Fresh on the heels of an exciting 2020 Formula One season opener in Austria, we are here to continue our discussion of watches in present day F1. Earlier this week we covered Rolex's position as official timekeeper as well as Richard Mille's enthusiasm for multi-team and multi-driver sponsorships.Today, we shall pick back up and run down the rest of the paddock.
We’ll start this week with the most dominant team of the turbo hybrid era: Mercedes Benz. The partnership between Mercedes and IWC Schaffhausen started in 2013. Little did they know that they were joining the team just one year before the dominance seen from 2014 to present day.
Probably the best bit of watch marketing across all of Formula One is the IWC Big Pilot attached to the left wrist of the Mercedes drivers’ gloves. This visual is present on every in-car shot during the race.
Lewis Hamilton with his puma racing gloves emblazoned with an IWC Big Pilot
From the gloves to the wrists, let’s move to the preferred watches on the team. First we have team principal Toto Wolff, generally sporting an IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph edition.
Turning to the drivers, we see reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton wearing an IWC Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Perpetual Calendar “Boutique Edition” IW502903.
On the other side of the garage, teammate Valterri Bottas sports a slightly stealthier but similar TOP GUN.
The history of Tag in F1 includes one of the most contentious models (The Formula 1) as well as one of the most revered (Monaco). Building on that legacy, Tag has been a prominent partner of Red Bull Racing starting in 2016 which included at the time Tag Heuer branding on the Renault-sourced power units.
This partnership has also inspired the creation of theTAG Heuer Formula 1 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Special Edition 2020.
So much of Formula One sponsorship is about visibility, and perhaps no watch is more visible than Christian Horner’s Autavia Chronograph. This model has been a mainstay of his race day collection for several seasons.
TAG Heuer Autavia Chronograph Ref. CBE2110.FC8226
Max, on the other hand, wears aTAG Heuer Autavia Chronograph Ref.CBE2110.FC8226. It doesn’t appear to be worn while driving, but it’s been a favorite of his for post-race celebrations.
Watches inspired by gauges make plenty of sense in Formula One, so it’s easy to see B&R tying themselves to a team. It makes even more sense for a team building nearly all-black cars to partner with a manufacturer of nearly all-black watches.
Here are drivers Esteban Ocon and Daniel Riccardo sporting Bell & Ross timepieces.
The partnership between Hublot and Ferrari dates back to 2001 and runs even deeper than just F1.
Last seen wearing a Hublot in Monaco, Charles Leclerc is wearing a Big Bang Scuderia Ferrari 90th Anniversary.
More Hublot & Ferrari crossover options exist, most notably the Hublot MP-05 LaFerrai which boasts an insane 50-day power reserve and an eye-watering $300,000 price tag to match.
We are one day away from lights out at Austria once again, so perhaps now is exactly the right time to treat yourself to a white or black leather racing strap to get yourself into the spirit of the season!