- 1. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix
- 2. TAG Heuer F1 Quartz Chronograph - Red
- 3. TAG Heuer Red Bull Special Edition
- 4. Richard Mille RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Secs Chronograph Ultralight — Mclaren F1
- 5. IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition ‘50th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG’
- 6. Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS17
- 7. Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Unico Carbon Chronograph
- 8. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
- 9. Conclusion
Eight Formula 1 Watches To Inspire Race Fans
Hello, Timelords. As I’m sure you speed freaks already know, the first Grand Prix of the season took place in Bahrain. Saudi Arabia is up next on Sunday March the 19th. With Max Verstappen sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard, we thought we should get you up to speed before Round 2 with our best Formula 1 inspired luxury watches you should buy today.
The fact is, you don't need to own an F1 car or be buxom buddies with Sir Frank Williams to own a Formula 1 luxury watch. We have been seeing gradual changes for a while now progressing past old school designs of time measurement to pioneering creations like The TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition with funky aesthetics that will make you as suave as James Bond in loafers.
Admittedly, a lot of the functions that Formula 1 watches have are by their very nature pretty damn awesome. However, as we’ve seen with diving watches recently, there’s a huge trend for these sporty watches to be modified, suiting the casual wearer. Take for example the helium valve being removed from the Tudor Pelagos 39. Brands are trimming the horological fat to get to the meat.
Just like you don't need to plunge 1000 metres to wear a Rolex Deepsea Challenger, you don't need to hare round a track at 200 mph plus to warrant wearing a Formula 1 inspired watch.
Right then watch fans. Time to start your engines. Like Maverick in Top Gun, if you feel the need for speed, sit back as we roundup the best Formula 1 inspired luxury watches you should buy today. #
1. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix represents Haute Horlogerie at its finest linking with unadulterated speed.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix - Source - Audemars Piguet
A close look at the watch would find inextricable links to the interior of an F1 car. The dial counters link to dashboard instruments through their sporty aesthetic of sharp yellow hues on top of grey backgrounds while the crown represents a gear and the bezel could be construed as a ventilated braking disc.
For those who aren't as au fait in the vocabulary of cars and more suited to watch talk, the case is made from forged carbon as well as the bezel which similarly uses black ceramic. Crafted from titanium, the crown has been slightly blackened and the titanium push pieces feature the same black ceramic as found on the bezel. These are given added protection by titanium pushpiece guards.
The dial's face distinctively changes colour from red to black, a strong contrast to the usual sunray finish that other Royal Oak models like the Tourbillon Extra-Thin has where the colour gets gently lighter towards the periphery. Combined with a gold tachymeter base scale, the model is proud to show off its ultra sporty connection. A mega tapisserie pattern is present in the centre which follows a bulky cube design throughout the dial's face.
The 44mm enticing exhibition case back is fitted with a sapphire crystal which allows a direct view into the intricacies of the self winding movement. The movement has a strong power reserve of 60 hours and steady pulse of 21,600VpH. The movement powers the hours, minutes, seconds, date and a chronograph, resulting in a pulsating beast that's ready for action whatever the situation. I can see myself wearing this with my favourite black bomber jacket or camel overcoat if I’m feeling sophisticated.
Made from hand stitched calf leather, the bracelet has alcantara inserts and features a platinum or 18K gold pin buckle. Refined like dining at a Michelin starred restaurant, it takes the edge off of the intense sportiness the rest of model imbues. Limited to 1750 pieces, this particular model is an obscure complication from Audemars Piguet, failing to fit in with the rest of the models if not for its classic octagonal eight bolt design along the bezel. But isn’t everyone a tad obtuse now and then?
Its unorthodox build and colour scheme is what makes this watch so popular. It is not a watch that can be hidden under shirt sleeves due to its 44mm build and robust sizing so get those sleeves rolled up when wearing this bad boy. Alternatively, go with the sportiness and wear blue jeans with a white T-shirt and black bomber jacket to suit the blackened bezel and case.
This model is very valuable due to its prestige of being a member of the Royal Oak family, its uniqueness due to its uncommon bold design and its rarity.
2. TAG Heuer F1 Quartz Chronograph - Red
The TAG Heuer F1 watch originated from an acquisition which resulted in 37 years and counting of TAG Heuer F1 watches.
When Techniques d’Avant Garde acquired Heuer in 1986, they brought along with them a phenomenal record of supplying components to the aviation and Formula 1 industries. As such, TAG Heuer has decided to closely associate themselves with F1 through their variety of racing inspired models, most notably, the F1 collection.
The TAG Heuer F1 Quartz Chronograph in red symbolises the spirit of what TAG Heuer was aiming to capture with their F1 collection. Released in 2021, the watch is red throughout but this is no red herring. The dial is sunray finished, allowing the highly vivid red to beautifully reflect light and project the white indices forwards, offering top-notch legibility.
The rubber strap features a pin buckle which is carefully crafted out of fine brushed steel. Whether you are a fan of rubber or not, this is one of the characteristics of a TAG Heuer F1 watch. As you can see, they take even the smallest elements of the watch seriously and finish them to a high standard. For F1 fans the sporty aesthetic is captured perfectly in this terrific timepiece, meaning the watch should predominantly be worn when chilling out and catching a few rays.
At 43mm, the case is pretty oversized but it's all for a purpose. Made out of stainless steel, the watch boasts 200m of water resistance and the black fixed PVD racing bezel allows for accurate time calculations. Red is a bold colour to use throughout the model but it suits TAG Heuer’s mission with this watch. Loud and proud, this watch will drive pulses racing on the wrist. Step into any busy office exec environment and chances are you will find someone wearing a TAG Heuer F1.
TAG Heuer F1 - Source - TAG Heuer
The dial features three chronograph sub-dials, a date display at 4 o'clock and large SuperLuminova hands and applied markers which can be seen under all conditions imaginable. Crafted with Quartz precision movement which powers the sub-dials and hands, the timepiece is ultimately an amalgamation of accuracy and style, two components which never get old.
You can wear the TAG Heuer F1 in red and pair it with a black jacket to really accentuate the rich pastel colour. On the other hand, why not dress it down and wear it with an equally bold white jumper as a base colour to let the white baton indices on the watch resonate.
This is a good investment potential as it's linked to one of biggest sports on the planet. Their position in Formula 1 is so deep rooted through their excellent marketing campaigns that the TAG Heuer F1 watch will undoubtedly be snatched up when the conclusion of the Grand Prix comes around.
Furthermore, its modern red accent is vastly different from the plain black or grey dials. Didnt you know that vibrant colours are in fashion? Come on, get with the times!
You can buy a TAG Heuer F1 at retail for £1,550 at the time of writing.
3. TAG Heuer Red Bull Special Edition
TAG Heuer loves F1 and F1 loves TAG Heuer. And the two have made a great couple for decades. Sure, living in each other’s pockets for all that time is one thing. Nevertheless, we think it's only right to give them another say in this list.
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Red Bull - Source - TAG Heuer
This time on the collaboration front, TAG Heuer worked with Red Bull in order to create a brilliantly eye-catching model that many race freaks will drool over. The watch case is 43mm with fine brushed and polished steel as well as a fixed bezel.
The brushed and polished steel, allows for the model to have a refined quality to it and not just a matt grey blob of steel. Specifically, the blue face has white rhodium-plated Arabic numbers, as do the hour and minute hands. As these are all coated in SuperLuminova, the dial is legible in all instances. It's also important to note that the second hand is yellow which is not only a sporting reference of Red Bull, it increases its visibility too. Hmm a yellow coated second hand…that sounds familiar. Although we think there won’t be as much hysteria compared to the latest Omega and Swatch Mission to Moonshine Gold launch.
Below the 12 o’clock sits the brand name with “Formula 1” above it, referencing that this is a watch that is designed for the track. Get your eyes peeled on this one if you're looking to buy a TAG to wear for the rest of the F1 season. There are 3 sub-dials which display seconds, 30 minutes and the date across the dynamic dial, coloured in the iconic red blue and yellow which Red Bull adorns. And the racing references don't stop there.
If the watch is turned over, the back is engraved with a chequered race flag pattern and the words “Red Bull Racing '' and “TAG Heuer ''. Very apt that a finishing flag is on this model as you are definitely onto a winner if you buy a TAG like this!
The rubber strap reflects the sporty mood of this men’s watch, especially since there is a fine groove that races its way around the strap. Not only does it look really cool, but it also provides optimal durability as you show it off in the boardroom or race to the bar to meet up with your buddies. In our book, it’s a win win every time. The pin buckle is fine brushed steel, a nice add on to the dark rubber strap.
It's definitely one to wear when out and about watching sports in a pub or experiencing a race live from the grandstand. It will no doubt prove to be very worthwhile as it links to one of the most popular brands in the world and it's a special edition meaning it will be more sought after. Have you ever seen a watch so faultlessly imbue a brand like this?
You can buy a TAG Heuer Formula 1 at retail for £1,750 at the time of writing.
4. Richard Mille RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Secs Chronograph Ultralight — Mclaren F1
Richard Mille loves their racing as seen through the Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari.
Founded just in 2001, Richard Mille is the new kid on the block in terms of timekeeping. Nevertheless, they have already achieved incredible feats such as new watch complications like the Oracle in the RM 069 and the developments of the first baseplates in carbon nanofibres and titanium, as well as carbon TPT.
Some of their most recent show stopping models include the Rock and Roll and The Richard Mille RM 50-04 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph Kimi Räikkönen
It's safe to say that their journey is only just beginning.
They haven't stopped there. Now, the RM50-03 Tourbillon Split Secs Chronograph Ultralight has been released and it won't be needing any pit-stops. Crafted from titanium and carbon injected with graphene, this is the lightest split seconds chronograph ever made, actually weighing less than 40 grams. For context, that's about the same weight as an egg.
Launched at SIHH in 2017 you can buy a Richard Mille for the obscene price of around £800,000. The RM 50-03 is by no means a watch you can get next day delivery on. The calibre is manual winding tourbillon movement which comes with hour, minutes, split seconds chronograph, 30 minute totaliser and power reserve as well as torque and function indicators.
Richard Mille RM 50-03 - Source - Ablogtowatch
Yes, you heard that right. Richard Mille features a torque indicator to display the actual torque of the movement. This might just be the ultimate Formula 1 inspired watch. With the materials allowing the watch to be so lightweight, the science behind it is just as fascinating.
Through blending carbon and the introduction of graphene, the nanomaterial is six times lighter and 200 times stronger than steel. We’ve only just stroked the surface of the science behind the materials but it goes to show how Richard Mille is so heavily inspired by Formula 1 cars and the super lightweight materials behind it like Bubba Watson’s Richard Mille RM038.
The open worked and skeletonised dial allows the user to see the intricacies of the RM 50-03 calibre in action. The hollow chronograph pushers evoke air intake ducts on the Mclaren car and the crown was designed from the competition wheel rims used by Mcclaren. Oh yes, Timelords. You are receiving the quintessential Formula 1 watch if you buy a Richard Mille RM 50-03. Since this is so avant garde in its design, you don't have to wear anything else flashy to be the centre of attention. Take it easy with a black turtleneck jumper and chinos and make sure the watch is visible when you shake your father in law's hand at that classy family function!
This watch is limited to 75 pieces meaning it's extremely rare and will most likely increase in value. Sadly, watch lovers, you can no longer buy a Richard Mille 50-03 at retail at the time of writing.
5. IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition ‘50th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG’
Created to mark 50 years of Mercedes’ performance spec tuning house AMG, IWC released this flyback chronograph with a bolt load of cool features.
IWC Ingenieur 50th Anniversary Mercedes - Source - Ablogtowatch
IWC has linked up with Mercedes-AMG after three years of them entering Formula 1 in 2010. They became their official watch sponsor and have even gone so far as to have their branding on the drivers racing gloves. As such, when the first person camera view comes on your TV screens and you see the drivers cockpit, you will also get a big eyeful of IWC branding.
In a 44.3mm titanium case, the watch is lighter than its stainless steel compadres but more durable too due to the nature of the material. Featuring a screw in crown and a 120 metre water resistance rating, the see-through sapphire glass back gives a direct view into the very nifty Calibre 89361.
The watch houses the very competent Calibre 89361 which is part of the Calibre 89000 collection. This calibre is an IWC-manufactured movement and is automatic and self winding. Offering a very respectable 68 hours power reserve, the watch pulses along at 28,800VpH or 4Hz to you watch nerds.
The intricacy that IWC has put into the watch is not forgotten, as they use the Cotes de Geneve finish which is present on the movement and it represents IWC’s history of proving fantastic Swiss watches. The calibre powers the chronograph function with hours, minutes and seconds, the hour and minute counters in a totalizer at 12 o'clock and a flyback function. IWC are certainly switched on when it comes to protecting the movement which is nice to know when you want to buy an IWC for big bucks.
They house a soft-iron inner case shaped like the AMG carbon ceramic discs which is perfect for protection against magnetic fields when resting amongst all the buttons and dials in the cockpit. The dial is fairly simple yet impactful in its design as it's silver-plated with luminescence. However, a closer look at the dial's face would reveal a lightning bolt small seconds hand and small date display at 3 o'clock. These small aspects are what make the dial clean and not too busy.
The strap is black calfskin with white stitching to match the dial. This watch could easily be taken for a dress watch if close attention isn't given. This allows it to be worn while running to catch the train to the office or with a crisp white shirt to match the dial when you're getting a round of champagne cocktails. And we don’t mean the cheap stuff.
Limited to just 250 pieces, its association with such a classy car brand instantly gives this watch a good dose of second hand refinement. You cannot buy an IWC Ingenieur 50th Anniversary of Mercedes Benz at retail due to it being a past collection at the time of writing.
6. Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS17
Bell & Ross are notorious as the first brand to pump out a rather fetching square case.
Founded in the 1990’s, Bell & Ross made their official headway into Formula 1 by joining Renaults team in 2016. Although times have changed and Renault are now named the ‘Alpine F1 team’, class stays forever and as such, Bell & Ross are still their sponsors.
Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS17 - Source - Bell & Ross
One of the models created while under the Renault team name was the very exciting BR-X1 RS17. As one of three releases in collaboration with Renault, they have combined a Carbone Forge case with a vibrant dial, taking its inspiration from a F1 steering wheel.
To break this down, Carbon Forgé or Forged Carbon to us English speaking folk, is an extremely durable and lightweight material, especially when combined with ceramic and rubber inserts like Bell & Ross have done here. Featuring rocker push-buttons and a tinted sapphire caseback, the user can see into the engine room and all its glorious mystery.
The calibre is the BR-CAL.313 and it's an automatic mechanical with an X-shaped bridge and a strong pulse of 28,800VpH. Meanwhile we like the skeletonised chronograph which allows the colours to be more pronounced which is perfect for those looking to buy a Bell & Ross with a little edge to it.
At 45mm, the watch is not meant to be worn with discretion. I mean. why would you want to? Combined with a moulded carbon fibre honeycomb composite chassis, the dial is made out of carbon fibre which ties in with the steering wheel from Renaults racers.
The model is very intense, utilising Renaults colours of black and yellow as well as a variety of tones found on the steering wheel in the R.S.17. The colours below the tachymeter are blocks, so there is no seamlessness of the colours blending in. This is a very intentional move by Bell & Ross as they seek to make the watch as legible and racing-like as possible. There's no space for frivolity here!
The corners of the case are built from ceramic which widens the watch. This in turn creates more wrist presence and offers more space for the colours to shine out of. The dial is skeletonised but the array of colour and various time measurement tools restricts you from getting a clear view at it.
The watch is very masculine and rugged. It should be worn to be shown so get those cuffs popped back in the office and swap for a short sleeved shirt the instant you get back home. It is however quite sleek in its carbon fibre design. If it was in steel, well that's a different story.
Limited to 250 pieces, expect this model to be a potentially solid investment piece due to the unusual square case design, daring colour choices and rarity of the model. You cannot buy a Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS17 at retail anymore because they are sold out at the time of writing.
7. Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Unico Carbon Chronograph
Ferrari enjoys good collaboration as much as Hublot.
Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Unico Carbon Chronograph - Source - Prestige Time
Joining up with Richard Mille to create the Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari, Hublot have also been involved with the phenomenal car brand. The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Unico Carbon Chronograph is a celebration of their partnership and these two know how to party.
The case is a bulky 45mm and is made from carbon fibre. Amongst the sporting industry, carbon fibre is very popular due to its durability as well as its inherent lightness which allows the vehicles to be able to drive faster. Stick this on a watch and the wearer will feel like he’s wearing nothing at all.
The case has a light brushed finish which allows it to be worn in more fashionable settings like a dinner date with your partner at a glitzy restaurant. Don't worry, you won't look like an uneducated watch wearer when you buy a Hublot Big Bang Ferrari and wear it around the town...
Similar to the design of the Nautilus and Royal Oak, the carbon fibre bezel is strapped onto the case with six screws which are given a slight design improvement due to them resting in sloping concaves around the bezel. Gerald Genta, eat your heart out!
There are two more screws which are situated on either side of the quick release button at 6 and 12 o'clock. These allow you to remove the strap from the lugs to quickly interchange with a band of your choice.
The strap is black Alancatra with 4 rows of symmetrical stitching and has a black PVD coated titanium and matte carbon folding buckle. It also comes with another strap in black rubber if you feel the need to quickly change for a dive bomb into the sea or when you're about to step into that all important promotion meeting.
Hublot references Ferrari throughout the case, the most obvious sign being on the opposite side to the crown where the word ‘Ferrari’ is recessed in and filled in red which contrasts superbly with the black case. The crown is bulbous, its purpose clearly to be a twist and lock mechanism and a proud red racing stripe runs down the side and along it.
The dial is skeletonised and has the same appeal as casting your eyes over the sports car in real life. The applique index hour markers and numerals are red and luminous, instantly catching the eye when glancing a look at the dial. Furthemore, a sixty minute chronograph subdial at 3 o'clock represents the rev counter and speedometer on a Ferrari. Hublot pulls no punches when it comes to showing off their design prowess.
Did we mention the prancing horse logo sat at 6 o'clock? It's given a beautifully polished finish and it fits in well with the skeletonised aesthetic of the watch such as the cogs and wheels which are built to look like parts of a car. Doesn't Ferrari also utilise yellow? A close look at the date aperture would reveal a yellow backdrop which stunningly stands out against the rest of the dial.
Powered by the Hublot UNICO HUB1241, this 38 jewel calibre pulses at a steady of 28,800VpH and has a power reserve of a brilliant 72 hours. This powers the chronograph which has a flyback function, allowing you to very quickly reset the stopwatch function without having to go through the motions of stopping, resetting and restarting the timer.
This watch is ultimately very clean and isn't obsessively sporty for a 45mm watch. Its collaboration with Ferrari is one that they’ve respected and you should proudly wear it beneath your black jacket for a casual look or sports jacket if you want to really go with the racing aesthetic.
You cannot buy a Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Unico Carbon Chronograph at retail at the time of writing.
8.Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Platinum
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Platinum - Source - Ablogtowatch.com
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is so revered that most collectors would sell their house to even be considered to buy a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Platinum.
In the Formula 1 world, they are just as revered. As sponsors of the Australian Grand Prix, Rolex have more than their fair claim to fame in the Formula 1 industry. The ice blue dial Rolex Daytona was released in celebration of the Daytona’s 50th anniversary. Furthermore, it was matched with a perplexing brown ceramic bezel and the usual chronograph subdials.
For two colours that people wouldn't consider to go together, it creates a spectacular contrast. Built out of platinum, it's not as if this is the first time Rolex has employed the use of a light blue dial. Take for example the Rolex Day-Date M228236 which similarly has a platinum dial.
At 40mm, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Platinum is fairly average in its size but its platinum build means it is quite heavy. Platinum is rare and gleans a really nice shine when polished meaning it's quite a popular choice for many people. It's also perfect to go with the glitz and glamour of the racing world.
On the underside of the Rolex Platinum Daytona , the caseback is solid and is similarly made out of platinum. This is the same with the bezel but this features a brown Cerachrom insert. This is highly corrosion resistant and is otherworldly in comparison to aluminium or even normal ceramic.
The Cerachrom bezel carries the usual Daytona charm with its tachymetric scale with the numerals and graduations carved in. These are then laced with platinum, creating a wonderful contrast with the brown Carachrom insert.
The pushers and crown are made from platinum too, complementing the entire piece and completed with the same polished finish that's awarded to the rest of the model. The crown is embossed with Rolex’s crown logo and is equipped with a Triplock waterproof mechanism, ensuring that the watches 100m of water resistance is retained.
The dial is expertly done, the sunray finish complements the ice-blue dial like a sunrise over an arctic pole. A shimmering effect is achieved wherein it gleams at different angles when the watch is turned or brought into the light.
The dial has applique hour indices with platinum sword hands which are coated with the extremely luminescent in-house chromalight. Shining a neon blue in the dark, the Rolex Daytona is readable in all circumstances.
Even the sub dials are finished to perfection. The centre is filled with the same ice-blue the rest of the dial has, but this time the outline is chestnut brown to match the bezel. As is a staple of most Rolex watches, there is a sapphire crystal that protects the dial and it is highly scratch and abrasion resistant. There’s nothing that can harm this dial!
The Oyster Bracelet is used here and is made out of platinum. This time, it has both a polished and a satin finish which allows the watch to stand out aesthetically from its counterparts due to it being both matte and shiny in its appearance. Secured with the platinum folding clasp which houses Rolex’s Oysterlock mechanism, the watch is firmly attached to your wrist.
Rolex has a lot of in-house production and this shows the level of craftsmanship that goes into each watch. By controlling their materials and output, they can consistently create fantastic models. Look at the in-house calibre 4130 that is self winding and beats at 28,800VpH. Its strong power reserve of 72 hours and protection of a Parachrom hairspring means the watch is built for the long haul.
You can wear this while watching the Grand Prix at your local meetup with friends or you can wear this to show off your taste in front of your colleagues at work. All we ask is that you wear something that matches this beautiful dial like a light blue suit shirt or a denim jacket in blue.
You must request a price if you wish to buy a Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Platinum.
We’ve reached the last sprint and turned the final chicane. Suffice to say that there are many Formula 1 watches out there that are highly revered amongst the watch community. Motorsports and timekeeping do in fact have many similarities and as such, these partnerships such as Bell & Ross with Alpine or Richard Mille with McClaren will keep on happening.
It's nice to see that when these collabs do drop, the end results are usually very unique, continuing to push the boundaries of watchmaking. The designs are becoming more and more tailored to the everyday user but it's still amazing to see some brands like Richard Mille go all out on creating a very motorsport focused model.
If you’re looking to buy a TAG to get your engine purring or intend to buy an IWC with its nod to motorsports, it may be worth having a chat with Chrono Hunter today. By simply checking our Trustpilot reviews, you can see why we are so desired by those looking to buy a watch or sell a watch. We’ve established relationships with some of the finest luxury watch retailers around who are more than suited to get you the price you are looking for. Contact us anytime or download our dedicated app from either the Apple or Android marketplace.
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