12, December 2014: Watch giant Rolex partnered with the world’s biggest motorsport event, Formula one, in 2013. The gold crown is a familiar sight in television screens worldwide although some see this as a belated move from the world’s biggest name in watches.
As its global partner and official timekeeper, Rolex’ partnership with Formula one looks like a natural match. Why did it take this long for the Swiss brand giant to take its place in the world’s largest motor spectacle? With Formula One’s incredible growth in the last decade and the audience, Arnaud Boetsch, Communication and Image Director of Rolex, says now is just the right time. The sight of the crown on Formula One’s global coverage has strengthened its association with the world’s most followed sport. It has allowed the brand to engage with its customers in an environment that is truly privileged.
While it is true that there are other motorsport watch associations such as Tag Heurer and its partnership with the Automobile Club de Monaco, Rolex feels confident that it has chosen Formula One and feels relaxed with the way teams and drivers work together with brand partners.
In the past, Rolex had impressive partnerships with motorsport notably Sir Malcolm Campbell who sported a Rolex Oyster on his wrist when he made the world’s land speed record in Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats during the 1930s. The brand is also endorsing Andy Green in his Bloodhound Project which is slated to take place in 2016 in Hakskeen Pan Desert, South Africa.
Rolex and Its History with Motorsports
Rolex created its legendary Daytona model in the early 1960s to celebrate its partnership with the American International Speedway event. Further, anybody who follows the brand would know about Paul Newman and his preference for Rolex which he wore from the time he first strapped on the 3-dial chronograph while shooting the 1969 movie, Winning. That watch is now a much coveted model among watch collectors, having sold for an astounding $1.1 Million at a Christie’s auction in Geneva last year.
Sir Jackie Stewart who has a well-known association with Rolex says that very few commercial partnerships endure for more than a few years but his association with Rolex has lasted for decades. As he is involved with Formula One, it was a happy development to see Rolex become a fixture in the event and has proven both Rolex and F1’s commitment to pushing what technology can do.
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