet? It’s bound to look the part.
There’s a gentle pace of life in the town of Duns, located in the Scottish Borders, which is surrounded by fields of sheep, watched over by generations of farming families. But one of those farmers went on to achieve lasting fame in the world of motorsport – and subsequently, the world of watches. The watch we’re talking about is of course the Enicar Sherpa Graph, also known as the ‘Jim Clark’ chronograph. Image credit: Petrolicious Motorsport fans need no introduction to Clark, as he’s quite simply racing royalty. A two-time Formula 1 world champion in 1963 and 1965, this quiet farmer from the Scottish borders was the Ayrton Senna of his age – and he met a similar tragic end, at a banal Formula 2 race in Germany in 1968. He won 25 races, and had his life not been cut short by a tree at the age of just 32, who knows what else he would have gone on to achieve? Clark was photographed wearing several watches over the years – notably a Gallet MultiChron as well as Breitling Navitimer – but it’s probably the Sherpa Graph he’s most closely associated with. Back then, big commercial deals between drivers and watch brands were only in their infancy (started off by Jack Heuer) so drivers tended to wear watches just because they liked them, not because they were being paid to do so. Clark probably wore a Sherpa Graph because Sir Stirling Moss – the template for all British drivers at the time – wore one too, but we’ll never know. Image credit: Petrolicious What we do know is the Sherpa Graph is becoming increasingly collectible – and it’s easy to see why. In fact, in the interests of full disclosure, I was one of the unsuccessful bidders on this watch offered for auction by watchcollecting.com. Another time… Despite the sound of the name, Enicar was actually nothing to do with cars. Instead, it was simply the surname of the Swiss founder Aristide Racine spelt backwards. As for ‘Sherpa’ Graph, that was inspired by the courageous Himalayan locals assisting the climbers in a 1956 Swiss expedition to Everest, who relied on their Enicar watches. ‘Sherpa’ has yet another automotive connection as it was also the name of a British Leyland van from the 1970s, but the less said about that, the better. Image credit: Watch Collecting These were watches that were painstakingly built to do a job in extreme conditions, and the Jim Clark chronograph is no exception. There weren’t the same sophisticated automatic timing systems that you see in modern Formula 1 back then, so the motorsport scene relied on chronographs. Enicar’s quality was second to none – with a tried-and-trusted Valjoux 72 movement, also used by Rolex at the time – beating inside this particular watch. There are all sorts of other wonderful touches to it, such as the traditional pushers being replaced by stout buttons (easier to operate with a gloved hand) and that bright red ‘lollipop’ chronograph hand, which is the defining feature of this watch. Image credit: Watch Collecting It’s 40 millimetres (somewhat bigger than most of its contemporaries) which makes it particularly easy to read – even at Formula 1 speed. It also means that the carefully-crafted chronograph subdials are a lot more legible. There are lots more fascinating little details if you look harder: especially as this particular one is a rare ‘transitional’ model between the MkII and MkIII Sherpa Graphs. In short, pretty much everything about this stainless steel watch is desirable, from the intangible heritage to the very tangible (and beautifully detailed) caseback and crown, not to mention the distinctive Enicar logo. In terms of landmark motorsport watches, the ‘Jim Clark’ Enicar is iconic. And people have definitely woken up to that fact, with prices at auction now on an inevitable upwards curve…
Of all the icons of enduring cool that are out there, Steve McQueen has to be right up there. And one of the films in which he stands out is the 1971 Le Mans movie, which has been in the news again following the recent release of Le Mans 66 – starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. If you’ve not seen it yet, check it out: it’s well worth watching (although the sticklers for historical accuracy might want to bring a couple of pinches of salt with them to take during the screening). The story of Le Mans 66 is all about Ford versus Ferrari, whereas Le Mans is a pure work of fiction, starring McQueen as the imaginary Michael Delaney – racing a Gulf-liveried Porsche (perhaps the car most closely associated with Le Mans throughout all of history). But the star of the film isn't the car or even Delaney: in fact, for a leading man, he says very little. Instead, the real star is a watch: Delaney’s Heuer Monaco. By the time Le Mans came out, the Monaco had already been on sale for two years. Named after the most famous and unique Grand Prix circuit of them all, it was fitting strikingly different to anything that had been seen before, with its distinctive square case. But it was more than a pretty face. It was actually the very first waterproof, automatic chronograph to adopt a square design. The original Monaco worn by Steve McQueen in Le Mans - Image credit TAG Heuer Now we’ve got used to it, but at the time it was ground-breaking stuff: simply because it’s much easier to make waterproof seals that are circular rather than with corners (the same reason that portholes on ships are round). So nobody had ever tried it before on a watch. In the late 1960s, Jack Heuer (the grandson of the company’s founder) was aware of a Swiss watchmaker named Piquerez who specialised in water-resistant cases and had just filed a patent for a revolutionary new square wristwatch case. Heuer secured exclusive rights to use it, and the Monaco was born. The problem is that we all look back at everything through the lens of history. If you put yourself back there in the late 1960s, you’d understand just how iconoclastic the new design was. Think of the most avant-garde watch design that you’ve seen recently: something from Richard Mille, perhaps? The Monaco was far more revolutionary than that. And the Le Mans film directors were looking for an accessory that would set Michael Delaney apart from the herd: mark him out as an outsider who pushed new boundaries. The Monaco was chosen as the perfect wristwatch. At the time, it retailed for $400, and it was hardly flying from the shelves: it was (quite literally) a bit too edgy. The Original Monaco presented in the original box - Image credit TAG Heuer. The design wasn’t all about breaking the mould though. There were several choices that were born out of practicality, which made it perfect for a racing driver. The hands have red tips to guarantee easy legibility even at speed and they are luminous so that a 24-hour racer can easily see the time even at night. Set against the deep blue of the original face – all sorts of other editions have appeared since, naturally including Gulf stripes – the time really stands out. The association between Heuer and Le Mans started through Swiss racing driver Jo Siffert, who had been sponsored by Heuer since the 1960s and was brought onto the Le Mans film set as a consultant, to make sure that everything was realistic. And taking Siffert as their racing driver template (it wasn’t a scene that they were particularly familiar with, so they relied heavily on outside inspiration) the crew accurately transposed his look onto Delaney – right down to the Heuer watch on his wrist. Steve McQueen and Jo Siffert - Image credit TAG Heuer. The Monaco was chosen as the watch that should be the star of the film, and it figures prominently. Somebody once calculated that it features a full 15 minutes of screen time: invaluable publicity. For a while, it was the watch to be seen with. But as is the case with several ultra-modern designs, it fell from favour almost as quickly as it had risen to fame. The last of the original Monacos produced was the ‘Dark Lord’ from 1975, and then production ceased. But not for good. At Heuer, everything changed in 1985 when they became TAG-Heuer, and the new company set to work re-discovering its heritage. The Monaco was re-issued in 1998, just under 30 years since it had first seen the light of the day. The original Calibre 11 movement had been out of production for a long time, so a brand new movement was engineered for the Heuer Monaco Re-Edition as it was called (keeping the original company name, without the TAG, as a tribute). Following the runaway success of this model, it’s been a mainstay of the TAG-Heuer line-up ever since. And what happened to the original Monacos that were supplied for the film, which are the most valuable ones of all? Records state that there were six of them. One went missing almost immediately; its whereabouts unknown. McQueen ended up wearing only one for the filming, with the other four kept as spares. These ended up being sold over the years, with McQueen’s watch kept by Le Mans propmaster Don Nunley. This too was eventually sold, but we don’t know to whom. Nunley takes up the story. “I got a call from a billionaire, one of the Forbes 400,” he said. “He knew I had the watch and he wanted to buy it. We decided to meet at his estate. We hadn’t talked price yet. He wanted to know if I had any other watches – of historic significance or not – that I might be willing to sell. I did: the last Monaco, a gold Rolex Submariner, a Heuer Carrera, another Heuer chronograph, and three stopwatches used in the film." “Over coffee we talked about Hollywood, actors, Le Mans, and Steve McQueen. I had a number in mind for all the pieces I had brought. He must have read my mind because he handed me a cashier’s check for that exact amount. But after seeing the Monaco and the other watches, he told me that he didn’t think it was enough. So he had his accountant, who was working in the next room, bring in his personal chequebook while I argued that the first check was more than fair. I told him that if I took any more money I’d just put it into my grandkid’s education fund." “’How many grandkids you got?" he asked. “’Seven." “He proceeded to write a check for a very generous amount intended for each of my seven grandkids. What a gentleman. Who knows, he just might still have the Monaco.”
Finally some of our long awaited 2022 models are now available for preorder! Introducing the second-generation VK powered FORZO Drive King watches, which includes our first limited-edition Drive King range. This second-generation Drive King will come with an upgraded quick-release bracelet, upgraded buckle and a new sapphire crystal based on customer feedback from the first generation. This is the perfect summer watch, created to remind the wearer of the golden age of motorsport all whilst offering a welcome pop of colour. This collection was designed to remind the wearer of a past era but refraining from making it 'too vintage' looking through faux patina etc... We have mixed the vintage touch with a balanced modern specification so it can be worn with confidence on a wide range of wrist sizes!Don't forget that all FORZO Watches come with a two-year guarantee! Our FORZO Drive King collection takes inspiration from the golden era of racing and watch design and features: Japanese Mecha-quartz Chronograph - Time Module (Seiko) VK64 Movement. Thick sapphire crystal with AR coating. Multi-layer dial with applied indices. Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9 Lume. Solid 316L stainless steel case with embossed screw in case back. Signed screw-down crown. 40mm Bezel diameter, 47mm Lug to lug length. 20mm lug width. 12.5mm case thickness (not including crystal height). 100 meters / 330 feet water resistance.
If there’s one British automotive brand that evokes cool to transcend the globe, it’s Aston Martin. Immortalised on the big screen thanks to James Bond, Aston Martin is renowned for its iconic shape, design, sound and elegance in the real world as well. Aston Martin is also represented at the pinnacle of motorsport, Formula 1, and has remained true to its heritage of style and luxury courtesy of its renowned watch partner, Girard-Perregaux. Girard-Perregaux is a hallmark of the watchmaking industry: one of the oldest manufacturers operating in Switzerland today, which is known for producing sleek and stylish timepieces. Like Aston Martin, heritage is a key element of what defines Girard-Perregaux, so it’s easy to see why these two firms are aligned. Of course, the partnership means more than just a simple sponsorship deal. A special chronograph has been created for the Formula 1 team, and its origins are very much in keeping with the fast-moving and engineering-focused world of motorsport. With F1 cars designed to be the fastest, most efficient and lightest vehicles on four wheels, the Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition is derived from titanium powder and carbon elements taken directly from the 2021 Aston Martin F1 racing cars. Individual components are melded and mixed with a tinted resin, offering a distinct visual identity. It comes in a hefty 44-millimetre case but thankfully seems to wear a bit smaller than that, feeling lightweight and resilient at the same time. Girard-Perregaux say that they have taken the same engineering-led approach to their watch as the Aston Martin team has to their car; although it’s been a tough start to the season for Aston Martin, despite benefitting from the services of four-time champion (and BBC Question Time star) Sebastian Vettel. While the Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition doesn’t go any quicker than your regular timepiece – thankfully – the lightweight attributes of the watch make it a comfortable, easy-to-wear fit, with the sort of ingenuity and flair that’s regularly associated with Aston Martin. We’ve seen a few watches inspired by Formula 1 before, but not so many that are literally made from an F1 car, driven by a multiple champion. It just goes to show how the links between cars and watches are closer than ever.
It’s the most predictable of clichés that in motor racing time is of the essence. With margins as fine as they are at the upper echelons of Formula 1, every thousandth of a second can make the difference between winning a race and losing millions of pounds of prize revenue. It’s what separates good drivers from great drivers. So it’s hardly surprising that watch sponsorship deals have been the norm in Formula 1 for decades. Although it was beaten to the drivers’ championship title at the end of 2021 and is struggling so far this year, Mercedes-AMG remains a benchmark in the world of Formula 1, having won the constructors’ title for the past seven years. Since 2013, IWC has been a partner of the team, but it’s only now that they have come up with an official Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team watch together. The watch in questions is the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition and will be worn by the entire team throughout the season. It’s got the usual IWC Pilot hallmarks but it’s also very turquoise, in deference to main sponsor Petronas. At over 8,000 CHF (around £6,000) they’re not exactly giving it away, but Formula 1 has always been expensive and premium – which is why it appeals to watch brands. The IWC Pilot has become an icon, but this edition aims to up the technology game to mirror its association with Formula 1. Making that connection even closer is the fact that the entire team will be wearing the watch at races this year; from Lewis Hamilton downwards. The team-issued watch has got sponsor logos on the strap, whereas the on-sale version doesn’t – but that’s just about the only difference. It’s also not going to be a limited edition, so anybody who wants one should be able to secure it. The case is crafted from lightweight and remarkably rigid grade 5 titanium, which offers the best strength-to-weight ratio of any metal and is used extensively in Formula 1. It’s got a carbon black dial and turquoise green accents, while coming in two separate strap variations: one black embossed calfskin and one (unmissable) turquoise rubber strap, both of which can be exchanged easily. There’s also an intriguing mixture of blasted and polished surfaces, that gives it an almost 3D look. Say what you like about this watch, but it certainly stands out. Thanks to its bi-directional pawl winding system, it has a power reserve of 46 hours – and you can see the movement at work thanks to the display case back. IWC certainly feels confident about what it’s doing here: offering a six-year extension to the standard two-year international warranty. What’s unfortunate for IWC is that they’ve released this watch right in the middle of Mercedes’ worst start to a Formula 1 season in recent history, but the squad has such strength in depth that they are certain to bounce back at some point. And now there’s no excuse for not doing that in a timely fashion…
On the face of it, there’s little that the small village of Gmund in Austria – nestling on a valley floor with a quaint old sawmill close to the ‘centre’ – has in common with the industrial megalopolis of Stuttgart in Germany. But those who know, know. Because both places are home to one of the most iconic makers in the automotive world. History playing a significant role in shaping the saga: ‘Ferry’ Porsche (the son of Ferdinand Porsche, the father of Volkswagen) built the first cars to bear the Porsche name in Gmund after World War II, following his father’s arrest by the allies. These were basic cars with hand-hammered aluminium bodies that would go on to find fame as the Porsche 356, built borrowing many elements from the Volkswagen Beetle. By 1950, the company was back in Stuttgart, with the first dedicated Porsche assembly plant there built in 1952: a building that still stands now. Since then, the Stuttgart suburb of Zuffenhausen has exploded to become Porscheville. Everything in the area lives and breathes Porsche. Even the B&B hotel I stayed in (a well-known chain throughout Germany and Europe) features wallpaper with a Porsche rev counter design. I half expected a pillow made out of a tyre. And outside I encountered a local man with a Labrador named Ferdinand. In the middle of Zuffenhausen, there’s a unique sculpture with a variety of Porsche models mounted on poles, reaching for the sky like rockets. And dwarfing even that eye-catching structure is the modernist Porsche museum: a stunning piece of contemporary architecture that dominates the appropriately-named Porscheplatz. The day before, driving up to Stuttgart from Croatia in my very own Porsche Cayman, a sign had caught my eye, not so far from the German border: “Gmund”. This genuinely wasn’t planned, but planning has never been one of my strong points anyway. Was this actually the same Gmund where the Porsche car company was born? Diving down into the valley via a sinuous off-road from the scenic motorway, I encountered a small, well-kept, reasonably unmemorable village. And in the middle of it, an old sawmill. This was the place. Inside, there’s an eclectic selection of Porsche exhibits, ranging from early steering wheels to cross-sections of engines to complete cars. You might not expect to find a Le Mans-winning 919 in such bucolic surroundings, but there it is. And there are some cars from the main Porsche museum in Stuttgart as well, which doesn’t have room to permanently display all the treasures housed in its archives. Although the museum in Gmund is privately-owned, it enjoys a close relationship with the factory, so the exhibits rotate relatively frequently, which keeps it interesting. There are many permanent residents though, that mostly reflect the early years. You’ll find all the wooden models that formed the basis of the original 356, as well as a bright orange tractor: like Lamborghini, Porsche also started off making agricultural equipment. There’s a recreation of what the Gmund workshop looked like originally, and even a four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Beetle: just one of the numerous projects that the Porsche family created for the German military. What’s wonderful about the Gmund museum is that it looks and feels like a family-curated collection of esoteric memorabilia. The lady who let me in apologised for the delay: she had been out the back making coffee. And she even gave me a little book as a souvenir of my visit. It’s a complete contrast to the main Stuttgart museum, which is something else entirely: all glass and chrome, forming a temple of corporate perfection. It comprehensively tells the story of Porsche from beginning to end – starting with the very first electric carriages created by Ferdinand Porsche at the turn of the last century – and manages to be just the right size: neither too big nor too small. There’s still enough to keep you occupied for an entire morning or afternoon. Or all day, if you’re a true devotee. Time simply flies looking at these incredible cars. All the historical heavy hitters are there, including the very first Porsche 356 ever made, as well as the first 911s, and the prototype 959. If you’re into Porsches in any way, this is a true Aladdin’s cave – with a good number of racing and rally cars as well as the emblematic road cars (including a 993 police car) and the early Spyders, which James Dean made infamous. There’s also an extensive museum shop, and I defy you to leave without purchasing something – items on sale range from t-shirts to espresso cups (I bought both). Opposite the museum is the largest Porsche dealer in Stuttgart, so there’s even the chance of leaving with the ultimate souvenir if your pockets are wide enough... In terms of road trips, it doesn’t get better. Or maybe it does. Outside the Gmund museum, I met a couple from Canada, who had just collected their brand new 718 Spyder from the factory in Stuttgart and were touring Austria en route to the Nürburgring, before taking the car to Leipzig and sending it on its long journey home by ship across the Atlantic Ocean. Now that’s what you call the best possible baptism of fire…
Two very different forms of motorsport, on opposite sides of the world. The Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, back after an enforced two-year break due to Covid (remember that thing?) And the Croatia Rally, round three of the World Rally Championship, held on the twisty roads around Zagreb. It’s all part of the job if you’re working in international motorsport. And that means a lot of time spent on planes, automobiles and occasionally trains as well. Not to mention boats. In fact, this was my itinerary over the last few weeks: drive from London to Italy (via the cross-channel ferry), spend a few days in Italy, then fly to Melbourne in Australia (via Singapore and Sydney). Fly back to Italy, a few more days there, then drive to Croatia. After the rally, drive back to London – through Austria and Germany. And then to WatchGecko HQ in Tewkesbury the following day. Along the way, there were too many different adventures to recount: from watching the new generation of Formula 1 cars trackside in Melbourne, to eating horse salami in Italy, to having a close encounter with the Slovenian police. But there was one constant through the controlled chaos that I like to call work. And this was the FORZO Enduratimer that stayed on my wrist throughout the approximately 26,000 miles travelled over three weeks. There were various reasons for taking it on this odyssey, but the main one is its obvious motorsport heritage, with FORZO being a brand inspired by the golden age of motoring. And I was also closely involved in the brand’s creation, so there’s something indescribably gratifying about wearing a watch that you have helped to exist. It goes without saying then that I like it. A lot. The nod to the Rolex Daytona is there of course – perhaps the archetypal motorsport watch – especially in timeless cream with panda subdials. But the Enduratimer is sufficiently different to have its own personality, being somehow neater, more compact, and even more jewel-like than the Daytona. So I was itching to put it on and take it on some adventures. Having now travelled more than one lap around the circumference of the Earth by distance, it still looks just as pristine and desirable as when it was new, despite the inevitable knocks from airport security machines all over the world. Because there are some things you only find out by wearing a watch non-stop. For a start, how easy it is to set the time: an activity you’re often indulging in when hopping from time zone to time zone (dead easy, with a pleasing mechanical feel from the crown that is neither too tight nor too loose). Also, how resistant it is to bangs and chips and scrapes. It feels bullet-proof: believe it or not, when I banged my wrist against a plastic table in Italy, a tiny chip of plastic came away from the table but the watch remained unblemished. Not to mention how it tells the time (perfectly accurately, despite me fiddling with it, but that’s a Seiko-derived mechaquartz movement for you: the best of both worlds). Perhaps most importantly of all – given that you can get the perfectly accurate time whenever you want from your phone – you only discover after a while how the watch makes you feel. In the case of the Enduratimer, I would describe it as ‘at home’. Several people in many different countries tried it on: they all liked it (and interestingly, over-estimated its purchase price). One person thought it was a Daytona, while it was also mistaken for a panda dial Speedmaster on another occasion. In the end, there are probably only so many ways to skin a cat – or make a chronograph. The point is that the FORZO Enduratimer fitted seamlessly into this exalted company, which is part of that comfortable ‘at home’ feeling. Unusually, on Rally Croatia, I also managed to put the chronograph to practical use, timing the gaps between the rally cars. It feels like a quaint thing to do now, a bit like dressing up in period costume for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but at the time this was the standard method for timing all competition cars – and the Enduratimer, as the very name suggests, is a constant reminder of that. Part of a tradition, which is one of the things that draws you to this watch. Those who are into rallying, of course, can get a dedicated version of the Enduratimer with a dial that’s blue – in tribute to the some of the sport’s most famous liveries – which was created in collaboration with DirtFish: rallying’s leading media outlet (just check out www.dirtfish.com) The colours that the Enduratimer comes in (from red, in collaboration with multiple motorbike champion Carl Fogarty to light blue – one of the best-sellers) are all distinctive. But the classic colour scheme, which I’ve been living with, speaks more quietly but no less authoritatively. That’s why I’m planning to hang onto the cream and black Enduratimer for a little while yet. Next up is the Miami Grand Prix, and – paired with a sharp cream suit – I reckon it could look rather Miami Vice…
Biking legend Carl Fogarty has now received his number 001/100 Foggy EnduraTimer chronograph during a recent trip to Ducati Preston. Sitting within our 'EnduraTimer' watch collection, the Foggy watch is 40mm in diameter with a racing red dial, featuring a solid 316L Stainless Steel case with an custom flat link bracelet. The Foggy EnduraTimer is powered by a Mecha-Quartz Chronograph movement. The new Foggy EnduraTimer captures Carl's personality within the design. Together with FORZO, Carl designed the type of watch he liked, and chose a number of themes reflected in the overall style. Carl wanted a stainless steel watch on bracelet, with a classic dial design and an uncomplicated look, making it easy to read and underlining the quality synonymous with FORZO. From there, we produced a number of prototypes that were gradually refined as the whole process went on, with Carl making a series of refinements along the way to achieve exactly what he wanted. The resulting limited edition is a clean and imposing watch, which personifies power, speed, and reliability – just like Carl himself.
Timing is central to motorsport. It’s what allows us to know which car and which driver is fastest over a particular course, whether it’s a grand prix racing circuit or a rallying special stage. Just like competition cars themselves, the technology and methods used to time them have advanced considerably during the history of motorised competition. In the early days of races like the Indianapolis 500, the timing line was actually a physical wire running across the track. Whenever a car ran over the wire, it created an imprint on a time card – and it was down to a team of people to note which car had tripped the wire and manually document the running order. Later, the wire was superseded by a beam of light from a photocell, but the time still had to be manually assigned to whichever car had passed. It’s claimed that the March team (co-founded by Max Mosley) tricked the system to earn Italy’s Vittorio Brambilla the only pole position of his Formula 1 career at the 1975 Swedish Grand Prix, when an engineer broke the timing beam with his pitboard just before Brambilla reached the line. Around this time, teams would still record their own lap times with stopwatches – a role often carried out by the wives or girlfriends of the drivers. Sometimes, teams would use that information to challenge the reliability of the official timing, such as at the Italian Grand Prix of 1971, when Matra successfully lobbied to have its driver Chris Amon instated to pole position at the expense of Ferrari’s Jacky Ickx. Doubts like those actually led to one of the first commercial partnerships between a watch company and an F1 team, when Jack Heuer began providing timing equipment to Ferrari in 1972. It was actually at Le Mans, rather than in Formula 1, where Enzo Ferrari didn’t trust the timekeepers, but Jack Heuer – never one to miss an opportunity – soon made his presence felt. Always a fan of motorsport, Heuer had been involved with individual drivers for many years already, having supplied watches like the Carrera and Autavia to his friends such as Jochen Rindt. It was very much a business arrangement though, with Heuer’s favoured drivers earning a commission on any watches they sold, and the company quickly becoming synonymous with motorsport. In 1974, Heuer became the official timekeeper for F1 and introduced the kind of timing system still used today, featuring a transponder fitted to each car that sends a signal to a receiver embedded into or located next to the finish line. Timing is even more important in rallying than in racing because the drivers race against the clock rather than battle wheel-to-wheel, and this therefore determines who wins and who loses. Over history, there have been different ways of timing rallies. Originally, they were usually held on roads open to general traffic. Rather than outright speed, the focus was on accurate timekeeping and navigation with the requirement to arrive at checkpoints at a specified time with penalties for arriving early or late. The crew with the fewest penalties wins – and so-called regularity rallies still form the basis for many classic car events and provide a cheap and easy way into the sport for beginners. Special stage rallying grew out of this to become the professional form of the sport we know today. The focus of attention is all about who can travel fastest over a stretch of closed road. Today this is also timed using transponders, and the information transmitted from remote locations live on television in real time for fans around the world. Errors can still happen, which is why co-drivers also time their runs themselves so they can verify the time they’re given at the finish. What’s more, the need to check into time controls at a given time or face a penalty still remains. For that reason, a co-driver’s watch is their most important piece of equipment – and always will be. Once again, it was Heuer at the forefront of rallying from 1950s onwards, with the company making onboard clocks for competing crews to keep track of their times. You can still see many of these now, fitted to historic rally cars. But as the years rolled on, these clocks were replaced by what were effectively specialised trip computers, and co-drivers preferred to wear their watches on their wrists. With time being so central to every aspect of motorsport, the FORZO brand has been created to pay tribute to this unique relationship. Inspired by the golden age of racing, the FORZO range includes both the DriveKing and EnduraTimer, complete with period colours and designs. Underlining the brand’s credentials are some important partnerships with legends on both two and four wheels: multiple bike champion Carl Fogarty, and Le Mans team (and supercar manufacturer) Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. Reflecting the unique relationship between timing and rallying, there’s also an EnduraTimer produced in partnership with DirtFish: the go-to destination for all the latest rally news and coverage (www.dirtfish.com). Featuring a special caseback and the iconic colours of some rally legends, the DirtFish EnduraTimer – along with all the other models in the range –showcases exactly why every second counts.
With the Formula 1 2022 season and IndyCar series almost upon us, and the World Rally Championship recently celebrating its 50th anniversary, it’s shaping up to be an exciting time for motorsport fans. With racing on the brain, we thought it would be a great time to introduce you to new watch collaboration – the DirtFish EnduraTimer Chronograph. We partnered with DirtFish, the esteemed north American rally school and media company. Any off-road racing fans may recognise them for their coverage of rallying events such as the World Rally Championships. DirtFish’s motorsport teams even won two rallycross championships, and since their founding in 2010 have trained over 12,000 of driving enthusiasts on the skills required to drive a rally car at their HQ outside Seattle, Washington. Together FORZO and DirtFish worked on the design of the DirtFish EnduraTimer, wanting to create an accurate timepiece, that pays homage to the history of rally racing, while remaining as tough as the rally cars tearing up the dirt roads and mountain passes of the WRC. Fans of classic B-Group rally cars may recognise the shade of blue with white detailing we used for the dial, taking inspiration from WRC legends like the MG Metro 6R4. DirtFish CEO Justin Simpson said: “As the 2022 rally season gets underway we’re really excited about this partnership with FORZO. I believe it’s fair to say the sport of rallying would not exist without timing, so working with FORZO is something very natural for us in celebration of that importance and history in our sport. Celebrating all things rallying is a part of the DirtFish DNA and having worked on this project with Anthony for a while, it’s fantastic to see the first FORZO DirtFish watch released. This is just the start of what we’re sure will result in a long-term and very exciting partnership.” When you’re behind the wheel of a rally car, timing is critical and manoeuvring has to be precise, which is why we wanted a design that’s incredibly accurate and instantly legible. Our three-register chronograph tracks and measures time precisely and the integrated tachymeter within the bezel allows you to measure speed using the seconds hand. The dial also benefits from a date display at 4:30 and superb legibility in any light condition, thanks to the Swiss Super-LumiNova BGW9 applied hands and indices. Just like the cars in the WRC we wanted this watch to be tough. We used solid 316L stainless-steel for the 40mm case and bracelet and a durable scratch-proof sapphire crystal. We also designed the watch to be waterproof to 100 metres, so that you can wear the DirtFish EnduraTimer practically anywhere. The caseback also features the DirtFish logo engraved over a topical map motif, which houses the mecha-quartz Seiko VK63 movement. Check out our interview below with top WRC journalist David Evans from DirtFish, discussing the DirtFish EnduraTimer collaboration. You can check out the FORZO DirtFish EnduraTimer Chronograph here.
London, December 23, 2021 British watch brand FORZO, which is inspired by the golden age of motorsport, has launched two exciting new models in its 2022 EnduraTimer range. The name itself evokes the typical ethos of endurance racing where timing was of the essence, meaning that drivers and teams often wore chronographs to measure their speed against the clock. The classic design of these new stainless steel sports watches recalls the timepieces of the 1960s that are still popular now, and the latest FORZO models feature the colour schemes that were prevalent during this thrilling era, combining vintage style with instant legibility. The two new colours are a classic black and cream ‘panda’ dial – with three black subdials on a cream face – as well as a reverse panda, which is similar but with off-white subdials on a black face. Featuring a Japanese mecha-quartz movement, the 40mm watch has perfect proportions with a date display as well, and a Swiss SuperLumiNova lume that makes it as easy to read in the dark as it is during the day. Other features include applied indices and a signed FORZO clasp, adding to the outstanding quality of this watch, backed by a two-year guarantee. Although it’s a new brand, FORZO has already made its mark on the automotive world thanks to a collaboration with American supercar firm Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, which placed two cars in the top five overall at the epic Le Mans 24 Hours this year. A Glickenhaus edition to celebrate this success is also available in the FORZO range. The EnduraTimer is not just for people who enjoy cars and motorsport, but for anyone who appreciates classic watchmaking with designs that stand the test of time. Suitable for any occasion, the EnduraTimer retails at £400 from the official website: www.forzowatches.com Providing both quality and value within an elegant package, the EnduraTimer range is now available to order from today. Having benefitted from more than a year and a half of development and historical research, the FORZO EnduraTimer is set to become an accessible classic in the watch-collecting world, known for its period detail, unprecedented build quality, and enduring heritage. Please find attached a link to high-resolution images (copyright-free for media use) here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1SPZp8WfHCD0nIazSA7rvfUj2p-PqfG7P For more information and photographs, or to request a loan watch for review, please contact us through the website contact email address.
We are proud to officially announce our partnership with DirtFish and our collaboration with the FORZO DirtFish Enduratimer Chronograph watch. Sharing our passion for motorsports, DirtFish is on a mission to inspire, educate, promote, and expand the sport of rallying by engaging automotive enthusiasts around the world through DirtFish media and their acclaimed rally school. Founded in 2010 as a rally driving school, they have trained over 12,000 drivers to master the rally car at their headquarters outside Seattle, Washington, USA. DirtFish has grown to become a world-renowned brand with the DirtFish Motorsport’s team winning two rallycross championships. FORZO's new project with DirtFish is the perfect embodiment of our passion for both motorsport and watches. The FORZO DirtFish Enduratimer Chronograph pays homage to the classic B Group rally cars that tore up the mountain roads of the World Rally Championship (WRC), featuring the distinct blue and white detailing reminiscent of WRC legends like the MG Metro 6R4.
We’ve teamed up with Bike Magazine to offer one lucky Bike reader that chance to win a limited-edition FORZO Carl Fogarty ‘Foggy’ Red Dial chronograph watch worth £450. We have worked closely with seven-time world champion rider Carl Fogarty from start to finish to capture elements of his personality and career within a watch design. An exciting opportunity for both Foggy fans and watch collectors! You can learn more by clicking the link here!
The smell of camp fires, tinged with bacon, hangs in the air. The sun is just rising. But all is not quiet. Just yards from the lines of tents, full-blooded racing cars are hitting speeds in excess of 200mph out on a race track in pursuit of one of the biggest prizes in motorsport. This is the Le Mans 24 Hours, or the world's greatest race for anyone who speaks French, the 50,000 or so Brits who cross the channel each year to attend, and many more besides around the globe. Le Mans stands together with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500 in prestige and mystique. No wonder they come together to form the unofficial triple crown of world motorsport. Only one driver, two-time Formula 1 world champion Graham Hill, has won all three, though Fernando Alonso has made a concerted attempt to emulate the Briton's achievement. The Spaniard added a pair of victories at Le Mans in 2018 and '19 driving for Toyota to his 2006 success on the streets of Monte Carlo, though he failed to win at Indy in three attempts. Le Mans, like Monaco, is an anachronism. This endurance race for both purposed-designed racing machines and road-based GT cars is fought out on a track that combines public roads and permanent circuit over its length of eight and a half miles. If you proposed something like that today, you'd be laughed out of town. The event on a track known as the Circuit de la Sarthe, located just to the south of the city that gives the race its name, owes its place on the international motorsport calendar to its much-celebrated history. Le Mans is now only two years shy of celebrating its centenary. Only world conflict and, on one occasion country-wide industrial strife in France, has prevented the race from going ahead since 1923. At the heart of the Le Mans legend is what Brits refer to as the Mulsanne Straight, though it is correctly called the Ligne droite des Hunaudieres. This long drag, once the main route between the cities of Le Mans and Tours, has been a constant at Le Mans. Today the straight measures slightly less than four miles and is interrupted by a pair of chicanes. On the foundation of the race, it was longer still. The original version of the track measured more than 10 miles and took the cars deep into the city. Speed on the Mulsanne or the Hunaudieres remains key to unlocking a quick lap time at Le Mans. It was doubly so in the days before the straight was cut in three by the chicanes in 1990. The fastest speed ever recorded was a shade under 253mph, posted in 1988 a quirky French special known as a WM and built by a group of Peugeot engineers in their spare time. Three years later, the French manufacturer was on the grid at Le Mans. It joined a long line of car makers, from Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Chevrolet and many more, to seek glory in the 24 Hours. They have been queuing up to race around the Circuit de la Sarthe almost since the beginning, to promote their name and showcase their wares. Then as now, the race at Le Mans is an automotive proving ground. In the earliest days of the race, cars had to complete a prerequisite number of laps with their hoods up to prove their integrity. In the 1950s, Jaguar fined tuned disc brake technology on its successful C- and D-type racers of the 1950s. In more recent times, manufacturers have used the event to develop direct fuel injection, a new breed of clean turbodiesels and, most recently, energy-retrieval hybrid systems. Today, Le Mans sits at the heart of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The event was on the calendar from the get-go of the original world series for sportscars that ran from 1953 until 1992. It was only fitting the organiser of the race, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, should play a central role in its revival and become its promoter. Nearly 10 years on from the rebirth of the WEC in 2012, Le Mans in particular and sportscar racing in general is beginning what looks sure to be a golden era. The latest rulebook introduced for 2021 has created a new category of machine, known as Hypercar, to fight it out at the front of the grid. Already signed up are Toyota, Peugeot, Porsche, Audi and Ferrari, as well as Honda's Acura brand and boutique manufacturer Glickenhaus. The position of Le Mans 24 Hours as one of the most important motor races in the world looks assured as it gears up to celebrate its 100th birthday. Author: Gary Watkins has been writing about international sportscar racing — among other things — for nearly all his adult life, working for Autosport, motorsport.com, Motor Sport and others.. He's been lucky enough to have reported on the Le Mans 24 Hours no fewer than 30 times and to visit nearly 100 circuits around the globe.
We have received the first pictures of the Drive King dial samples from the dial factory! What do you think? We should have the first set of sample watches within the next 2-3 weeks.
"I'd give us a seven or a seven and a half out of 10." That was the assessment from Jim Glickenhaus on the debut of his new Le Mans Hypercar in the Portimao 8 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship on June 13. He probably got it about right. There were pluses and minuses to draw from the first race of the new Glickenhaus-Pipo 007 LMH. First off, the team's solo entry driven by two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Romain Dumas, Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe made it to the end of the eight hours around the up-and-down Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. That's an important point to make. There was a delay of about an hour while the new car under went a change of clutch, but the transmission problem was the result of driver error. Briscoe didn't engage the launch control software when he got going again after a spin late in the secoind hour. So it was, says Glickenhaus "entirely driver inflicted"."A lot of people don't finish races with new cars," Glickenhaus pointed out. "Toyota didn't when it turned up in the WEC." The Japanese marque's maiden race with its first stab at an LMP1 prototype ended early at the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours: its two cars went out either side of the six-hour mark."The 007's twin-turbo V8 powerplant was also over-revved in the clutch-breaking incident. "The engine went to 11,900rpm, but was okay to keep racing," revealed Glickenhaus. "Our engine is one tough bitch."The clutch change meant there was no chance of a meaningful result in Portugal — though Glickenhaus did score a point in manufacturers' championship — but it was important to get back out into the race to maximise track time. The Portimao event, after all, was about learning lessons with brand new car as the team gears up for the big challenge of the Le Mans 24 Hours in August. "Doing eight hours on this track isn't easy," said Dumas. "It was important to finish, and by getting back out there we learnt a lot. We've got to learn how to extract everything for that car. That's our job between now and Le Mans."That process was clearly still on-going at Portimao. The car showed promise in free practice: Westbrook was ahead of both the Toyota GR010 HYBRIDs in the third of the three sessions and only a couple of tenths off the ultimate pace. But come qualifying, he could only put the Glickenhaus 11th on the grid after failing to improve on his FP3 time. "We should have been quicker because we were on fresher tyres and a lower fuel load, and it was cooler, so it's disappointing," explained Westbrook. "The problem was we couldn't switch the tyres on."Westbrook had two runs on a fresh set of Michelins, losing his best time that would have put him a couple places higher up the grid to a track-limits infringement. "In hindsight I should have stayed out there on one set to bring them in," he said. "But that's why we're here: to learn those little lessons."Jim Glickenhaus knows there's still work to be done with Michelin in terms of tyre development and making the rubber last through multiple stints. Michelin has had to develop a new range tyres for the two-wheel-drive Glickenhaus, and it had to start that process long before the car was ready to run back in February. "It's a serious issue and a complex issue," explains Glickenhaus. "And it's all because Michelin had to develop the tyres virtually, because we couldn't give them a car early enough. But Michelin knows where the tyres need to be and I'm confident they are going to get there."He is also confident that Glickenhaus Racing is going to be in "better shape" come the next round of the WEC at Monza in mid-July and then Le Mans in August. First, it will build on the lessons learned in Portugal, but it is also to understand that the 007 wasn't conceived for a tight and twisty circuit like Algarve. It was designed with the eight-and-a-half-mile Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans in mind. "We designed the car with as little downforce as possible within the rules," said Glickenhaus. "So we're feeling good heading to Monza and onto Le Mans."
There’s one man who is responsible for nearly all of Ferrari’s greatest racing cars throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, it’s fair to say that without him, the legend that Ferrari is today would probably have never existed. That man is designer Mauro Forghieri: the unsung hero of Ferrari’s Formula 1 success. He always kept away from the limelight, preferring the books and pens of his design studio in Maranello. But he was normally at races too, watching his creations in action and figuring out ways to improve them. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to meet him. And the first surprising thing I discovered was that he never meant to be a car designer. He only ended up working at Ferrari because his dad knew Enzo Ferrari, as they both came from the same part of Italy. “I had no intention of going to work at Ferrari after I graduated, even though I loved cars,” said Forghieri, now aged 85. “My first proper job was as a teacher at a technical school near Bologna. The story with Ferrari started when Enzo said to my father ‘tell that mad son of yours to come and work here instead of wasting his time teaching…that way he might actually learn something’. And he was right: I stayed for 28 years and learned a lot.” Ferrari at the time – and to some extent, still now – was a political hornet’s nest, with various people coming and going following disagreements with the management. And that frantic merry go round led to a meteoric career rise for the loyal Forghieri, as he remembered vividly: “One day, Enzo Ferrari called me and said: ‘Mauro, you’re in charge of the race team now.’ It was 1963 and I was 26 years old. I said to him: ‘With the greatest respect, are you mad?’ He said he was serious though, and that’s how it happened. I was effectively called upon to be sporting director as well and that’s the only aspect I didn’t like: I’m an engineer and purely an engineer; I never enjoyed the politics.” Aged not even 30, Forghieri had a terrifying responsibility on his shoulders. But he knew that Ferrari trusted him. “It wasn’t quite friendship; it was more a reciprocal respect,” said Forghieri. “Ferrari was something that you gave yourself to with body and soul. My colleagues were the same: they had married Ferrari so there was a real feeling of mutual respect and the absolute certainty that you could rely on everyone. It wasn’t a normal relationship between employers and employees.” That unique dynamic was personified by Enzo Ferrari himself. “Enzo was a force of nature,” is how Forghieri described him. “He ‘felt’ things while I calculated them. Sometimes we saw him decide on something with a ‘yes’ when all the information and advice we had on the table should have led to a ‘no’. I often said to him: ‘but why have you said yes to this?’ And he used to tell me ‘because I feel it and you don’t.’ About seven times out of 10 he was right: it was remarkable.” What’s most striking about Forghieri, despite all his achievements and decorations from the Italian government, is his overwhelming modesty. “Most of my ideas aren’t mine,” he pointed out openly. “I’ve just had the good fortune to read some excellent books and meet some remarkable people. One of those people, for example, was Robert Eberan von Eberhorst, who designed the Auto Union. He was the first person to introduce modern aerodynamic thinking and road holding into racing cars. I also used to go to a wind tunnel at the University of Stuttgart that was run by an engineer called Potov. He was an incredible person: I think he was Czech but he never told me. He designed a unique wind tunnel where the car was raised up in the air, which enabled him to better correlate the results seen on the road with results in the laboratory. We introduced the rear wing in Formula 1 after some of my work with Potov, but also following a few chats I had with Michael May: a brilliant Swiss aerodynamicist. Things were so different back then: you were exchanging ideas with other people all the time and going for dinner together even if they were from other organisations. There was a cross-flow of information that just doesn’t exist now.” Eberan von Eberhorst’s book (Das Organische Automobil) is perhaps the most consulted in Forghieri’s library. Look carefully and you can see traces of those 1930s Auto Unions in the 1974 Ferrari 312B – in the way that the bodywork wraps around the car’s contours – while the basic design of rear wing that appeared on the 1968 F1 Ferrari was first seen on a pre-war land speed record car. Forghieri’s mind is an encyclopaedia of painstakingly cultivated information. “My favourite design was probably the Ferrari ‘T’: the car with transverse gearbox,” he said. “It had a big influence on the packaging of the whole car and the handling – and it was the first Formula 1 car that had proper bodywork. There was some pressure to bring it in as soon as possible but I didn’t want to introduce the T in 1974, as it needed more work and development. So we had it for the 1975 season, which is when we were unbeatable. That car generated downforce that not even the English teams could understand – and that’s the highest compliment I can pay because I have a huge respect for the English teams. I also liked the 275GTB road car: it wasn’t actually a car I designed, but one that I worked on a lot and one of the prettiest cars Ferrari ever made.” Forghieri also didn't take long to identify his favourite driver. “Niki Lauda. I knew that if we gave Niki a competitive car, he would win if there were a chance. Unfortunately, after his accident in 1976, he tried to come back too soon. Not physically but psychologically: if Lauda had come back as the driver he was, he certainly wouldn’t have stopped at the last race in Japan and lost the championship. He came into the pits and told me: ‘Mauro, I don’t want to carry on.’ I said to him ‘OK, let’s say we had some problems’ – and it was true because we did have problems with the electrics in the rain. But Niki wouldn’t have it. He said: ‘No it’s my decision. You have to say this.’ And so we did.” But the sign of a truly great designer is when they can turn their minds to something that’s completely outside of their area. And what most people don’t know is that Forghieri is the man who basically invented the F1 motorhome: those shiny hospitality palaces that now litter every Formula 1 paddock. “In the 1960s, Formula 1 was a tough life because there were no proper pit garages or motorhomes,” Forghieri recalled. “At one British Grand Prix, our mechanics had to get by during the day with sandwiches and pies, then in the evenings we were out until late looking for restaurants. Afterwards we could be working on the cars until 4am. I said to myself one day: ‘to save time, why don’t we prepare some food ourselves?’ So we sent one of the mechanics to buy a big aluminium pan and made a cooker out of a welding torch. And we boiled some water and made spaghetti. The Lotus mechanics next door seemed pretty interested in what we were doing, so we fed them too. When we got home, Enzo Ferrari, who used to sign off all the expenses personally, said to me ‘you’ve spent less this time – how come?’ So I told him that we’d cooked at the circuit rather than eating out at a restaurant. And he was angry: ‘That’s shameful!’ he said. ‘Did people see you do it?’ I replied that they certainly did – and they wanted some too… So, I suggested that if next year he allowed us to take a caravan to races, we could cook and eat in it – not to save money, but to save time. Ferrari saw the sense in that and the caravan was purchased. So while we invented many things to do with the cars during my time at Ferrari – I must have done 24 or 25 cars – we also invented on-track catering and maybe something approaching the first motorhome!” Forghieri finally left Ferrari in the late 1980s, joining Lamborghini and finally becoming technical director of Bugatti, before winding down to happily concentrate on a series of freelance projects in semi-retirement. But he’ll always be known for his incredible legacy at Ferrari.
Lewis Hamilton, Ayrton Senna, Mario Andretti: icons such as are the pillars of motorsport legend, who most people have heard of. But for every Fangio, there’s a more unsung hero: every bit as quick as those household names, but with a bit less global recognition. Often though, their stories are even more incredible. Here are five of the most successful drivers in world motorsport who you may not have heard much of: Sebastien Loeb There’s a strong argument that rallying is the greatest test of driver skill in all of motorsport. Trees, snow banks and steep drops form the track limits, and there’s no chance to learn the route off by heart like in circuit racing. On that basis, there’s a case for saying that Sebastien Loeb is in fact the greatest driver of all time even though he’s hardly known outside of motorsport circles – except for in his native France. In 2012 he won his ninth consecutive World Rally Championship title, and promptly stepped away from full-time rallying. Loeb rewrote the record books: before him, no driver had ever won more than four titles, or scored more than 25 rally wins – a figure he would more than treble over his career. He’s demonstrated his talent in other areas of motorsport too and was once close to racing in Formula 1. As well as finishing second at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2006, he went on to win in GT cars, touring cars and rallycross and continues to compete occasionally in the WRC, claiming his 79th victory in Spain in 2018 Chris Amon Chris Amon is widely regarded to have been the best driver never to win a Formula 1 grand prix – and he was certainly the unluckiest. In 1966, the New Zealander won the Le Mans 24 Hours for Ford alongside compatriot Bruce McLaren and was also winning in the American Can-Am series for McLaren’s own team. Then came a call from Ferrari and a move to the most famous racing team of them all. In 1968 he had the speed to fight for the F1 title, claiming three pole positions, but not the reliability from his car. A subsequent move to the new March team was the first of many that didn’t work out, although he did win non-championship races with Matra. Stefan Bellof As a young German driver working his way up the ranks, Stefan Bellof’s talent was spotted by Porsche, which handed him a drive in its factory World Endurance Championship team. He took three wins in 1983 alongside Derek Bell, and also set a lap record in qualifying at the epic Nurburgring Nordschleife that would stand for 35 years. In 1984 he won the championship and also made his debut in Formula 1 with the Tyrrell team, joining Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna on the podium of the rain-affected Monaco Grand Prix. He had been lapping quicker than both when the race was stopped, which is a fact that everyone forgets – because that was when Senna was making his name. Bellof was killed the following year when he crashed while trying to overtake illustrious Porsche team-mate Jacky Ickx through the Eau Rouge corner during a 1000-kilometre race at Spa in Belgium. At the time, he had been due to meet Enzo Ferrari about a move to the famous Italian team. Quite possibly, this could have been the greatest driver that never was. Tom Kristensen Tom Kristensen never had the chance to race in F1, but he set the record for the greatest number of victories in one of the most famous races in the world, claiming nine wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Dane was a late call-up for his debut at Le Mans in 1997, but immediately mastered the challenge to win the race at the first attempt in a Porsche. He went on to claim six consecutive victories in the endurance race between 2000 and 2005: Five with the dominant Audi R8 and one with sister brand Bentley. Further wins with Audi came in 2008 and 2013. He’s even starred in a feature film last year – Heroes – about the greatest figures in motorsport. To win so often at Le Mans you need a special feeling with the car and the track, and unreal levels of concentration. Kristensen had it all. Scott Dixon New Zealand has a reputation for producing great drivers, and as well as the likes of Amon and McLaren, it has a modern-day great in Scott Dixon. Like Kristensen, Dixon never managed to break through into F1, but has a made a name for himself in IndyCar over in the United States. Since 2003, Dixon has won five IndyCar titles, his most recent coming in 2018. He’s also won 48 races and counting: only American legends AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti have more in North American open-wheel racing. You’ve probably never even heard of him, but he’s one of the most talented racers anywhere on track today.
It’s a partnership that’s simply iconic. Porsche and TAG Heuer are each giants of their respective worlds: car manufacturing and watchmaking. Two luxury brands with amazing and enduring worldwide reach. It’s little wonder that the pair have forged so much history together. And although racing fans perhaps just think of the sticker on the car, the two brands have enjoyed a much more far-reaching and practical collaboration. More than any other watch company, Heuer (which later became TAG Heuer) is synonymous with motorsport. And the partnership with Porsche, which has been in place since 1963, is now entering an even more developed stage as Porsche and TAG Heuer will work together to create the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph and part of a recently-announced long-term collaboration. Racing the Carrera The origins of their association go back even earlier: to the 1950s, when motor racing was a sport contested by gladiators rather than athletes. It was a sporting scene fraught with danger and death; trench warfare on four wheels. Look at the iconic TAG Heuer Carrera watch: named of course after the Porsche Carrera, which in turn takes its name from the Carrera Panamericana. This was a no-holds barred road race across Mexico, which took no prisoners – won by Porsche in 1954. There’s another reason why Mexico is key to the partnership between Porsche and TAG Heuer. Two Mexican brothers had such an impact on company boss Jack Heuer in the 1960s that motor racing became an obsession, which inevitably led him to Porsche. Those brothers were the Rodriguez siblings: Pedro and Ricardo. Jack Heuer met them at Sebring in 1963, and it was they who told him about the Carrera Panamericana: sowing the seeds for Jack’s latest idea. At the time, the brothers were driving for Ferrari, but Pedro in particular would go on to make a name for himself with Porsche. Sadly, both would perish in racing accidents before witnessing just how successful the Porsche-TAG Heuer partnership became, but their influence cannot be underestimated. The lure of the silver screen Such was the popularity of the Heuer Carrera (launched in December 1963) that many of the leading motor racing drivers of the 60s, 70 and 80s wore the timepiece throughout their careers. Bruce McLaren, Niki Lauda and Ayrton Senna – to name but a few – carried the Heuer and Carrera names on their wrists wherever they travelled. Heuer went on to launch a series of watches named after famous racing circuits too, from Monza to Montreal. But it was the cinema that probably cemented the symbiosis between Porsche, Heuer and motorsport. One of the most enduring cinematic images of all time is Steve McQueen with the Heuer brand on his overalls for the 1971 film Le Mans.McQueen had been inspired by another real racing driver – Jo Siffert, sponsored by Heuer – whose overalls he requested to imitate for the movie. In 2005, at the premiere of the film Jo Siffert: “Live Fast, Die Young”, Jack Heuer remembered the terms of their contract: “In exchange for CHF 25,000 [around £20,000] he would put our logo on his car and suit. In addition, he could buy our watches at wholesale prices and resell them to his racing friends at a substantial profit. Which he did with great success because half of the paddock was wearing Heuer watches by the end of the 1969 season!” It was this connection that led Steve McQueen to wear the Heuer logo on his racing suit during the filming of Le Mans in 1970, in which he drove a Porsche 917. The American actor said at the time, “I drive the same car as Jo Siffert, so I want to wear the same suit as him.”Siffert regularly wore a Heuer Autavia, but the Le Mans film makers wanted something a bit more distinctive for fictional Porsche driver Michael Delaney: which is how McQueen ended up wearing the iconic square Monaco. Into the future But it wasn’t just on the sponsorship and marketing side that TAG Heuer made an impact with Porsche. When the McLaren Formula 1 team ran Porsche engines in the 1980s, Heuer’s parent company TAG Group were the brand associated with the powerplant that took McLaren to the world titles in 1984, 1985 and 1986.TAG Heuer and Porsche have remained close partners ever since and the watchmaker currently sponsors for the Porsche team in the all-electric Formula E World Championship. Now, Porsche and TAG Heuer are opening another brand new chapter together thanks to what they call a “new strategic partnership” – which will result in many more Porsche-inspired watches in the future.Detlev von Platen, a member of Porsche’s executive board, announced the news at the beginning of April 2021 and said: “The strong friendship of our brand with TAG Heuer exists for decades and I am more than happy that we are now taking the next step. We bring together what our customers love most about both of us: authentic heritage, thrilling sports events, unique life experiences and the fulfilment of dreams. We both strive to create some unique magic moments for our communities. We now look forward to doing it together.” And we can’t wait to see the new watches…
If you're like me, combining the words 'Porsche' and 'Le Mans' instantly brings vivid thoughts of the insane looks and ferocious sound of the 917. The car that gave Porsche their very first overall win at Le Mans, setting them up on their journey to becoming the most successful team ever at the iconic French circuit. Although like many first time success stories, the 917 didn't exactly get off to a flying start (well it kind of did, thanks to the lack of aero...). The story begins in 1968 when the governing body of sports racing ruled that the sports prototype cars should have engines no larger than 3 liters, since the one-off prototype cars of the era were becoming far too fast and dangerous, however they also said that if a manufacturer could build 25 road going versions of the car then the engine limit would be raised to 5 liters. Porsche's head of motorsport at the time was Ferdinand Piëch, described as a very intense man he was absolutely obsessed with getting the overall win at Le Mans - so he decided to take the challenge of building the 25 of their new race car to enter the top class of Le Mans. This started the development of the 917, powered by a 5 liter flat-12 engine, the car was an absolute monster. In typical Porsche form the car was build to meticulous detail and was full of innovation to ensure that they had the edge over the competition. Innovations included a space frame chassis, built from many small tubes that play on the strength of a triangle, the entire chassis only weighed a total of 42KG. Each tube diameter was selected for a pre-determined strength calculation so they were only as big as they needed to be, with a very small strength margin - this meant that each chassis could typically only be used for one race, as they weren't designed to last any longer. Due to the design the chassis could be prone to cracking, which would then lead to a catastrophic end, so the tubes were pressurized with nitrogen and then monitored during the race, so that if the pressure dropped they knew that cracks were forming and could stop the car before more damage was done. In the cars first year they even used some of the chassis tubes as the oil tank, but this was later stopped as drivers were complaining of extreme heat in the cockpit.With Porsche's extreme weight saving approach the car came in at almost 800 kilograms. When you combine this with 621 break horsepower to give over 750 BHP per tonne you realize how much of a rocket ship this car really was, especially in 1969. Back when Porsche started development of the car they weren't the well-known giants of the car world that you know today, in fact they were a very small cash-starved company - and the race team was even smaller. So when Piëch decided to devote so many resources just to go for the win at Le Mans you can be sure that Ferry Porsche was not happy, it is said that there were many arguments about money/resources over the years, and it got to the point that Piëch actually personally guaranteed the development costs of the 917, as to not put the company at too much risk.You can be sure that money wasn't the only strain Piëch put on the company - when it came to getting the 25 cars checked and homologated for the Le Mans race, it was only a few months away. So everyone - really, everyone in the company was called to help. Office juniors, accountants and the likes were all hauled off into the production line to help get the cars ready. They had only just made the deadline but managed to get the cars signed off by the motorsport inspectors, giving them the go ahead to enter at Le Mans 1969. A total of 3 Porsche 917s started in the race, and despite the insane raw power of the car - it went disastrously. John Woolfe piloting a privately entered 917 fatally crashed on the first lap, triggering a change of rules for the following years to stop the traditional 'Le Mans start' (where the drivers had to run across the track to their car when the race started.) - and one by one all other 917s failed. The last car failed during the 22nd hour and was actually in the lead by 6 laps - showing the potential of the car (One of the cars was actually recorded going in insane 238MPH on the Mulsanne straight).Driver, Dickie Atwood did say that he was happy the car broke though as it was a 'monster' to drive. At high speeds the rear of the car was lifting off the ground, at times drivers said they could see the sky in the rear view mirror - not exactly what you want at 200+ MPH... Development was definitely needed if they were to succeed the next year. Le Mans 1970 Ahead of the 1970 race Porsche signed an agreement with John Wyer - previously of GT40 fame to help them with the development of the car, the JWA Gulf team would later become and official Porsche team and development partner. While testing at the Österreichring track in Austria chief engineer John Horsman noticed that there was a large amount of dead bugs splatted all over the front of the car but not at the tail - this told them that the airflow wasn't getting to the back of the car hence the massive instability and cornering issues that the car faced in the previous issue. They then proceeded to create a new tail for the car on the spot out of aluminium sheets taped together and retrofitted it to the car, after only 10 laps they could see a massive improvement and knew this was the direction the car needed to take - the birth of the 917K (Kurzheck, or "short tail"). With the instability tackled, Porsche took a total of 7 917s to the 1970 Le Mans race - a mixture of the new 917Ks developed by John Wyers gulf team and some new 917L's which were an updated version of the previous years longtail, piloted successfully by the Martini racing team. Although heavy rain starting taking them out one-by-one they ended up ending the race in the first and second position, giving Porsche their first ever win at Le Mans. The winning car was a 917K piloted by Richard 'Dickie' Attwood (Who piloted the leading 917 the previous year) and Hans Herrmann. The car was so dominant that they also won the next year with a 1-2 finish, breaking both the speed records and distance records in the process. The speed record would only be beaten around 20 years later, and the distance record not until 2010. (917's also broke the fastest qualifying and in-race lap records that year) 1971 would be the last year that the 917 graced the Le Mans race as the rules were then changed to limit engine size to 3 liters. They then set their sights on dominating the Can-Am championship, but that's a story for another day...
The DBR1 is a car often described as both the pinnacle of racing achievement and breath-taking design for Aston Martin, and it's really not hard to see why. The shapely DBR1 was designed as the successor to the DB3S, which was introduced in 1953 and gave Aston Martin the taste of success that the team needed to spur it on to create something truly remarkable. The DB3S never managed to win at Le Mans but it did take the fight to Ferrari, which was dominating the World Sports Car Championship at the time. Aston Martin managed a one-two finish at the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod in Ireland, as well as a win at the Goodwood Nine Hours in 1953. The team managed to place third in the championship at the end of the year, behind Jaguar with the C-Type and Ferrari with the 340 MM and Ferrari 375 MM. Notice had been served. In 1956 came the iconic DBR1, a car that was designed with the ultimate goal of winning at Le Mans. The project was started in 1955, as the team led by John Wyer and David Brown knew that the days of the DBR3S were numbered, with the latest rules change in the championship meaning that manufacturers no longer had to use cars that were road legal or even based on road-legal models. The DBR1 was developed by a tiny team lead by engineer Ted Cutting, who personally designed the body, engine, chassis, and suspension. The car had a rear transaxle (which was considered advanced at the time) and a new all-alloy racing engine in the front that offered a perfect 50-50 weight balance. The fact that the 3.0-litre straight six powerplant was extremely light and quite powerful meant that it could achieve speeds of up to 175mph at Le Mans. It is a car that was described by Stirling Moss as one of the best-balanced machines he ever drove. Ted Cutting later went on to work on the early stages of the Ford GT40 project with John Wyer in 1966, with Wyer also being associated with the dominance of the legendary Porsche 917K in later years. In a way, the DBR1 was also a sign of the brilliance that these influential men had to offer. The beautiful styling of the car was very similar to the other open-cockpit cars of the era that it raced against, such as the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa or the Jaguar D-Type. With long flowing curves, a wide front grille, and a bulbous rear end, it didn't have much in the way of aerodynamics but it was stylish and awe-inspiring: perfectly fitting to the gentleman driver aesthetic of the 1950s. The interior was typically simple, as race cars tended to be, but it also had a touch of English elegance thanks to a leather-wrapped dashboard contrasting against the wood-rimmed steering wheel. The DBR1 even had a recess in the body for an air hose connection, which would then feed jacks on the front of the car with compressed air to lift it, making it easy for mechanics to change wheels and brakes. The DBR1's Racing Achievement Considering the fact that Aston Martin was mostly focused on winning Le Mans, the car got off to a slow start: retiring in the 21st hour of its debut race at Le Mans in 1956, due to gearbox failure. It was a similar story in 1957 with both DBR1s failing to finish, followed by three DBR1s failing to finish in 1958. Through all this the car still showed promise. The team took victory at both Nurburgring 1000-kilometre races that it entered, and with all the experience and fine-tuning of the car that had been carried out by 1959, Aston Martin was ready to once again take the fight to Le Mans. Just a few weeks before the 1959 Le Mans race was the Nurburgring 1000 Kilometres. This was a race that Aston Martin had already won for the past two years, but with the focus on winning Le Mans, the team wasn't planning to enter a car in 1959. That was until Stirling Moss got involved. Having already won at the Nurburgring in the DBR1 the previous year, he was confident he could do it again, and so the Englishman convinced John Wyer to go for a third consecutive victory. Described as Sir Stirling’s finest drive – which is no small comment considering his illustrious race record – he was leading with a massive five-minute and five-second gap by the first driver swap on the 17th lap, achieved by breaking his own lap record a frankly unbelievable 16 times over. The car then went into the hands of his co-driver Jack Fairman just as the skies opened up and rain covered the track. Pretty quickly the Ferrari 250 TRs started making up time. With the pressure on, Jack slid the car firmly into a ditch. What came next can only be described as heroic. Being the strong guy that he was, Fairman managed to push the 800-and-something kilogram car out of the ditch and get back to the pits for a quick inspection and driver change. Moss re-entered the race in fourth position – not quite where he last left it, with a five-minute lead – and then spent the next 33 laps chasing down and overtaking the Porsche 718R5K and two Ferrari Testa Rossas that were ahead of him, before handing back to Fairman. Moss wouldn't be back until the final 10 laps, where he entered the race in second place behind Phil Hill in the factory Ferrari. Driving like a man possessed, Moss quickly overtook his rival and finished the race with an astonishing 41-second lead, proving not only the genius of his driving ability but also the full potential of the DBR1. Le Mans 1959 Just weeks after Aston’s epic battle at the Nurburgring, three DBR1s showed up at Le Mans to go for the gold, piloted by Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby, Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman, and Maurice Trintignant and Paul Frère. The practice session went well, with all the DBR1s performing similarly, although it was Ferrari that set the fastest pace in the new 250 TR/59. The now four-year-old Astons required modifications to keep up, one of which was a re-routing of the exhausts. Roy Salvadori had said that the abundance of heat around the pedals ended up burning his feet so badly that he actually had to wear boxing boots. Fortunately, that wasn't an issue for Shelby, who wisely wore asbestos driving shoes... The race got off to a great start with Moss and Fairman in the lead, battling with the Ferrari 250 TR/59 of Jean Behra and Dan Gurney. Unfortunately, only six hours into the race, the Moss-Fairman car had to retire with engine issues. Salvadori was later quoted as saying: “Moss was very unlucky. He was very gentle on his car and did not push it unduly. They could easily have won.” The pressure that they had put on the Ferrari meant that the Italian team was having to push harder than they planned, which contributed to all of the 250 TRs failing to finish the race. Disaster then struck for all the other cars in the top class, with the Porsche RSKs and Jaguar D-Types also being forced to retire. This presented an opportunity for the DBR1 to claim Aston Martin's first Le Mans win in 31 years of competing. While sticking to an agreed pace the remaining two cars finished the race in first and second positions. Salvadori and Shelby took the win at an average speed of 112.5mph throughout the race, which broke all records for their engine class in 1959, combined with incredible top speeds of 175mph down the Mulsanne straight. The winning crew had perfectly demonstrated the full potential of this now-legendary car. The 1959 World Sports Car Championship After the Le Mans win, Aston Martin was only two points behind Ferrari – which was leading the championship – and so the British squad had a new goal in sight: taking the title. Three cars were entered into the six-hour RAC Tourist Trophy at Goodwood to go for the win. Unfortunately disaster struck once again for Stirling Moss: his car (co-driven by Roy Salvadori) caught fire, also taking out the garage in the process. Moss was then put in the Fairman-Shelby car and ended up right back in the battle. He managed to finish the race one lap ahead of the second-placed Porsche 718 RSK to claim the win and the World Sports Car Championship. The DBR1 became one of only three cars in the 1950s to claim a win at Le Mans as well as the championship in the same year (alongside the Ferrari 375 Plus in 1954 and the Ferrari 250TR in 1958). That year would spell the end of sports car racing for Aston Martin, as the manufacturer moved to focus on Formula 1: a category it has only just returned to this year. The four remaining DBR1s were sold to private teams and raced for the next few years before being retired. In particular, a young driver by the name of Jim Clark drove a DBR1 in the 1960 and 1961 Le Mans 24 Hours, placing third in 1960 with Salvadori.
Our watches covered in the press: Our Man Behind The Wheel Motorsport Magazine Automobilsport Riders Magazine Ruetir Endurance Info Soy Motero Speedweek GP One
14 Day Returns If you aren't satisfied with your purchase for any reason, you can return it to us within 14 days for a full refund, as long as it is still in the original packaging and perfect condition. 2 Year Warranty We want you to have full peace of mind when purchasing a FORZO Watch, so regardless of where you are in the world your watch is guaranteed against manufacturing and mechanical defects for a period of 2 years from the date of purchase. Please note that any servicing or work carried out on your watch by anyone other than FORZO Watches (Unless authorized) within this 2 year period will invalidate this guarantee. IMPORTANT - Not covered by the 2 year guarantee: Damage caused by accident, misuse or lack of care. Over-winding hand-wound mechanical watches. Watch magnetization. Issues caused from adjusting the date wheel between 8pm - 2am. Water damage caused by not maintaining the water resistance (e.g. If the crown is left out). Batteries Damage to straps or bracelets caused by wear. If you need help with anything or have any more questions, please contact our customer service team. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +44 (0) 1684 252 686 Post: FORZO Returns, PO Box 185, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 9BL, UNITED KINGDOM
Superbike legend and television personality Carl Fogarty has partnered with British watch brand Forzo to launch a range of limited edition watches. The limited edition range will be launched on Kickstarter at the end of March 2021: just the first of a family of watch collections that will be released in future. Carl Fogarty, known affectionately around the world as ‘Foggy’, is a four-time World Superbike champion and a three-time Isle of Man TT champion, who famously held the record for the fastest-ever lap around the island circuit for seven years, with the unforgettable average speed of 123mph. Carl confesses to being more of an off-roader than a traditional road-runner, unsurprising considering it’s Foggy after all, but he does enjoy the routes around his native Yorkshire and has plans for more. We caught up with the seven-time world champion to find out more about his favourite driving roads, which surprisingly, are closer to home than some may think… Routes around Yorkshire “I think where I live is a really good area for riding bikes you know! We're quite lucky really. The roads over through Trotter Boland, Settle and what's it called; the Devil's Bridge, that’s it!”, Says Foggy. Yorkshire is a fantastic looking county in the north of England. Some of the routes that can be found in the area include the run from Hawes to Thwaite on Cliff Gate Road. It’s a pretty famous road that hosted the start of the Tour de France in 2014 but if you fancy a longer route, the run from Helmsley to Stokesley on the B1257 provides 19 miles of scenic landscape to accompany your ride. Routes around the Lake District The Lake District is arguably one of the most sought after spots in the United Kingdom, with views and landscapes that are truly breathtaking, it’s no wonder Foggy picks this area for a ride. “The Lake District is nice and the roads around the Lake are also great” says Foggy. There are several routes for prospective riders to take, including the Keswick 23 mile loop and Coniston 42 mile loop, which will keep your bikes ticking over nicely – you could even combine the two and ride from the Dales to the District! Routes around Kendal Kendal is a quintessential British town in the South Lakeland District of Cumbria. Situated between Windermere and Lancaster beside the river Kent, one of the most famous routes in the UK can be found here. The A684 is a wonderful route that starts west of the Stramongate Bridge in Kendal and finishes right next to the Yorkshire Moors – a 67.1 mile stretch! The routes around the TT “I suppose you could do, ride around the TT circuit! Trouble is when you race there and you go on for a ride down the road and there's trucks and cars coming in the way, it's not quite the same really!” admits Foggy. The North Coast 500 “The lads now we're just talking about doing this NC500 and I'd never even heard of it; the North Coast 500, if you Google it, we start at Inverness and go right round and then you finish at Inverness so it's around Scotland. The scenery, your views and the roads just look fantastic so I guess you’re probably asking the question at the wrong time. Once I've done that run, it will probably, I'm guessing top off what I've ever done on a bike on roads because I've not done a lot of road rides, I've got to be honest; more off-road riding but there’s a trip where some of the lads were on about doing maybe America next year, year after; the Route 66 so there are a few things on the bucket list that I look forward to doing in the next couple years when we get this COVID thing out the way” says Foggy.
Superbike legend and television personality Carl Fogarty has partnered with British watch brand Forzo to launch a range of limited edition watches. The limited edition range will be launched on Kickstarter at the end of March 2021: just the first of a family of watch collections that will be released in future. Carl Fogarty, known affectionately around the world as ‘Foggy’, is a four-time World Superbike champion and a three-time Isle of Man TT champion, who famously held the record for the fastest-ever lap around the island circuit for seven years, with the unforgettable average speed of 123mph. We caught up with the seven-time world champion to find out a bit more… How did the collaboration with Forzo come about? “I’ve always loved watches but never been involved in putting my own mark on a watch, so as soon as I heard about the Forzo project, I knew that it was something I wanted to do. I’ve not done anything like that with a watch before: had my own name on it and helped design it. I’ve always had a watch on my wrist though, and the great thing about watches too is that the value of them holds very well: in fact it goes up. The watches I've bought are worth more money now than when I first bought them. Hopefully that will be the case with this Forzo watch too. That’s why we wanted a limited small number, so people are going to get a really nice, cool watch that holds its money and hopefully goes up in value, because it’s a limited edition.” What are the sort of watches you like? “At the moment I’ve got a TAG on my wrist; the Ayrton Senna watch. And I’ve got a Rolex too. I guess I like quite chunky watches with steel bracelets: I’m more into those than leather straps. That’s the sort of look I’ve tried to bring into the Foggy watch.” How does it work with the Forzo team? “It’s just a good fit. I trust them with designs that they think will suit my image and associate with me and that people will like. I’m not a watch expert myself. I’ve just suggested the design and added some personal touches; highlighting the number one and the Foggy logo with the racy feel of stainless steel or carbon. Forzo was pretty much in the ballpark straight away with the original concept though, and one of the strengths of the partnership is that we see things in the same way.” You’ve had 220 starts in 13 years of World Superbikes, winning 59 races and four World Superbike titles. Is there a highlight of your career? “I think the highlight is obviously winning the world championship and becoming world champion. I’m proud of all the world titles, but maybe the first one, which we took in Australia, most of all. It was under dramatic circumstances on the other side of the world at the last round of the year. To come away with the world championship for the first time felt very emotional, very special. To repeat that a few more times and, at the same time, win big races and world championships on road circuits too is a bit rare. And for 25 years after I retired as the most successful Superbike rider of all time, that record of race wins and title stood. It’s only recently been broken, so those achievements are certainly something I look back on with a lot of pride. Hopefully that’s reflected in the watch.” What’s your favourite circuit? “I’d say it was Assen. The old Assen circuit I mean; the new one isn’t the same. For somebody who always carried a high cornering speed like I did, that kind of circuit was what it was all about. It was all to do with cornering speed there, which suits my style, and once the bike was working right, I could win a lot of races. In fact, I won 12 out 14 races there, and the two I lost, I lost by just half a wheel. In the UK, my favourite track is Donington Park. Same reason really: it’s all about the cornering speed.” And your favourite bike? “That would probably be the second year of racing the 916 Ducati, which was in 1995. I think it was pretty much the perfect bike. This was a brand new bike in 1994 and it took around a year of ironing out the little things to get it absolutely perfect for me by 1995. By then, I really felt that I could just about make it do anything, on any circuit. It was brilliant.” What about the Isle of Man TT? You had the lap record there in 1992, with the incredible 123mph lap that’s celebrated by the first range of limited-edition Forzo watches… “Actually, I think if things had been right the year before in 1991, I believe I could have done 125mph that year to be honest – but the bike was misfiring. To come away from that, almost forget about it, and go on to World Superbikes was bizarre. But it was great to come back and show that I was still the fastest guy around the most famous road circuit in the world. My dad used to race there, so as a kid that was all my childhood memories: plus we had four weeks off school, which was great! Once you see something like that and are brought up with it, chances are you’re probably going to do it yourself one day. When you look back at your career, to know that you’ve had that – you were once the fastest-ever around there – still feels very special.” How did you do it: set a 123mph average lap speed? “I was pushing hard that year, despite the fact that the bike was in pretty terrible condition: falling apart really. But I didn’t think the record would stand for seven years: which is rare. Most of all, I’m lucky that I’m still around to talk about it. Lots of guys aren’t.” In 2014, you won “I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here!” What else have you been up to since stopping your riding career? “I've cut back on lots of stuff over the years. I want to start spending more time going away and enjoying life a little bit. I enjoy riding so I still get my kicks. I go out with the lads on the bikes; road trips and rides out. Especially when you go in the summer: just getting out on the motocross bike; I love it – and long may that continue!” What bikes do you own now? I've still got the bike that I won the World Championship with. I’ve got a few off-road bikes, a few little dirt bikes. That’s mostly it, although I’ve also got a couple of CCMs, which is a bike company I’m involved with now. Then I’ve got the Ducati Megelli limited edition Number 1, a 500. But it’s not that many bikes I have really. Most people I know from racing have a lot but I honestly don’t. If I can’t ride them, I don’t really want them to sit there doing nothing.” Do you miss racing? “No I don’t actually. It’s strange: I did for quite a few years, just after retiring I guess. I found it really difficult to follow bike racing back then, but from probably 2010 onwards, it’s not really bothered me at all. I enjoy watching it now, and I follow MotoGP, World Superbike and British Superbikes but I don’t miss competing. If I was to think about getting on one of those things and trying to race it around Donington, I’d be in so much pain after a few laps that it wouldn’t be much fun!” How would you sum up the Foggy Forzo watch in three words? “Stylish, precise, reliable. A bit like me!”
"We are about to begin the final build up of our two LMH's. We will use three shifts and build 24/7. We are trying to work out live streaming the entire final build. Our final 60% aero test showed we are exactly where we want to be. We will roll out mid February. We will have our final pre Homologation test March 15-16. Next Friday we will announce the rest of our drivers and a Major Sponsorship deal for The Baja 1000, The N24, The WEC, Le Mans, Paris to Dakar and all of our road legal vehicles. All is good between us and IMSA and we look forward to racing our LMH under convergence. We also look forward to the scrapping of GTE/GTLM and the replacing of it with GT3 which we believe will happen. Our 004 GT3 will be ready. Our fully FMVSS EPA compliant road vehicle production is under way. We have a backlog that is kissing 2 years. We're expanding our factory to be able to produce 300 cars a year. We will have our two LMH's at WEC season opener. A bit going on..." - Glickenhaus
As we move into 2021 most people are looking to the future, but Glickenhaus always remember to look back - to reflect on their achievements and everything they have learned leading up to this point. Very important as they prepare for the headlining Hypercar class at Le Mans later in the year, which will rely on all the expertise and experience they have learned over the past decade. "At this time of year we tend to look forward and backwards.So far we've finished 9/9 24 Hour Endurance races and 2/2 Baja 1000's.This year we'll race 2 cars at The N24, 2 cars at Le Mans, 2 Boots at The Baja 1000, deliver 40 road legal examples of our race cars for the road to customers, begin our factory expansion to be able to build 300 vehicles per year, build and offer our 008 Paris to Dakar/Dune buggy, build and deliver our 006 Spyder and GT4, develop our Hydrogen ideas, likely become cash breakeven, refine our production, work on our margins and enjoy ourselves. All is good." - Glickenhaus
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus is a creator of dreams. An American supercar company that can turn its hand to more or less anything, making the impossible possible. Glickenhaus is simply the partner we’ve always been looking for. From our very early discussions with Jim and Jesse Glickenhaus, it was clear that we were absolutely on the same page, sharing a common vision of how we interact with people and go about our business. The sheer enthusiasm and passion with which SCG approaches their world is a perfect match for our own outlook, as well as a shared appreciation for the rich history and heritage of motorsport. We both see what we do as a lot more than simply business: we want to tell stories and inspire people in the same way that we’ve been lucky to be inspired ourselves. Together with Glickenhaus we are working on a very special range of products that capture the stories of our two brands perfectly and really allow the FORZO community to get involved, we can't wait to show you more so make sure to keep an eye on our blog & social channels for future updates!
Motorsport hasn’t only delivered some of the most expensive cars in the world (a Ferrari 250 GTO sold at auction in California for more than $48 million dollars two years ago, for example) but also one the world’s most prized watches. Paul Newman was a star of Hollywood and additionally a pillar of the motor racing community, having won several national championships as a driver in the United States, not to mention a few more as a team owner in Indycar racing. Incredibly for an amateur, he also finished second at the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours, at the wheel of a Porsche. Competing well into his 80s, he even took pole in his last race – so petrol coursed through his veins as freely as acting. The intersection of these two glamorous worlds made him at the time the most marketable personality of his day: the very first true king of cool. And that’s why his personal watch was the equivalent of a Ferrari 250 GTO. In New York three years ago, his 1968 Rolex Daytona sold for $15.5 million, making it the most expensive watch in the world at the time: nearly a third of the price of the Ferrari, for a lot less metal. In fact, by the time fees were added on, the Daytona exchanged hands for $17.5 million, shattering the previous record for expensive watches (a Patek Philippe, which was sold for $11 million). Newman’s Daytona was originally a present from his wife, Oscar-winning actress Joanne Woodward, which she reportedly gave him in in 1972, bought from Tiffany’s in New York. And there was a special reason. Newman had always loved motorsport, long before he played fictional racing driver Frank Capua in the 1969 film ‘Winning’. In preparation for the role he went to the Watkins Glen racing school near New York – and that was the start of a lifelong addiction to going faster. He entered his first professional race at the Thompson International Speedway in Connecticut, and that’s when he was given the emblematic Rolex Cosmograph Daytona – which he wore for most of the of the rest of his life. But it wasn’t a new design of watch: Woodward chose a reference 6241 with an ‘exotic’ black and cream dial that was produced for only two years – 1969 and 1970 – and eventually came to be known as the ‘Paul Newman’ model. The nickname didn’t actually arise until the 1980s: simply because by then there had been so many photos around of him wearing it, so the association stuck. She had her husband’s watch engraved on the back with the legend: ‘Drive Carefully, Me’ – a direct allusion to Newman’s tendency to go as quickly as possible. This occasionally got him into trouble. He always cited as ‘Newman’s first law’: “it’s useless to put your brakes on when you’re going upside down.” Newman’s second law was: “just when things look darkest, they go black.” So that engraving was probably an appropriate warning. And her choice of watch turned out to be spot-on for another reason. Daytona was inexorably linked with Newman’s life from beginning to end, as he also became the oldest driver to form part of a winning team at a major race, when he took a class victory at the 1995 Daytona 24 Hours – aged 70. So the Newman Daytona might just be the single most famous watch in the world. It spans Hollywood and racing, appealing to those who love cars as well as those who love films – and of course fans of iconic watches. And it all came down to the speed and romance of motorsport. Although Newman only owned one, between 2000 and 3000 of these watches were made at the time. Unbelievably, the ‘exotic dial’ that was their defining characteristic actually made them quite unfashionable during the 1960s and 70s: there were even reports of many being sold for as little as half price. It was only in the early 1980s that interest began to pick up, gathering a momentum as time passed that would become seemingly unstoppable. By the very end of the 1980s it was a $1500 watch, and by the early 2000s values were past the $100,000 mark, before the million dollar threshold was breached in 2013. Newman gave his Daytona to James Cox: a former boyfriend of Newman’s daughter Nell, back in 1984. That was a remarkable act of generosity, but at the time similar models of the watch were selling for around $250, so it would have been hard to imagine such a stratospheric increase in value. It was Cox who put the watch up for auction three years ago (although he did donate a “significant proportion” of the proceeds to the Nell Newman charitable foundation, so don’t think too badly of him…) If you want a Newman Daytona watch now, you’ll need around a quarter of a million dollars (depending on the exact variant) but that’s very much the cheap end of the market for an example with uncertain provenance. If you want Newman's own – and we’re not talking about salad dressing here – you might just end up needing the sort of money that will buy a Ferrari 250 GTO. Or something even more expensive.
As you might know, Forzo is a new watch brand that unites classic themes seen throughout the history of motorsport with cutting-edge design. Our products are designed for the petrolhead with a love for watches, just like us. We have now created a community Facebook group, which is where we will discuss new designs & anything interesting in the watch and car worlds, gathering important feedback to make sure our products perfectly evoke that classic racing spirit from a bygone era. We would love it if all of our like-minded readers could get involved in the design process and development of the brand by joining our community page. The Forzo project is a concept of presenting that incredible passion of classic motorsport into a nostalgic yet refreshing product, and that can only be made possible by the support and valuable feedback of our community. Get your voice heard & join the group here.
Ask anybody what makes a motorsport event truly special and almost everyone will talk about noise and atmosphere, perhaps with a bit of heritage thrown in. But picking just six of the best? That’s really hard. Anyway, after a lot of head-scratching, we’ve finally done it. Here are the six events that we reckon every aficionado needs to visit: 1. Indy 500 Built in 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a staple of the American scene and the 500-mile race – traditionally taking place over the Memorial Day weekend in late May – is one of the biggest, most prestigious events on the calendar. And it’s easy to see why: modestly billed as ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Motor Racing’. The build-up to the Indy 500 spans the entire month of May, with qualifying taking place two weeks prior to the actual race. With speeds of over 225mph, qualifying is ruthless and cares little for reputations of driver and teams, as double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso from Spain found out last year when he sensationally failed to make the 33-car grid. Hasta la vista. 2. Monaco GP The unique spectacle of the Monaco Grand Prix normally takes place on the same weekend as the Indy 500, albeit several hours before due to the time difference. Which surely makes that Sunday the greatest racing day of the year? One of the very few circuits to have featured in every Formula 1 season – before being cancelled this season due to the coronavirus outbreak – Monaco stands out as one of the most luxurious, and gloriously ludicrous, events of any sporting calendar. The fact is, if it were introduced tomorrow, it would never have been allowed. While the tight confines of the circuit make overtaking difficult, the atmosphere is second to none. And you don’t have to be made of money to attend either. Thursday practice and Saturday qualifying ticket prices range between €60 and €130 while Friday’s non-F1 action is free. Perch yourself at the top of the Rocher near the palace or at one of the many grandstands and you’re guaranteed to be left in awe of the speed, noise and atmosphere. There’s nowhere like Monaco. 3. Daytona 500 If the Indy 500 is the stand-out event for single seater racing in the US, then Daytona is the stock car jewel in the crown. While NASCAR attendance has dipped in recent years, the Daytona 500 – dubbed the Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing – has always delivered and is one of the most televised motorsport events in the world. Spectating areas are plentiful for fans as they watch more than 40 cars bash the hell out of each other over 500 miles. And what’s even better, is that they are able to marvel at the race-winning car – in the condition in which finished the race – at their leisure for a year in the Daytona 500 Experience museum, situated adjacent to the circuit. One for the ultimate road trip. 4. Dakar Rally A true test of endurance for both competitors and machinery. While the gruelling marathon rally now takes place a long way from its African origins, it still holds a fierce reputation of being one of the world’s toughest endurance events. Currently based in Saudi Arabia after a stint in South America, the Dakar is best watched on TV rather than in person, due to its desert environment and incredibly long stages (although you can attend if you’re brave enough). Regardless of where it is held, the scenic views are superb and the challenge for the cars, trucks, bikes and quads competing is as close to an Iron Man for engines as you can get. 5. Bathurst 1000 Australians love their motorsport and head to the romantically-named Mount Panorama circuit as far as a week in advance, camping at the top of the circuit to overlook famous bends such as Reid Park, McPhillamy and Skyline. There are 23 corners in total and very little run-off, so this makes it a proper old-school test of Aussie grit for the V8 stock cars and their drivers. The race lasts around six hours and can throw up any number of eventualities, but the real value comes in the epic Top 10 Qualifying Shootout. This is where the cars are at their fastest and the drivers at their peak, in search of a top grid spot. Bathurst is more than a simple race weekend, it’s an annual pilgrimage. Get there, one day, if you can. 6. Isle of Man TT The TT is the pinnacle of motorcycle road racing. Set on the public roads of the island, riders from all over the world tackle the natural elements – bumps, trees, bushes, lampposts and even houses – in search of the quickest time. As a time trial it’s a race against the clock rather than other riders, but most of all, it’s simply a gob-smacking spectacle. Bikes reach unthinkable speeds, lifting off the ground several times per lap, and riders occasionally have to duck to avoid hitting houses, walls, and street signs around blind corners. Those are probably the best viewing spots in motorsport. It’s as close to the action (and the notion of gladiatorial combat) as you can possibly get in the modern era, and the danger is always there. But it’s an adrenaline-filled experience for spectators as much as it is for the competitors themselves. You won’t believe it until you see it for yourself
If it looks fast, then it probably is. The design and engineering of a car is what makes it go quickly, but the paint job is always what makes it appear even faster. We’ve selected some of the most iconic livery designs of motorsport history, whose colours are synonymous with the golden age of racing and rallying. Marlboro McLaren A livery doesn’t necessarily have to win races and championships to become iconic, but it certainly helps. And few liveries have been as successful in motorsport as the Marlboro-branded McLarens. The partnership yielded a Formula 1 title in its first year in 1974 with Emerson Fittipaldi and again with James Hunt two years later. Gradually, the scheme evolved into the bold and straightforward white-and-bright-red chevron design (mimicking the Marlboro logo and cigarette packaging) that adorned the team’s dominant cars of the 1980s and early 1990s, winning seven championships in eight years with Niki Lauda, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. Marlboro later focused its support on rival team Ferrari and won five straight titles with Michael Schumacher, but the visual impact of the McLaren partnership was far greater. Lotus John Player Special They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, and few motorsport liveries have been copied as much as the Lotus John Player Special design. In Formula 1 alone, the black-and-gold colour scheme has been reimagined twice in the last decade, but they didn’t come close to the class of the original. Team Lotus already had some iconic liveries before the arrival of JPS. Its own green-and-gold colours were replaced by the red, white and gold of Golf Leaf – considered to be F1’s first commercial sponsorship. The JPS colours were immediately taken to back-to-back world championship by Emerson Fittipaldi in 1972 and 1973, while Mario Andretti claimed another in 1978. Ayrton Senna added to its legacy with his first F1 victories in the final years of the JPS Lotus partnership in 1985-86. Martini Lancia The famous Martini Racing stripes – dark blue, light blue and red – have appeared on a huge array of different cars from across motorsport. In the 1970s, they were taken to three victories at the Le Mans 24 Hours with Porsche, as well as to wins in Formula 1 with the Brabham team. Martini is most associated however with fellow Italian brand Lancia. The partnership began in sportscar racing in 1981 and expanded to also cover rallying one year later, adorning some of the most iconic rally cars ever made across the next 11 seasons until Lancia quit rallying. In that time, it claimed seven manufacturers’ championships and four drivers’ titles. The Martini stripes would later reappear in rallying with Ford and even returned to Formula 1 with Williams between 2014 and 2019. Gulf Porsche The Gulf Racing colours of light blue and orange are instantly recognisable. Best known for sportscar racing, the Gulf colours have appeared on a number of different makes of car, first making their mark on the Ford GT40s that won at Le Mans in 1968 and 1969. The most famous Gulf car is probably the subsequent Porsche 917, even though it never won at Le Mans in those colours. Not in reality, anyway. It did win with Steve McQueen behind the wheel in the film Le Mans. Gulf-liveried 917s took victories in numerous other sportscar races. In recent times, the Gulf colours have returned to sportscar racing, firstly in partnership with the factory Aston Martin team, and now back on a Porsches as the privateer Gulf Racing team. 555 Subaru The World Rally Championship might have lost the Martini Lancias in 1992, but it gained some brilliant liveries over the following years: Castrol Toyotas, Marlboro Mitsubishis and Martini Fords. But the most iconic was the 555 Subaru. The dark blue background, yellow stickers and gold wheels were very simple but incredibly effective. It helped that these were the colours with which Colin McRae claimed his first and only world championship in 1995, after a battle with team-mate Carlos Sainz. Richard Burns and Petter Solberg also took world titles at the beginning of the 21st century. So successful was the livery that Subaru maintained the same colours on its WRC cars for several years after the 555 tobacco money departed.
What springs to mind when watching a racing car being driven to within an inch of its life around a circuit? Speed and power for sure, but also style. There’s a certain finesse when a car is thrown about by some of the world’s most skilled drivers, which some would call beauty in motion. Throughout history, a plethora of fascinating racing cars have piqued imagination, stimulated minds and garnered passion for the sport. Here are five of the most stylish cars from the past: each with their own unique stories and folklore. Lotus 49 Formula 1 in the 1960s was very different affair to the modern equivalent, but technical innovation was just as important then as it is now. The Lotus 49 was new for 1967 and, after a season of mechanical misfortune the previous year, the team and its star drivers – Jim Clark and Graham Hill – were looking for better luck. The combination of a superbly dynamic chassis and custom-built Ford Cosworth DFV engine (which would win races right up until the dawn of the turbocharged formula in the 1980s) delivered it. Clark took the car to victory on its debut at the Dutch Grand Prix, without even having tested it previously. The Lotus 49 won the championship the following year, 1968, and then again in 1970. Lancia Stratos The Alitalia-branded Lancia Stratos, which pounded the roads of the World Rally Championship in the 1970s, was revolutionary when it was launched and remains a fan favourite today. In the hands of Italian Sandro Munari and Swede Bjorn Waldegard, the Ferrari-engined Stratos won three consecutive WRC titles between 1974 and 1976. The design of the car was almost futuristic, but perfect for the forward-thinking mindset of a racing driver. Low to the ground and pointed in its aero, it was a mighty machine on the WRC scene, but also in rallycross and racing. Auto Union Type D Auto Union (now known as Audi) was one of the leading lights in the pre-war period with its Type C. Development of the Type D did not produce the same sort of success, as Mercedes-Benz entered a period of utter dominance in 1938 and 1939. But the Type D was still an innovative piece of machinery. The original Porsche-designed V16 engine was modified into a V12 when the Grand Prix regulations changed ahead of 1938, meaning three-litre supercharged engines were the norm. With Tazio Nuvolari at the wheel, the team was able to score victories that might have seemed unlikely in the face of Mercedes opposition. The maverick Italian was nearing the end of his illustrious career but was still able to pull off wins at Donington Park and Monza in 1938 with his imposing Auto Union, adding the Belgrade non-championship race in 1939. Audi Quattro A cornerstone of the Group B rallying era, the Audi Quattro was a trailblazer which turned the World Rally Championship into a full-blown four-wheel-drive turbocharged formula. Audi has always been renowned for its innovative approach to racing and this period at the start of the 1980s was no different. Four-wheel-drive was actually allowed before the majority of the WRC field moved away from two-wheel-drive, but the benefits were not necessarily seen by the other manufacturers at the time. Audi, on the other hand, did see them and following early success became the experts at getting the most out of their ground-breaking system, delivering world titles for Walter Rohrl and Stig Blomqvist. Ferrari P3 Curvaceous, fast and sexy: the Ferrari P3 had pretty much everything. When you think of Ferrari, you think of performance, elegance and tradition. The P3 had all of this in abundance and it helped to promote the brand across the globe, following its success on the track as well as some of motorsport’s most epic road races. It looked like nothing else on earth. With elegant wheel arches, a distinctive dome-shaped centre section, and an aggressive aero package, it was a true beast of a car. Eventually converted into the next-generation P4 car, the P3 won the 1000 kilometres of Monza race in 1966 and the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967. The latter victory was a dominant result for Ferrari, and something of a revenge after the Italian squad’s humbling defeat to Ford at the previous year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.