The Monterey Car Week is the highlight of the year on the calendar of any car enthusiast. It consists out of several events that have one thing in common: showing the rarest, most exquisite, and because of this, the most valuable cars on the planet. The prominent sponsor of all these prestigious events is Rolex.
This year the brand celebrated its 20th anniversary as a partner of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The most coveted price is the “Rolex Best of Show Award,” for which this year 204 superb cars competed. In the end, it was the 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer, owned by Bruce R. McCaw of Bellevue, Washington, who took home the grand prize and also received a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 to commemorate its win.
Somewhat of a contrast to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Celebrating this year the Diamond Jubilee of Formula Junior, as well as 70 years of Ferrari, the cars participating in this event, are being pushed to their limits as they race the iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This challenging race track celebrated its 60th anniversary, and it was here that Lee Talbot won the Rolex Spirit of Monterey Award with his 1967 Ginetta G4, receiving a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona. That watch was also on the wrist of Rolex testimonee Tom Kristensen. As the nine-time winner of the 24-hours of Le Mans, he was reunited with his 2005 LMP1 Audi R8, who won in that year not only at Le Mans but also at Sebring.
At The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, it was the 1964 ATS 2500 GTS that won the Rolex Circle of Champions Best of Show. Awarded with a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, the car competed in the “Mid-Engine Marvels” theme, is one of the very first GT cars ever to feature this engine setup.
For Rolex, these events are their natural habitat, as the relationship between the world of car racing and watches was forged during the time when Rolex-founder Hans Wilsdorf himself was at the helm of the company. Rolex has been the watch of choice by many of the worlds greatest race car drivers. Among them Sir Malcolm Campbell, who set the land-speed record on Daytona Beach, F1-legend Sir Jackie Stewart, and of course, actor-turned-race car driver, Paul Newman.