Here in Singapore, it’s that high-octane, adrenaline-fueled time of the year again. The roads are cordoned off, the grids are in place, and the world waits with bated breath in anticipation for the Singapore Grand Prix. We’re counting down the hours before the race starts and what better way to do so than with race-sanctioned timepieces?
There aren’t many partnerships between industries as symbiotic as watchmaking and motorsports. It’s a logical association given the precision mechanics that go into the creation of both watches and cars, as well as the demographic that they appeal to. Over the years, several high profile watch brands have worked with various Formula One teams, creating some fantastic limited edition timepieces for both F1 fans and collectors alike to covet.
Here are some of our favourites.
Bell & Ross BR-X1 R.S.18
Limited to just 250 pieces, Bell & Ross’ futuristic skeletonised chronograph from Baselworld earlier this year pays tribute to the Renault Sport Formula One team, that the brand has partnered with since 2016. It’s a watch that closely mimics the racing car’s formula, with a microblasted lightweight titanium case. The yellow and red inserts found on the dial pay homage to the same colours found on the Renault Sport cars.
Casio Edifice Scuderia Toro Rosso Limited Edition ECB-800TR-2A
Japanese watchmaker Casio’s Edifice range has always been targeted at business professionals and the functionality of its timepieces reflects that target market. On the new collaborative piece between the Scuderia Toro Rosso team and the brand, the Smartphone Link allows for automatic time adjustments, a speed indicator, world time for 300 cities worldwide, as well as lap timing for the racers in us all. It’s a watch that pairs well with the cars, given the red and blue stylings, with the carbon fiber plate bezel.
Hublot Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph
There have been over 50 different timepieces commemorating the partnership between Hublot and Ferrari but we feel nothing sums it up best than last year’s Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph. Unlike the timepieces that came before it, Hublot actually allowed Ferrari to design the watch instead, letting the Prancing Horse’s unique elements truly shine on a watch. With Hublot’s expertise in materials providing expansive playing room, the designers managed to create a watch that stands out exactly like a Ferrari would in an HDB carpark.
IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition 50th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG
Given that IWC celebrated its 150th anniversary this year and released a collection of lacquer-dialled timepieces celebrating the past, there were no new Ingenieur pieces at SIHH. However, last year’s Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition 50th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG more than makes up for it. The titanium-cased watch features IWC’s own in-house chronograph movement cal. 89361. While the colour combination is in obvious tribute to Mercedes-AMG, the coolest feature of the watch is the caseback with a sapphire pane that lets you gaze at the brake disc on the back of the watch.
Oris Chronoris Williams 40th Anniversary Limited Edition
A vintage-inspired timepiece for the modern Formula One world may seem like a stretch but Oris has blended the two worlds sublimely. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Williams’ team, the watch features a domed crystal that magnifies the white and blue accents of the dial. If you’re looking for a watch that stands out, the Chronoris’ unique case makes for a compelling choice.
Richard Mille RM 11-03 McLaren
It’s no secret that Richard Mille is a man obsessed with speed. While quite a few of his ambassadors have worn his watches on the wrist while racing in the F1 Grand Prixes, the brand’s recent partnership with McLaren Renault, Haas F1 and the Sauber Ferrari team places Richard Mille at the top of the list in terms of numbers. That being said, the brand has only released one watch so far as a collaboration, the RM 11-03 McLaren. The automatic flyback chronograph watch sees a case made of orange Quartz TPT (Thin Ply Technology), layered with carbon fibre for extreme robustness and lightness. Hints of the McLaren way can be seen in the watch with the titanium crown resembling the McLaren wheel and the pushers looking like the McLaren 720S’ headlights.
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 Red Bull Racing
The iconic red and blue of the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing takes over TAG Heuer’s extremely modern sporty watch, with the accents found everywhere across the dial and even on the stitching of the strap. At 45mm in size, the watch’s black PVD steel brushed case is bigger than life but it works for a watch that’s meant to draw eyes to the wrist. There may seem to be a lot going on with the watch, what with the openworked dial, but thanks to the contrasting colours, it’s easy enough to read.
Other brands involved in the races include Rolex, the official timekeeper of the entire Formula One season as well as Roger Dubuis, partnering with Pirelli, the tyre sponsor for the races.