The cars make less noise and aren’t as fast as last season, but Formula One is the be-all and end-all for more than 500 million fans worldwide. Which means the haute horlogerie brands that make it onto the grid each season have a seat in the spotlight, especially in 2014, with what is turning out to be one of the most exciting championships in years.
Of course, the watchmaking industry has a well-established love affair with fast cars. The two industries share a passion for perfection, and seem to enjoy working together to get across the checkered line in first position. While Formula One teams were dependent on the watch world to ensure accurate timekeeping in the sport’s early days, it seems the roles are beginning to reverse, as watchmakers now look for inspiration in the technology and design features developed by F1 engineers.
Already, words such as engine, chassis, wheels, and power have seeped into the vocabulary of watchmakers, according to Stéphane Linder, CEO of TAG Heuer. For TAG Heuer, partner of the McLaren F1 team since 1985, it has also been a boon not only to design but also to the manufacture’s reputation. “What can you do against a 154-year association with racing cars, 44 years in F1, and partnering always with the very best teams and champions,” Linder mused, speaking to his brand’s rich history with the sport.
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