Motorbike Freewheeling partnerships
On the eve of the Catalan MotoGP we take a look at the watch brands with links to the world of motorbikes, such as Cvstos, TAG Heuer and Bell & Ross.
In motorbike sport, it is often the Spanish anthem that is heard at the end. And with reason: in both Moto2 and MotoGP categories, the 2014 leaders and 2013 world champions are Spanish. It was also in Spain, in 2012, that TAG Heuer sponsored the Moto2 Pons Racing Team, whose lead rider, Pol Espargaro won the previous year. Beyond Iberian borders, little was heard about this partnership. The brand nevertheless produced a video to congratulate Pol Espargaro.
A story of friendship
Meanwhile, Dani Pedrosa has been competing in MotoGP since 2006 and is currently third in the overall rankings. Also of Spanish origin, he has been a Cvstos ambassador since 2012 – an ambassador who regularly appears at private brand events during which he explains his contribution to the design of “his” watch, the Challenge Dani Pedrosa.
Why should a Geneva watch brand be interested in a Spanish motorcycle rider? “We attend the same gym club and were introduced by a mutual friend. We quickly became friends. Dani complimented me on my watches several times and I thought it would be interesting to make him a custom-made version. He loved the idea,” says Sassoun Sirmakes, CEO, Cvstos.
Launched a year ago, the Dani Pedrosa collection comes in two limited-edition variations consisting of 26 pieces each, strongly influenced by rider’s No. 26 bike: the crown reminiscent of the handlebars; pushbuttons evoking the accelerator and the brake levers; a dial shaped like brake discs; and the number highlighted in red in the date window on the 26th of the month!
“We very quickly ran out of stock for the two limited editions,” explains Sassoun Sirmakes, who has announced “a GT version in orange and titanium in 2014 as well as a jewellery version with more than 10 carats, set with 74 Madagascar orange sapphires and 15 black diamonds.”
Marquez & Co
Also in the world of motorbike sport, Graham sponsors the Tourist Trophy, to which it has dedicated its Chronofighter Oversize Superlight TT; while Tudor, which partners Ducati, offers a Fastrider Black Shield. Marc Marquez rides for Lotus watches – and the young Spaniard has been unbeaten since the beginning of the MotoGP season (for which Tissot is the official timekeeper).
Harley Davidson fans
In collaboration with Shaw Harley-Davidson, Bruno Belamich, co-founder of Bell & Ross, produced the machine of his dreams : the B-Rocket. Although its 1584 cm3 Harley Davidson V Twin engine propels it to the fairly modest maximum speed of 200 km/h, its interest value lies in its look inspired by speed-bikes and experimental aviation in the 1960s, as is shown by its fuselage, nose cone, rear wing and side pods.
Is the B-Rocket a genuine machine or just a marketing operation?
“Of course it works,” says Carlo Rosillo, the other co-founder of Bell & Ross. “We are soon going to run it at Bonneville, with two riders, and a film will be shot on site”. But he also admits that the marketing side is far from negligeable: “The B-Rocket is attracting all the Harley Davidson fans. This legendary brand has seven million followers on Facebook.”
These fans will be able to purchase one of the two watches launched by Bell & Ross to accompany the B-Rocket. The BR 01 B-Rocket features three counters and a tachometer scale. A true rider’s watch, it allows short elapsed times to be measured and performance to be judged. Smaller at 42mm, the BR 03-B-Rocket has a big date and a power reserve. The two models incorporate several graphic references to the bike with which they are paired, the most original being the quilted leather strap, which recalls the B-Rocket’s saddle, and the red triangle at 12 o’clock, which is reminiscent of those on the bike’s side pod and rev counter.
Each model is issued in a 500-piece limited edition. The motorbike on the other hand, is not for sale. But you can see it on its world tour, which will take it to Los Angeles, Asia, the Middle East and ultimately to Russia and Europe.
For Bell & Ross, each detail has a specific meaning and function: functionality is key, and minimalism – dispensing with superfluous ornamental details in favour of essential aspects – is vital.Find out more
Since its launch in 2005, Cvstos has been following its own contemporary, aesthetic path, producing imposing, technical timepieces.Find out more
Based in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, the brand preserves the legacy of George Graham, developing modern timepieces that combine sophisticated techniques and atypical design.Find out more
Over 150 years’ worth of watchmaking knowhow and technical innovations have enabled TAG Heuer to be the absolute benchmark in terms of avant-garde sports watches.Find out more