Rolex Signs Global Partnership with Formula 1â„¢

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Geneva, 5 December 2012– Rolex, the leading luxury watchmaking brand and a pioneer of sports sponsorship, will become a major long-term partner of Formula 1™ from 2013 as Official Timekeeper and Official Timepiece. This rein-forces Rolex’s commitment to motor racing and its support of global sport at the very highest level.

This new partnership with the pinnacle of motor sports brings together two leaders in their fields who share a passion for performance, precision, excellence and innovation. It is part of a strategic move by Rolex to focus its sponsorship activities on ventures chosen for their strong symbolic value and their global resonance.


“This is an exciting step for us at Rolex as the fit between Formula One and our brand feels very natural and, like all great partnerships, needs little explanation,†said Gian Riccardo Marini, Chief Executive Officer of Rolex SA.

“In our respective fields, Rolex and Formula One embody the spirit of adventure, superla­tive engineering and a strong desire to push the limits of technology. These aspirations are enormously appealing to younger generations,†he added.

“Our self-­winding mechanical watches – like the dedicated drivers’ chronograph, the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona – are packed with technological innovation and human know­how, all thanks to our engineers’ and watchmakers’ passion for detail,†said Mr Marini.

“Rolex watches are symbolic of the quest for the highest level of performance and reliability that is epitomized by Formula One. Over the last 50 years both Rolex and Formula 1 have grown into world-­leading aspirational brands and there will be many fantastic opportunities that we can enjoy together,†added Mr Marini.


For Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula One group, “Without question Rolex is the partner of choice for a world class sporting series like Formula One.â€

“The brand’s prestige, the excellence of its watches as well as Rolex’s passionate and long-­standing commitment to motor sports gives it true credibility. This partnership is something that many people interested in Formula One will have been waiting for and should rightly be excited about. Rolex has incredible sporting heritage and therefore Formula One is the right place for Rolex to be,†added Mr Ecclestone.

In its capacity as Formula 1™ Official Timekeeper and Official Timepiece, Rolex will give the time in different locations during each grand Prix. The Rolex logo will also be positioned around the circuit and at several corners during Formula 1™ races. Rolex’s presence in Formula 1™ is due to develop over the coming seasons.


For Rolex, the partnership with Formula 1™ is part of a long history of close ties with mo­tor racing and speed. The brand has been associated since the 1930s with a number of major personalities in the field, including Sir Malcolm Campbell, who broke the 300 mile per hour (483 km/h) barrier in 1935 at the wheel of his World Land Speed Record car Bluebird. Sir Malcolm was wearing a Rolex Oyster.

In the late 1950s, the Swiss watchmaker became a partner of the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. In 1963, the circuit gave its name to the legendary chronograph Rolex created for racing drivers, the Cosmograph Daytona.

Since the late 1960s, Rolex has counted motor racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart, one of the most celebrated Formula 1™ drivers of the last 40 years, among its family of promi­nent Testimonees. Sir Jackie won three Formula One World Championships™(1969, 1971 and 1973) and 27 grand Prix races. He is also widely recognized for his commit­ment to F1 driver safety during the 1970s.


“I am delighted that Rolex, a very unique brand that chooses its relationships very care­fully, and Formula One have entered into a partnership,†said Sir Jackie Stewart. “The Rolex Daytona timepiece and its constant technological development over 50 years are fine indicators of Rolex’s unerring commitment to performance and the brand’s timeless values.â€

“Having worked with Rolex for more than 40 years and given my on-­going involvement in Formula One, I think this is a superb partnership and one that will be hugely successful,†added Sir Jackie.


Mr Marini said: “In some respects, through its strong symbolic value and its global reach, our partnership with Formula One mirrors our recent support for initiatives such as James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge expedition to the deepest reaches of the ocean in March 2012. A feat that is both human and technological, and has worldwide resonanceâ€.

In keeping with this spirit of pushing the boundary of technological endeavour, Rolex joined the bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record project in 2011 as the Official Timing Partner. The Bloodhound team is aiming to set a new record of 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km/h) with a cutting-­edge supersonic jet-­and rocket-­powered car, inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

In the same vein, Rolex announced in spring 2012 its support for Neuropolis, a world­class neuroscience hub based in Switzerland which aims to improve understanding of the human brain using computational biology. This innovative approach, on the frontier of scientific research, builds on the power of supercomputers to simulate biological processes.

Rolex is a major partner of many of the most prestigious and iconic events, organiza­tions and personalities in selected sports, especially golf (e.g. The Open Championship), tennis (e.g. Wimbledon) and yachting (e.g. Rolex Sydney Hobart).


Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all cer­tified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history.A truly integrated manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-­house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, science, the spirit of enter­prise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programmes.


Formula 1™, which began in 1950, is the world’s most prestigious motor racing com­petition and the world’s most popular annual sporting series. In 2012 the FIA Formula One World Championship™ was watched by over half a billion unique television viewers in 187 territories, and ran from March to November spanning 20 races in 19 countries across five continents. Formula One World Championship Limited is part of the Formula One group, founded by CEO Bernie Ecclestone and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship™.


Rolex is proud to be a major force at play behind the finest events, drivers and organizations in motor sports. Whether supporting the leading motor sports series, Formula 1™; iconic endurance races, such as Les 24 Heures du Mans; or maintaining tradition with the historic Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Rolex has cultivated a privileged relationship with this fast-paced world.


The roots of this alliance date back to the early 20th century when Rolex was founded by Hans Wilsdorf, a visionary with an extraordinary spirit of enterprise. At a time when the pocket watch prevailed, Mr Wilsdorf foresaw the importance of providing an increasingly mobile public with an accurate wristwatch and took up the enormous challenge.

In 1910, a Rolex wristwatch obtained the first certificate ever granted to such a watch by the Official Watch Rating Centre in Bienne, Switzerland. In 1926, Rolex invented the Rolex Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch in the world, thanks to a case equipped with an ingenious patented system consisting of a screw-down bezel, case back and winding crown. To prove his invention, Hans Wilsdorf equipped Mercedes Gleitze with an Oyster when she swam across the English Channel a year later. The Rolex watch emerged from more than 10 hours in the water in perfect working condition, and the young Englishwoman became the brand’s first Testimonee – a witness to the watch’s uncompromised performance.

Rolex improved the Oyster in 1931 with the invention and patent of the world’s first self-winding mechanism with a Perpetual rotor, the precursor of contemporary self-winding systems.

With Hans Wilsdorf at the helm, Rolex continued to use the world as a real-life proving ground for the Oyster, demonstrating time and again its reliability in the most extreme conditions, on land, in the air, in the depths of the ocean or on the summit of Mount Everest. By being associated with so many achievements, Rolex became the trusted reference for chronometric precision, robustness and reliability around the world.

Meanwhile, Rolex evolved, as did its product, in a constant pursuit of perfection. As part of this evolution, Rolex watches – made from only the highest quality materials and designed by the industry’s best – became symbols of elegance and prestige.

As such, Rolex sought to associate with activities that, like itself, were motivated by passion, excellence, precision and performance. Naturally, Rolex gravitated toward the world of motor sports, forming an alliance that dates back to the late 1950s when the brand partnered the Daytona International Speedway.


In tribute to the Daytona International Speedway, Rolex added the name “Daytona†to the dial of the chronograph it created for racing drivers, the Cosmograph. Ever since then, the presence of the Rolex brand in auto-mobile racing has grown steadily. Rolex has been the Title Sponsor of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in Florida since 1992 and Official Timekeeper since 2001 for Les 24 Heures du Mans, the world’s oldest sports car race in endurance racing.

From 2013, Rolex is Official Timekeeper and Official Timepiece of Formula 1™, the pinnacle of motor sports. This long-term partnership is the culmination of the brand’s history of close ties with motor racing and speed.

Since the late 1960s, Rolex has counted motor racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart, one of the most celebrated Formula 1â„¢ drivers of the last 40 years, among its family of Testimonees. Sir Jackie won three Formula Oneâ„¢World Championships (1969, 1971 and 1973) and 27 Grand Prix races. He is also widely recognized for his commitment to F1 driving safety during the 1970s.

Through its strong alliance with Les 24 Heures du Mans, Rolex also proudly sponsors Danish driver Tom Kristensen, record eight-time winner of the annual endurance race.

In keeping with its spirit of pushing the limits of performance, Rolex joined the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record project in 2011 as the Official Timing Partner. The Bloodhound team is aiming to set a new record of 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km/h) with a cutting-edge supersonic jet- and rocket-powered car. This maintains Rolex’s long-standing presence at the frontiers of speed, stretching back to 1935 when Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the 300 mile per hour (483 km/h) barrier at the wheel of Bluebird.

Rolex also sponsors events that celebrate the beauty of historic cars rather than their racing performance. Among them is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (US), launched in 1950 to showcase the most avant-garde models of the period. Today, this prestigious competition, held annually in Pebble Beach, California, features the most striking of vintage cars. Rolex has been the Official Timekeeper since 1997. Included in this event is the pebble Beach tour d’elegance presented by Rolex, which was created in 1997 to demonstrate the elegance of automobiles in motion. Rolex became Title Sponsor of this event in 2007.

Furthermore, Rolex is the proud sponsor of the Goodwood Revival (UK), devoted to race cars built before 1966, as well as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (US), which brings over 600 cars to California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

Driven by a passion for excellence and a great appreciation for motor sports, Rolex, the world’s leading Swiss watchmaker, is committed to cultivating the strong ties that bind these two prestigious worlds in their shared pursuit of perfection.

Posted on December 06, 2012