Rolex will become the official timekeeper for Formula 1 racing in 2013. The match pairs two European icons that have sustained global success for years. From a prestige standpoint, both brands will undoubtedly benefit from the partnership.
Swiss watch manufacturer Rolex was founded in 1905 and is the largest luxury watch brand in the world today. Rolex posted revenues of almost $3 billion in 2003, and in 2007 was named no. 71 on Bloomberg Businessweek‘s 100 most valuable global brands. Besides the pending sponsorship of Formula 1 racing, Rolex is also the official timekeeper for Wimbledon and the Australian Open tennis grand slams. The brand is no novice to racing either, as Rolex is a partner of the Daytona Speedway.
Formula 1 racing, officially named the FIA Formula One World Championship, has a history as lengthy and prestigious as Rolex. F1 began with the European Grand Prix Motor Racing in the 1920s and ’30s. The races featured cars made by some of today’s top luxury car designers, including Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati. Formula 1 enjoys great global popularity, with a television audience of 527 million for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.
As a result of the deal, Rolex logos will appear throughout the circuit and strategic corners during F1 races. Rolex will also give the time at different locations during the Grand Prix.
Rolex follows such brands as Jacque Le Mans, Tag Heeur and Hublot as the official timepiece of Formula One Racing. The match makes sense for Rolex’s long association with racing. Rolex’s Cosmograph Daytona, which many view as the watch for racing drivers, debuted in 1963 as a result of the partnership with the Daytona speedway. Rolex will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Daytona in 2013, leading many to speculate whether the watch brand may debut a new model in association with F1.
Matthew H for Raymond Lee Jewelers, South Florida’s premiere source for buying and selling luxury watches and designer jewelry.