Watches and automobile
Timepieces, mechanical objects first widespread distribution, paved the way to the car awakening in men a passion for technical objects expressing a form of power. Today, the secret hope of all watchmakers through their automotive partnerships is to regain ascendancy in social marker in the market for luxury goods ... Decryption.
The watch has with the automotive world a close and, as pointed out Jean-Christophe Babi the eve of the Grand Prix of Monaco, "the best friend watches, those are the cars." A fact that can be verified in the workshops of all watchmakers. Indeed, many are masters of complications, designers, editors and also to have, in a corner of their set, a color of their bike or their favorite car ... drawing off the family photo. It will be understood, the passion for mechanics and car racing beyond social boundaries. Why such a craze?Simply because it exists between two worlds a little more than a league.
The origins of mechanical passion
Until the invention by Louis Forest of internal combustion engine in 1888 and the first production of automobiles, watches, no real rivals, reigned supreme in the world of everyday objects and reflected by their shape or aspect social status of the owner. Watch brands, which then structuraient in large companies where all trades are internalized, probably unaware that one day cars would emerge as competitors watches the family of objects with high social representation.
Technicians, who had just developing the modern chronograph with improvements by watchmaker Adolphe Nicole in 1860, in addition offer immediately to the pioneers of asphalt. Observers bosses brands had noted that these little fast, noisy and very criticized by rural populations gear, had on board, no way to increase their speed.Do not worry, watchmakers had to develop a scale called "tachometer", which allowed to know the speed of the vehicle as long as the pilot can make this measurement over a distance of one kilometer. It fell about the dirt roads of the first automobiles were bounded time, ie with mileage indications. For speed, so it was enough for the pilot to take his watch out of his pocket and press the button chronograph control integrated into the crown. Gestures made driving that could lead to accidents.
Also watch companies, including the French manufacturer Edmond Jaeger, have they quickly offered to car owners, timepieces to integrate the dashboard, as they already offered the first pilots of airplanes. The existence of these instruments to raise the speed would encourage owners to know that their car and also for the sake of comparison, the other drivers.This will evaluate the performance should be born the first auto racing vector substantial technical progress.
The beginnings of any automobile power
Forty years after the commissioning of the first car, the watch began to lose its status as a social marker in favor of the car. The latter, by democratizing slowly, allowing everyone to socially categorize drivers depending on the brand or the model chosen. Then remained in the cars to spread in the population. It was not until the mid-fifties, with a substantial increase in the number of passenger cars, the watch finally lost some of its aura. It was also at this time that the watch companies, the outputs of the war that had them quite well, would experience a downturn in business in the very high end.Indeed, the means previously assigned to the prestigious watch had been transferred to the reconstruction or acquisition of a car for leisure travel, the new buzzword in the early fifties. Watch brands receiving this social change will convert and then propose a series of watches dedicated to recreation.
If the waterproof watches became widespread, parallel development of public chronographs with large, coincidentally, the tachometer scales. The speed was set, both in the air and on land. A model like the Speedmaster, released in 1957, was already equipped with a fixed bezel engraved with a tachymeter scale. At the same time, the Leonidas brand used as an argument in his car communication speed to praise the qualities of its chronographs. These early instruments foreshadowed a new era, where the private car would reign unchallenged as to help change the landscape and traditional modes of travel.
In the same way that we bought in the late 1890s, a pocket watch chronograph minute repeater to indicate its level of income to its urban counterparts encountered in some shows and theaters, was being acquired at the end fifties, a convertible sports car to show his neighbors his success on outings on Friday night or the weekend.
The need for youth to have instruments like their desire for adventure, to project into the world of circuits and look like famous and idolized pilot was perfectly identified by Jack Heuer. Which, familiar with the United States and knowing how American youth had a passion for cars, dared to implement the model across the Atlantic to Europe. He created the Carrera chronograph, emblematic of an era and totally in tune with the demand of young drivers MGA and other small spiders highly sought after today, is still an intense news.
Heuer - who would later become TAG Heuer - was not the only brand to work around the automotive world. Rolex, which since the early fifties, had focused its activity around sports watches and selected before other market orientation, already suggested Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Dayton. Cleverly, this instrument, designed to cater to the needs of the US market then booming conveyed a message in both sectors while expanding in the early sixties: automotive and space. Associated with the world famous Daytona race but also the endurance race of Le Mans where the brand is "official watch", this model has is imposed as an iconic reference to the world of luxury and automotive, and finds, in fact, widely represented in the circuits of the whole earth. It is found on the wrists of pilots, mechanics, fans and other senior officers track a bit. In the end, from dozens of creations during the sixties, took up the automotive world, only three are still in the collection.Also was part of the trio of PRS 516 Tissot, which is rarely discussed.
Between oil crisis and rupture events
In today's world, especially in France, there is a large number of holders of TAG Heuer Monaco. Without generalizing, it can be argued that each of its owners is very interested in automotive design or period of the first years of the seventies. Whole legend around this watch for Le Mans starting point, the film became a cult of Lee H. Katzin, in which Steve McQueen steals the show in Monaco chronograph. Many now see it as the first documentary about the world of racing before the oil crisis, it is the film incarnation tensions of the time and demonstrated the power of a ring of asphalt on fans. IT must be said that few circuits on earth capsize as the crowds as Le Mans, Monaco or Indianapolis ... And it is not as F1 fans fascinated automotive some routes, including the constructed nature of racing legend and myth maintenance of F1.
This analysis was that made by TAG Heuer, who took advantage of the very special status of the Formula 1 Grand Prix to return to the front of the stage in this discipline. Ubiquitous visually brand imposes its style as the big time with his ambassadors, such as the young Franco-Swiss driver Romain Grosjean or Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion and McLaren Mercedes driver. In fact, the dominant presence obscured the fact that this sport was widely shared by other watch brands. In Monaco, there was, for sure, for TAG Heuer. Brand La Chaux-de-Fonds presented the record straight in an area which it intends soon regain control.
The universe of positive partnerships
Monaco becomes the hub of communication in the TAG Heuer F1. Monaco with its ACM brand LVMH is some shade to watch the F1 and the Ferrari brand partner. But do not we say that a leader must be followed ...It nevertheless remains that during the race, the presence of partner brands - Hublot (watch F1 for much longer with what is said in the paddock and partner of Ferrari team), Audemars Piguet (Michael Schumacher on pole but downgraded), Richard Mille or TW Steel (Renault team) and with Oris Williams - went quite unnoticed. In any case, more than the young Ladoire house, on this place so almost anecdotal, but as always, original and offbeat. Luckily, there will be other Grand Prix where these brands will have the opportunity to express themselves.
In our fast-paced world, "business is business" and everything is good to attract the attention of consumers in power and make a day of clients. In the case of Breitling for example, direct relationship with Bentley, begun in 2003, has been a bombshell as it was unexpected from a brand whose specialty had always been aviation. Obviously, this type of partnership and the media that was made should give ideas to other companies seeking a renewed image.It must be said that Breitling has been very successful enlargement of the range by adjusting the proximity of logo and links between the two companies. One thing is certain, almost ten years after the launch of this association, the craze still looks strong. Furthermore, the aesthetics of the products is very typical that they see in the circuits ...
And Monaco, without really looking for them, it was possible to count more than a dozen passers wrists. This is already a good score even if it is small compared with the Daytona vintage or modern, steel or gold that has been observed. However, no Porsche Design raised wrists drivers in Monaco at the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on 27 May 2012. It is true, the brand whose creator has recently left us not maintained direct links with cars the manufacturer of the same name. If Ferdinand Alexander Porsche was originally two drawings.Among the observations that speak volumes about the vision of amateurs, we note a significant Audemars Piguet (Royal Oak Offshore and T3) and also, more original presence, Hublot wrist pretty young women.
In this small survey of the marks, there was also a watch by Panerai Ferrari. Instrument collector, it is proof that all the associations are not fully established even if all the elements seem to make everything work together. In this case, these two Italian brands eventually separated. But the adventure of Ferrari watches historically surprising because multiforme, is not complete. Indeed, Hublot rebounded to present "a merger with Ferrari" in Basel 2012. More demonstrative collection should stick more directly to the identity of the buyers of such cars. In any case, what we can expect. However, the board does not include a Lamborghini, it was unlikely to observe a Blancpain Super Trofeo, if not the public.In this case, a walk in the steps identified in the midst of a large number of brands not directly related to racing, a limited edition Oris Williams carried by a spectator, an Omega Speed master the time of Schumi and IWC Engineer on leather, probably titanium series AMG ... But we say that the Swiss German mark would be on the back in the automotive world. This information must be true because it tends to annoy some ...
But trade is like a race, everyone has a chance. Still, this little competition should arrange the consumer for which the choice will be wider, while the ambitions of one another, sharpened by competition, should give rise to more percussive instruments in the past. It should be noted, among the absentees, the creations of manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre - no model series Amvox was seen.The games are not so far made, the partnership with the English automaker favorite James Bond is still relevant and it is possible that the factory offers a variation or novelty of his series on the occasion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans . But in this battle of titans, pitting for twenty-four hours different manufacturers and brilliant teams, the team will still monitor Audi, the watchmaker TAG Heuer is and who won the race in 2011 despite two impressive accidents.
There was also a mechanic in the paddock wearing a chronograph BRM, which he seemed very proud. It may be because the small French manufacturer is doing its best to win with its lower segment of the automobile racing means. Its success esteem cringe some big houses, but the man has a heart to work and defends its business by personally canvassing on the circuits.
The nostalgia of the future
Okay, the speed is exhilarating but reprehensible, especially as assistants to make its way through the cameras are now prohibited. Briefly, the points fall speed of light. And if car vitamin content passionate lovers, they also fascinate the constabulary who waited in ambush at the exit of Monaco, apprentices racers ... Facing the waltz permits, motor sports enthusiasts, who can no longer enjoy full of pure mechanics from all electronic and motor design bard plastic covers the blocks to make it more elegant, lean on old cars as this is a work of art enticherait.
In a sense, the prevailing spirit of vintage cars around something inherently noble and just have participated at least once in the Tour Auto, sponsored in part by Audemars Piguet, to measure how much lead the former statement of an art and a philosophy of life.And it is by dipping the hands dirty engines that you understand that it is possible in this discipline, to make the car run for a quite reasonable price, relatively speaking of course.
Moreover, this very crude approach of mechanics creates a direct link with the watches. As also recently said Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, these old cars do not behave, they fly the finger and ear. Chopard co-president and knows what it: principal sponsor of the Mille Miglia since 1988, one of the most popular rallies, the brand is also a partner of the Monaco Historic Grand Prix since 2002.
Thoroughly involved in these events, this family home offers this year, two references during these major events lifts. The first is the famous Mille Miglia GT XL Chronograph Chrono Speed Silver was published this year, 1,000 copies of titanium.The second, chronograph Historic Grand Prix of Monaco to wisely and with retro-futuristic, too lines, a titanium case, comes in a limited edition of 500 copies in its version in titanium and pink gold (bezel). But nostalgia is also back on the front of the stage a man like Richard Mille, at the Le Mans Classic, which takes place once every two years and which we celebrate this year, the ten-year history. Official sponsor, the collector of old vehicles take this singular moment to meet the mechanical watch top-flight with the race cars of yesteryear.
Live these moments as if they had suddenly found the means to embark on a journey back in time is a way as any to make sense of the beautiful mechanics. And Richard Mille is one of those creative capable of propelling the fans in a world apart.From 6 to 8 July 2012, it was made on the Le Mans circuit to appreciate its true value the ability to watch and bring the fans in the past, when electronics did not exist and that watch reigned supreme on the stopwatch. On the occasion of this important event, Richard Mille has unveiled two limited edition watches edited: the RM 008 LMC and the RM 011 LMC. These two pieces, very technical, pay tribute to this exceptional race, sort of retrospective of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Both have been designed with the same approach as that which governs the construction of a race car where chassis, engine and bodywork are designed in full coherence and aim, each of optimum efficiency.
The legendary racing circuits between
We note that since the first edition, Richard Mille's involvement in the Le Mans Classic is the measure of his passion for motor racing, Formula 1 or the search for the ultimate performance is a source of inspiration for creation of watches - historic racing cars he likes mechanical engineering and forms shaped by the craftsman.
Found in the designs of Richard Mille, the same lack of frills in a race car and the same technical sophistication in the service of one who uses it. And because a functional object can be an art object, car enthusiast chose to perform for the 6th edition of Le Mans Classic, a chronograph tourbillon split. Futuristic in a sense, the RM 008 LMC still remains less traditional in every detail and the way the famous race. The minute counter and chronograph seconds, indicated by the whirlpool, as well as indicators of torque and features show the blue and yellow colors of vibrators 24 Hours circuit.Another reminder of this historic race, the Le Mans Classic logo on the dial at 12 o'clock. The case, in titanium grade 5, DLC is blasted and processed at the middle. Dual band bezel, type "Le Mans", is also blasted. RM 008 LMC, limited to two copies edition embodies the synergy that binds watches and motorsport.
Available in limited edition of 150, the RM 011 Le Mans Classic watch has a self-winding skeleton movement with flyback chronograph, annual calendar and read counter 24 hours. Chronograph counters, the needles and the date is 12 parent, as the RM 008 LMC - requires Mans Classic - colors of vibrators famous La Sarthe circuit. The titanium case, tonneau-shaped, alone requires over 200 different machining operations. As for the bezel, it has a satin finish and a double band blasted "Le Mans" in the center. The design and construction of the watch is part of a comprehensive approach to movement, case and dial.
For Frédérique Constant, a partner since 2004 many car racing series in the world sponsor the Carrera Panamericana was a step in the logical and exciting time. As Peter Stas, co-founder of the brand said, "we sponsor races vintage cars since 2004. We have already accompanied Healey events, such as the European Healey Meeting in St. Moritz, Healey Healey Le Mans or Heidelberg. There are two years, we price the decision to expand our reach by sponsoring the famous Peking to Paris Raid. In parallel, we renamed our range of watches related to vintage cars "Frederique Constant Vintage Rally." In order to support this range we sponsor the Carrera Panamericana. And it's not over because Frédérique Constant and vintage cars are a nice duo appreciated by our customers. So our choice we appear perfectly justified. "
To move in this direction, the young factory based in Geneva offers this year a limited edition to 1888 copies for each type of dial watch to commemorate the 24th edition of the Carrera Panamericana. Available in steel or rose gold plated, this timepiece is 43 mm in diameter, powered by a mechanical movement with manual winding Cal. 435 with small seconds, wears a leather strap. The set comes in an elegant box accompanied by a plaque depicting the path of the latest edition of the legendary Mexican race.
Watch connected to the automobile world is primarily a Swiss luxury watch for man closely linked to motorsport.
Equipped with an automatic movement, Swiss luxury watch has a history in the inescapable legacy of Tag Heuer Carrera including but Monaco models, square model immortalized by Steve McQueen in the movie "Le Mans".