Watches and Motorsport, two things that seem to go hand in hand since people decided to start going around in circles as fast as possible.
There have been very few watch brands that haven’t had some form of involvement in Motorsport over the years.
Here we take you through some of our favourites and why we still think Tag Heuer are the best……
MARCHAND WATCH COMPANY
We will kick this off with a brand you may not have heard of, the Marchand Watch Company.
They are a very new company and their mission is, in their own words “Offering premium watches with a racing essence and at an affordable price is the core of our collections”
A brave mood in the modern world to join a very congested market, competing against some very well respected and established brands.
We like them, their entry level watch starts at £119 and they have a really nice range of timepieces including some pretty decent Chronographs and watches with Automatic movements for as little as £249!
For us their best timepiece is the Carbon GT (pictured) it features a “meca-quartz” Seiko movement, which mimics that of an automatic. It’s got a nice leve of detail and is really unique. At £279 it’s a bit of a bargain.
The reason we have featured this small British company? They really get behind Motorsport, with brand ambassadors such as BTCC Driver Tom Oliphant and Mike Epps, they are also the official timing partners for the F3 Cup.
In recent years Tudor have grown and promoted their products with celebrities like David Beckham.
But back in 2013 when the brand was getting revitalised to shake it’s “poor mans Rolex” image, they put a huge amount of investment into endurance racing.
Tudor first dabbled in endurance racing back in 1953, when they gave one of their watches to a motorcycle rider to use on a 1000 mile endurance run.
In 2013 Tudor announced they would be the title sponsors of the United Sportscar Championship, they sponsored the series from 2014 to 2016. They also in 2013 became the official time keeper for the World Endurance Championship, later being replaced by their big brothers Rolex.
Recently they have done a great job of becoming a reputable brand of their own, much like the Porsche Cayman losing the image of being the “poor mans Porsche” they have lost their image of being a sub brand of Rolex.
Anyway we think they make a stunning range of watches that are very reasonably priced at the £2000-£3000 price range versus the competition.
Our personal choice… the Black Bay GMT (but we would say that wouldn’t we?)
If you want some proof that Motorsport Sponsorship can work, look no further than Blancpain.
We certainly hadn’t heard much about them, before they became major sponsors for the various SRO run GT Racing Series in 2011.
Sadly they ended their very long standing sponsorship with the series (in Motorsport terms) in 2019. However, we still refer to the GT World Challenge Endurance Cup, simply as Blancpain, as we are sure many others still do.
Whenever you think of the Blancpain name, you instantly think of the fantastic GT3 cars such as the Bentley Continental, BMW M6 and Audi R8.
If we had the cash to splash, this is where our money would go and Blancpain are the reason Rolex aren’t on this list. Yes Rolex sponsor Le Mans, Daytona and the Formula 1, but they are the obvious choice to us, Blancpain are the worlds oldest watchmakers and have cemented themselves in our minds as being Motorsport Inspired Watches with their great job sponsoring the SRO GT3 series.
The Villeret Carrousel, now where did we put that £250k?
Now when it comes to Motorsport watches, Rebellion do it properly.
Taking a very modern approach and one you would not normally associate with a Swiss Watch brand, these guys have based their whole business around Motorsport.
Some of their pieces are a bit “out there” but most are all visually stunning and unique.
A Brand that clearly isn’t afraid of taking risks, they raced at the top level at Le Mans for many years. Even though they recently stopped running their “own” race team, they are still heavily involved in Motorsport, being the replacement for Blancpain as the Official Timekeepers for the GTWC, Official Timekeepers for the Dakar Rally and sponsors of Racing Driver Bruno Senna (who has his own model of Rebellion Watch)
Our pick of the range?
The Re-Volt RocketByZ Skeletonized (pictured above), made in collaboration with Artist RocketByZ and in proud homage to Rebellion being the first team to ever feature an art car in the LMP1 class at Le Mans.
It comes in at a hefty £32,000 but if we could we would.
Why do we still think Tag Heuer are the best when it comes to Motorsport Inspired Watches?
We will make this brief Quality, Price and Variety.
Tag Heuer have a huge heritage when it comes to Motorsport, yet in recent years they seem to get a lot of flack, maybe it’s because they are the obvious choice? Or maybe it’s because they use Quartz movements a lot.
Either way, they have a huge Motorsport history, were the Formula 1 drivers watch brand of choice in the 1970’s and even had Ayrton Senna as a Brand Ambassador.
We think it’s simple, if you want a Motorsport themed watch, at an affordable price point, from a reputable brand and with genuine heritage then Tag Heuer is the “go to”.
You name it, they have it, Aston Martin Racing, Red Bull Racing, Gulf Racing and the Indy 500 all feature in their F1 range. Then you’ve got the Monaco and of course the Carrera.
So there you have it, on a budget? Go with Tag Heuer.
Have cash to splash? Be different take a look at a Rebellion or a Blancpain