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F1 inspired styling and Swiss precision get revved up in some of the raciest watches on the market

Richard Mille claims that his watches are miniature racing machines to the wrist. And as a passionate racing car driver, with firsthand knowledge of the advanced materials and technical advances involved in the building of engines, Richard Mille knows precisely what he’s referring to.
The engine-obsessed world of cars and watches is a natural fit, and the excitement of measuring something which moves faster than a horse has revived watchmakers to achieve higher and higher degrees of precision.
Nowadays, most Swiss brands provide racing watches directly motivated by the auto industry or designed to period – or sponsor – high-speed occasions. Wearing one of those miniature motors on your wrist will cause you to feel a little bit like Steve McQueen behind the wheel of the Porsche 917 featured from the movie Le Mans, or the Ford Mustang he raced into Bullit.
TAG Heuer is one of the sportiest watch manufacturers round and among the greatest suppliers of chronograph watches, so it’s not surprising that it has an entire collection termed Formula 1 and works directly with the McLaren Team. In fact, TAG Heuer and McLaren have been collaborating for 30 years, making it the greatest partnership involving an F1 team and a watchmaker.
Since 2004, TAG Heuer has produced racing watches with McLaren in the name. The newest is the 43 mm TAG Heuer Carrera CH 1887 McLaren 1974 Edition, made to celebrate not only a decade old McLaren watches but also to mark the 30th anniversary of its own F1 partnership.
Audemars Piguet started working together with F1 drivers in 2005 with the launch of the Royal Oak Offshore Barrichello. A year later, Audemars Piguet revved the F1 spirit of the Royal Oak Offshore using the Juan Pablo Montoya watch, incorporating racy carbon dioxide on the bezel and push buttons.
More F1-inspired watches from the Swiss luxury watch maker include a collection dedicated to the Michael Schumacher; the most mythical German F1 driver who owns seven world championship titles and 91 victories on his eponymous CV. In 2012, Audemars Piguet established three limited-edition models of this Royal Oak Offshore Michael Schumacher watch in titanium, rose gold and platinum. All three versions have been fitted using virtually unscratchable cermet bezels and butter-soft rubber straps.
A combination may be of several things: substances, purposes and, of course, brands. Hublot enjoys talking about fusion. In 2011, a fusion took place between Hublot and the Italian automobile brand Ferrari.


However it might seem to outsiders, partnering with a car brand does not automatically equivalent sales. Many watch brands prior to Hublot have collaborated with Ferrari, but none met with great success. Hublot changed everything by launching a spectacular group of watches that not only comprise the prancing horse, but also offer a somewhat nifty strap shift system that is motivated by the security straps in the famous sports cars.
Rolex, Le Mans and Tom Kristensen
Rolex is unquestionably the best-known Swiss watch manufacturer in the world. Nine-time Le Mans winner, Tom Kristensen isn’t only the greatest Le Mans driver in history to wear a Rolex, he is also a proud ambassador for the brand.
Kristensen includes a couple of Rolex Daytonas in his personal collection because of the fact that this version has been the winner’s trophy at Le Mans since Rolex became the official timekeeper in 2001 (it’s also become the host of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the US since 1992). Offered in many distinct variations, none are as amazing as the bracelet model using a gold dial and granite counters.
Lange & Söhne Concorso d’Eleganza watch


When considering the exact traditional and sober designs of most of the watches from the German watch manufacturer A. Lange & Söhne, it might be tough to pinpoint a contemporary car that will match the brand’s aesthetics. And you are right. The German watch manufacturer is not connected, nor does it collaborate using a car brand.
However, A. Lange & Söhne does have automobile affiliations and is one of the two chief sponsors of the Concorso d’Eleganza car series; a beauty contest of sorts for classic and classic cars held on the beaches of Lake Como in Italy. For the last three years, A. Lange & Söhne has provided a unique opinion into the owner of the winning car. And according to A. Lange & Söhne CEO, Wilhelm Schmid, sure collectors are prepared to pay big money for the white gold Lange 1 Time Zone watch, with its attractively decorated hinged back. “A Russian client took me apart at the event two years back and quietly asked if the winner would market the lookout for $150,000. I don’t know whether this bargain actually happened, but that I was very flattered about the attention given to the watch,” says Schmid.