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F1 & WATCH BRANDS

The F1 season is ready to start and the work done by LibertyMedia (the owner of F1 rights) brought the competition to reach a never experienced before global interest, consequently it’s unsurprising that many watch brands wanted to sponsor the involved teams. Such collaborations and relationships made possible to create amazing new timepieces with roots in the world of races.In this article we will show the brands that currently sponsor F1 Teams and some of the well known watches born from the F1 circuits.

Richard Mille – Ferrari & McLaren

Richard Mille is probably the most innovative watch brand of the past twenty years and, as the company motto says, its watches are “a racing machine on the wrist”. Indeed, they take inspiration from both the design and the spirit of innovation we can find in the racing world to create watches able to be used in extreme conditions, and their timepieces can be found on the wrist of many iconic F1 drivers and characters, such as Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Fernando Alonso and Jean Todt. In 2024, Richard Mille continued to sponsor the two most iconic and successful F1 teams, Ferrari and McLaren, honoring the long term agreements signed in 2021 and 2016 respectively. Therefore, Richard Mille watches can be spotted around the paddock on the wrist of Ferrari and McLaren drivers and top management. In particular, Charles Leclerc (Ferrari driver) and Lando Norris (McLaren driver) are ambassadors of the brand and we are curious to see which watches of the current collection will be worn during the season. For sure, we expect to see the incredible RM UP-01 Ferrari, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch ever created, on the wrist of important public figures, like Ferrari President (John Elkann) or Ferrari CEO (Benedetto Vigna). 

During the last years, the watch that we have seen mostly on the Ferrari and McLaren representatives’ wrists has undoubtedly been the RM 67-02, the ultra-thin and super lightweight (32g strap included!) automatic watch that results to be very suitable to customizations, like the following ones: 

  • Charles Leclerc edition

  • McLaren edition

  • “Italy edition” worn by Ferrari top managers only



Tudor – Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

In the past years, Tudor was one of the brands that increased their popularity the most among watch enthusiasts. Their sport models are so successful in the high-end entry level price point that they are quicking setting a new benchmark for this specific market segment. In 2023, Tudor surprised the industry by becoming the official sponsor of the Alinghi Sailing RedBull Team, adding to the catalog two new titanium/carbon models (a time only and a chrono), which resulted to be a clear sign of the brand’s aggressive market strategy. Nevertheless, on February 1st 2024, Tudor enlarged its presence on racing competitions even more by announcing its sponsorship with the Visa CashApp F1 Team (former AlphaTauri), a team which belongs again to the RedBull universe, and their two drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda. Since 1953 Tudor supported racers of both cars and motorbikes, therefore this new beginning for Tudor shows the importance they give to their heritage.

In the same way they designed two watches for Alinghi we can expect a new limited edition for the recently re-named F1 team releasing this year.


Moser – Alpine

A few weeks ago, Alpine, the historic French brand associated with Renault, and Moser announced the beginning of their collaboration starting from the F1 season 2024. Recently, Moser has been able to carve out a good portion of independent watch enthusiasts, primarily thanks to new designs and experimentation with new materials, especially when it comes to the dials. Taking the step to become the official sponsor of such an important team like Alpine will allow the brand not only to have an incredible global showcase but also to experiment with new creations and designs for the future collections.

Edouard Meylan, the CEO di H. Moser & Cie, revealed that his love for the french brand started when he was really young and his father, a rally driver, used to drive the legendary Alpine A110. He also revealed that the collaboration between them will be not just on the F1 tracks but also in many more motorsport races where Alpine will compete. Indeed, all we have to do now is wait and see what emerges from the collaboration between these two brands. As we’ve become accustomed to seeing in recent years on the gloves of the Mercedes drivers, we’ve already noticed a watch design on Gasly and Ocon’s gloves during the Bahrain tests, particularly the Streamliner Chrono.

Tag Heuer – RedBull

The partnership between the reigning world champion team, Red Bull Racing, and TAG Heuer began in 2016, continuing to this day after the team’s successful years. The racing world is part of the Tag Heuer DNA, and even Heuer in the past. For instance, they were official sponsors of Ferrari and the legend Niki Lauda during the ‘70s, and Mario Andretti, winner of the 1978 F1 Championship, is often seen with his iconic gold Carrera. Therefore it’s not the first time the watch brand is associated with world class drivers and they took the opportunity to be on the wrist of Max Verstappen. It’s easy to see him wearing during the racing weekend his personal special edition Monaco, gifted to him after his first championship in 2021. On their catalog it’s easy to see how this partnership impacts on their current production, offering many models and special editions both mechanical and more affordable with a quartz movement.

IWC – Mercedes

Mercedes AMG is the most successful team of the last 10 years in F1, thanks to 7 driver’s championships (six won by Lewis Hamilton and one by Nico Rosberg in 2016) and 8 constructor’s championships.During this incredible era, IWC was a partner of the team and it was easy to spot the IWC watches printed on the lift gloves of the Mercedes drivers.

Thanks to the collaboration with the Mercedes AMG F1 team and the ideas provided by the drivers themselves, IWC released multiple special editions of its iconic models. One of the most sought after models is the 41mm Pilot Chronograph, often worn by both Hamilton and Russell, and the perpetual calendar specifically dedicated to the Team principal and owner Toto Wolff.

Rolex

Even though Rolex does not sponsor any specific team,it plays a huge role within the F1 world, being an Official Partner of the championship and the official timekeeping sponsor of the whole competition since 2012. The heritage of Rolex and its link to car racing is second to none, considering especially both their loved vintage and modern chronographs produced, and their current connection with F1 confirms that.

Which watches you’d like to see during the season on the drivers’ wrists?

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