Watches and fast cars go together pretty well. This is especially true when you consider how important some watches are in motorsport history. As a result, brands are continuing to explore this heritage as they release new and exciting racing-inspired timepieces. But, some of the most influential racing chronographs have barely changed over the years. Let’s look at some of the most popular models and why they have endured as timekeeping icons.
No list with this kind of focus would be complete without the Rolex Daytona. It has an almost unmatched design, heritage, and racing appeal, which make for a very desirable watch. Pair it together with a connection with racing legend Paul Newman, and you have yourself a pretty serious watch. There are several variations available and hunting the perfect one down is quite fun. Brands design racing chronographs with the Daytona in mind constantly, but there can only be one true icon.
TAG Heuer Monaco
In a way, the Heuer Monaco is a kind of anti-Daytona. Besides having serious racing-inspired style, the watch is also quite technically important. The original Monaco emerged in 1969 and with it came one of the first automatic chronograph movements – the Calibre 11. The watch also showed up on the big screen on the wrist of Steve McQueen in Le Mans. If you’re looking for something a little different, check out the Monaco. The design is relatively unchanged and it stands as one of the most influential watches in the history of racing chronographs.
Before its history with NASA, the Speedmaster was a driver’s watch. The high contrast dial, tachymeter scale, and reliable movement made it perfect for the track. Additionally, it’s this kind of rugged design that allowed it to pass NASA’s rigorous tests for space travel. Still, at its core, the Speedmaster is perfect for the track and Omega knows this. They’ve released several racing-inspired versions and collaborations with racing legend Michael Schumacher, and since most people aren’t timing rocket engine burns, it works pretty well for a casual day at the race track.