Over the years, sports have inspired the best time pieces with popular categories including the best dive watch and running watches. Racing watches are no different and house some of the world's most iconic pieces in this category. With one of the biggest motorsports events of the year only weeks away, we're celebrating the most iconic racing watches of all time in honour of the Formula 1 Grand Prix 2020.
What is a racing watch?
Racing watches vary massively in style. Designed for automotive racers to keep track of their race time and distance, racing watches have two distinctive features to accommodate this. Classic features include a chronograph in order for the driver to use it as a stopwatch function, typically with controlling two or three sub-dials. They also often feature a Tachymeter bezel for speed and distance calculations.
TAG Heuer Monaco
Arguably the most iconic racing watch of all time, the Monaco by Tag Heuer was launched into the spotlight be actor Steve McQueen in his role as Michael Delaney in the film Le Mans.
With is distinctive square case at 39mm wide, the watch also features scratch resistant sapphire glass crystal, two chronograph sub-dials and a power reserve of 40 hours, though interestingly no tachymeter for speed and distance calculations.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
Initially created back in 1963, the Daytona is one of the world's most sought after watches with waiting lists extending past 10 years in places. Named after Daytona beach, famously the "birthplace of speed" on which a number of land speed records were broken, there's no watch more desired track-side.
Featuring a 40mm oystersteel case, the Cosmograph Daytona has three sub-dials, scratch resistant sapphire crystal and a water resistance of up to 100 meters.
Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT
Hublot and Ferrari have a longstanding relationship with their collaboration dating back to 2011. The first collaboration drew inspiration from the Formula 1 with nuanced styles released over the years merging the fast paced world of Ferrari with Hublot's flair for design. Ferari fans will be right at home with this watch.
The Classic Fusion Ferrari GT has a 45mm microblasted titanium case with a 72 hour power reserve. Featuring two sub-dials, the watch is stamped with the Ferrari logo on the exposed back case and the face is made of anti-reflective sapphire crystal.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
The Speedmaster collection from Omega is famed for its collaborations with NASA and was the first watch on the moon. Classic in style and featuring three sub-dials as well as a tachymeter, it's a track-side appropriate timepiece and a great everyday watch.
This Speedmaster moonwatch features a 40mm stainless steel case, self-winding movement and is water resistant up to 100m.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
Another household racing watch, the Royal Oak is traditionally a diving watch with the original design based on a diver's helmet. Today, the Chronograph lends itself nicely to motorsports with the chronograph function, though it's notably missing a tachymeter and any numerals.
Featuring a 41mm case and sapphire crystal face the watch has a 40 hour power reserve and a 50 meter water resistance.
Bremont Jaguar MKI
Bremont has paid tribute to the Jaguar E-Type with a small range of watches inspired by the dashboard instruments of the vehicle that Enzo Ferrari described as “the most beautiful car ever made”. The steel-cased MKI is a simple time and date watch with a rev counter-style dial, a “tyre tread” winding crown and a lovely, steering wheel-shaped rotor visible through the transparent back.
The watch features a 43mm case of stainless steel, paired with a blue leather strap.