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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Rolex hits high speed at Formula 1

Rolex has announced it will become a major long-term partner of Formula 1 from 2013, as Official Timekeeper and Official Timepiece, keeping up its tradition of fast cars and high-end brands. In this capacity, it will give the time in different locations during each Grand Prix. The logo will also be positioned around the circuit and at several corners during Formula 1 races and its presence will develop over the coming seasons.
Sir Jackie Stewart, Rolex Testimonee (left); Gian Riccardo Marini, chief executive officer of Rolex SA; Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula One group; Jean-Claude Killy, Rolex Testimonee and member of the board of directors of Rolex SA. Image: © Rolex / Eddy Mottaz)
Since the 1930s, it has been associated with a number of major personalities in the field, including Sir Malcolm Campbell, who broke the 300 mile per hour (483km/h) barrier in 1935 at the wheel of his world land speed record car Bluebird, wearing a Rolex Oyster and Sir Jackie Stewart, winner of three Formula 1 World Championships and 27 Grand Prix races.

In the late 1950s, the Swiss watchmaker became a partner of the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. In 1963, the circuit gave its name to the legendary chronograph it created for racing drivers, the Cosmograph Daytona.

In keeping with this spirit of pushing the boundary of technological endeavour, the company joined the Bloodhound SS C World Land Speed Record project in 2011 as the Official Timing Partner. The Bloodhound team is aiming to set a new record of 1000 miles per hour (1600km/h) with a cutting-edge supersonic jet- and rocket-powered car, inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

"This is an exciting step for us, as the fit between the brands feels very natural and, like all great partnerships, needs little explanation," said Gian Riccardo Marini, CEO of Rolex SA. "In our respective fields, each embodies the spirit of adventure, superlative engineering and a strong desire to push the limits of technology. These aspirations are enormously appealing to younger generations," he added.

Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula 1 group, adds, "The brand's prestige, the excellence of its watches and its passionate and long-standing commitment to motor sports gives it true credibility. This partnership is something that many people interested in Formula 1 will have been waiting for and should rightly be excited about."

Read more: Rolex, Formula 1, high speed