From Carrera to Daytona - the best race watches


by CHRONEXT

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With a firm grip on the wheel – watches for daring motor enthusiasts

September 05. 2015 - by CHRONEXT

Sophisticated technology, meticulous precision, and extreme reliability – the world of racing and the mechanical watch universe share some common denominators. But what is is that makes a watch a "racing watch"? And what are some of the great racing watches out there? We're here to answer your questions.


Monza for watch enthusiasts - what will this year’s favourite racers wear?

As in every September, the engines roar once again in Monza and crowds gather at the legendary Formula 1 Italian racing track. The Italian Grand Prix has been held here almost continually since 1950 and the race near Milan is one of the most important events marked on the calendars of Formula 1 fans.

This year, favourite racers include the famous Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, and Nico Rosberg. Time is a determining factor when it comes to Formula 1, so it is no shock that racers naturally double as brand ambassadors for renowned watchmakers. Hamilton and Rosberg have been friends of IWC Schaffhausen for some time now, and both have been honoured by the brand with their very own special editions – the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition "Lewis Hamilton" and the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition "Nico Rosberg". Vettel enters the race this year for Ferrari and not only does he bring new hope for the enthusiastic Italian fans but also brings his Hublot Big Bang Ferrari to the racetrack.

Evidently, the official timekeeper and sponsor of all Formula 1 races since 2013 is Rolex.

Watches for motor fans: the top 5 race watches

Motorsport enthusiasts and passionate watch fans are highly aware of the classic race watches presented by luxurious watchmakers. These models are characterised by a stopwatch function with which individual time periods can be measured quickly and conveniently. Unlike modern instruments, the mechanical chronograph recalls the original stopwatches utilised in races throughout most of the 20th century. A merger of motorsports and watch mechanics and a fusion of tradition and modernity – here is a list of the top 5 racing chronographs.

1. Hanhart Chronograph

The German manufacturer Hanhart can look back on an impressive history that exemplifies pilot chronographs, military watches, and centuries of watchmaking tradition. The chronographs from the company are world renowned, but many watch lovers are unaware that the Hanhart 417 Chronograph was one of Steve McQueen’s favourite timepieces. Today, Hanhart presents its clientele with the luxurious successor model, the Pioneer, as well as a classic selection of pocket chronographs that precisely stop time in its tracks.

Discover Hanhart Watches

2. Chopard Mille Miglia

Since 1988, Chopard has been the official timekeeper and sponsor of the Mille Miglia – perhaps the most famous old-timer races in the world. In order to celebrate the collaboration between the two partners, as well as provide the participant racers and motorsport fans with exceptional timepieces, Chopard launched the iconic Mille Miglia collection. The series is now one of the most popular collections from the luxurious manufacturer. Our favourite – the extraordinary Mille Miglia Chronograph Speed with deep black 38-millimeter titanium case.

Discover Chopard Mille Miglia Watches

3. Tudor Heritage Chronograph

Aside from their legendary diving watches, Tudor is known primarily for their chronographs. Here, the connection to racing is immediately recognised as the bold and colourful racer watches were introduced in the golden age of motorsports – the 1970s. Today, the early chronograph models from Tudor can be discovered on the vintage market and are continually in great demand. However, if a suitable model cannot be found there, then it is worth taking a look at the current Tudor collection since the Heritage Chrono series successfully reinterprets the vintage-chronographs.

  Discover Tudor Heritage Chronograph Watches

4. TAG Heuer Carrera

Heuer is a name that remains firmly rooted in motor racing to this day. Whether it is the Monaco of Steve McQueen, the oval Autavia, or  the classic Carrera – it was not easy to decide upon a single best racing watch from this renowned company. Jack Heuer presented the sporty Carrera in 1963, the design of which was inspired by the dashboard of racing cars of the time. The Carrera is named after one of the most dangerous racetracks of all time – the Carrera Panamera. To date, the model remains true to its basic features and original 1960s form. Impressively, the Heuer Carrera is still at the peak of classical race watches.

Discover TAG Heuer Carrera Watches

5. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

No top-chronograph list would be complete without the addition of the classic Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. The model, whose name has been inspired by the famous Florida racetrack, was launched during the same year as the Heuer Carrera. First, the timepiece modestly attracted clientele with its high-contrast dial and characteristic tachymeter scale on the bezel. Today, Rolex enthusiasts who did not take the opportunity to purchase the Daytona when it was first presented are deeply regretting their mistake. Throughout the decades, the model has risen to cult status and the prices of certain vintage models exceed the 100,000 USD mark. The racing icon and actor Paul Newman, who sported the timepiece for over 30 years, contributed to the success of the Daytona with his everlasting style.

Discover Rolex Daytona Watches
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by CHRONEXT

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