Grand Prix de Monaco Editor's pick: Four watches for the streets of Monte Carlo
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the year’s Formula 1 calendar. We pick four timepieces to look out for on the streets of the principality during this high-octane weekend.
The combination of Monaco’s tax-free status, its casinos and its picturesque location on the Mediterranean coast have made it the playground of the rich and famous. The principality counts many of the stars of Formula 1 among its permanent residents, making the Monaco Grand Prix the “home” race for them. Here we review a selection of timepieces with a motor racing pedigree that are the perfect companions for this glamorous weekend.
Brand: Armin Strom
Team: Marussia F1 Team
Watch: Armin Strom Racing
As a partner of the Anglo-Russian Formula 1 team Marussia and its driver Max Chilton, Armin Strom has produced a Racing collection for 2014 that uses genuine elements from a Formula 1 car’s engine block for its movement bridges. Only 100 units of this motor racing-inspired model in black PVD stainless steel and titanium will be produced: 50 of the Racing Manual and 50 of the Racing Gravity. The former has a manually-wound AMW11-MR calibre and the latter a self-winding AMR13-MR calibre with micro-rotor, but both offer an impressive five-day (120 hour) power reserve.
Team: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Watch: IWC Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance Ceramic
IWC presented the latest additions to its Ingenieur line only two weeks ago. One of these is the Ingenieur Carbon Performance Ceramic, which brings together a number of the high-tech materials that will be seen on the streets during the Monaco Grand Prix: carbon fibre for the case and dial, ceramic for the screw-heads, crown, crown protector and bezel and titanium for the screws and case-back ring. Only 1,000 of this high-performance model will be produced, equipped with IWC’s in-house 80110 self-winding movement, which offers a power reserve of 44 hours.
Brand: Richard Mille
Team: Lotus F1 Team
Watch: Richard Mille RM50-01
In 2013, Richard Mille signed a two-year partnership with the Lotus F1 team and welcomed the team’s driver Roman Grosjean into its fold of brand ambassadors. The timepiece produced to commemorate this dual partnership is the RM50-01. A limited edition of only 30 pieces in carbon and red gold and a red rubber strap, it is fitted with a manually-wound mechanical chronograph movement with a 70-hour power reserve. Its dial features a g-force indicator that is powered by a mechanical g-force sensor and reminds us that Romain Grosjean, like all Richard Mille ambassadors, wears this watch to work. The RM50-01 will therefore by subjected to g-forces of over 3g as Grosjean hurtles around the Monte Carlo street circuit at speeds of up to 180 miles per hour.
Brand: TAG Heuer
Team: McLaren Mercedes
Watch: TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11
TAG Heuer was the first watch brand to strike up an association with Formula 1 and has been a partner of the McLaren team for over a quarter of a century. The partnership, which dates back to 1985, is also one of the longest-running sponsorship agreements between any brand and a team in the history of Formula 1.
There could only be one choice for the Monaco Grand Prix from TAG Heuer, since the brand has an entire collection named after the city. My choice is the Calibre 11 chronograph in stainless steel, which features the same design as the original Monaco model that is now over 40 years old (it was launched in 1969). Its distinctive features include a winding crown at 9 o’clock and a round minute track on a square dial, as well as its contrasting white-on-blue square chronograph counters. It is powered by TAG Heuer’s Calibre 11 self-winding chronograph movement with a power reserve of 40 hours.
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