Which are the watches most closely associated with Formula 1?

Ben Adams
22 Aug , 2022

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

Lewis Hamilton is a brand ambassador for IWC

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

ORACLE RED BULL RACING PILOTS

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.

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