Few things get the blood rushing quite like motorsports. The smell of the gasoline, the sound of the engines, the excitement of the crowds in the stands. Not to mention the uncertainty of the outcome...racing truly is a sport where anything can happen and even the underdog can emerge victorious. While there is no short supply of racing events out there, none are more prestigious than the Formula One circuit. With roots reaching back to the European Grand Prix Championships of the 1920s and 1930s, the sport has grown into one of the most followed international sporting events around, not to mention one of the most lucrative. Now with a field of 20 drivers on 10 different teams, reaching speeds of 360km/h or 223 mph, the sport attracts fans from all backgrounds, all over the world.
In 2019, Netflix and Formula 1 partnered up to bring viewers unprecedented access into this elite world of racing by launching Formula 1: Drive to Survive, giving us a behind the scenes look at drivers and the sport like none other. As someone who’s been a fan of the sport for some time, I could not have been more thrilled to see the debut of this series, followed by two days of getting absolutely nothing done so that I can binge watch every single minute in what little free time I get these days. And Netflix did not disappoint! The drama, thrill, and excitement...it was everything that I had hoped for. But the show brought a different element that I wasn’t expecting too - a sort of sport for my own enjoyment you might say - watch spotting!
I will admit that I’ve never been one to focus on what watches my favorite characters are wearing in any television series or film. (Fortunately there are much better sources for watch spotting such as this here) But not even I could turn a blind eye to the smorgasbord of timepieces flaunted across my screen. It doesn’t take much to see that luxury timepieces dominate the sport. After all, with Rolex being the official timekeeper of the sport, you can’t go five seconds without seeing those green banners plastered all over the race track.
Fortunately for us watch nerds, you also can’t go five seconds without seeing some phenomenal wrist candy. Let’s take a look at some of my personal favorites!
Lando Norris (driver for McLaren) with the Richard Mille RM11-03. A watch that is impossible to miss on the wrist with its orange and black case designed specifically for McLaren Racing. The case is uniquely composed of both carbon and quartz for a sleek, lightweight, and if I might say so, a quite sexy appearance that screams dominance both on and off the track.
Daniel Ricciardio and Renault teammate Esteban Ocan can both be seen flaunting the very bold Bell & Ross BR-X1 R.S. 20. Matching their Renault team colors, the black and yellow watch has an avant-garde and carefree personality almost as big as Riccairdio’s.
F1 fans will know one of the big moments of this season was bound to be the horrific crash and miraculous survival of Romain Grosjean. And as expected, Netflix did a phenomenal job respectfully covering the events around the accident, showcasing the fear, concern, and emotion behind it all. As a watch fan, one moment that caught my attention was this emotional embrace with Romain’s wife, Marion, as she hugs one of the Haas team members. And of course, somewhere behind those happy tears my eyes caught a glimpse of the absolutely stunning Richard Mille Rm07-01 on her wrist.
And of course, we couldn’t forget one of the sports most exciting personalities, Lewis Hamilton. As a brand ambassador for IWC, the watch spotting goes on and on throughout this season as he races for another championship. Seen here on the podium after the Belgian Grand Prix, sporting a Big Pilot on the wrist.
Honestly, the watch spotting just goes on and on for all 10 adrenaline fueled episodes. And while sure, behind the scenes there are probably a ton of politics that go on to determine what we’re going to see on each wrist (considering the sponsorship of watch brands for Formula 1 race teams brings in millions), there’s still an excitement unlike any other sporting event for watch enthusiasts. With the 2021 season well under way we can guarantee it’ll be anyone’s race both on the track and the competition to see who has the best watch collection off the track.
Need a little more speed? Check out this article discussing modern watches worn in Formula 1. And be sure to hit the Everest website and explore watch straps, travel rolls, and more to get you and your watch ready for any fast-paced adventure coming your way!