2018 is a particularly special year for Rolex and Sir Jackie Stewart, as it marks the 50th anniversary of their partnership. At the minute, aside from Charlie, I'm struggling to find something that will attach itself to me for 50 minutes let alone 50 years.
How did it all begin Rolex and Jackie Stewart?
Back in the 1930s, trailblazer Sir Malcolm Campbell aka “the king of speed” broke the World Land Speed record with a Rolex on his wrist; a pioneering moment on the long, flat and firm Daytona Beach which would establish motor sport as an integral part of Rolex’s culture.
Did you know that the most expensive watch in the world was a Rolex that Paul Newman wore throughout his racing career? Originally a gift by his wife Joanne Woodward, it sold for $18 million dollars at an auction last year and has the inscription engraved “Drive carefully”.
In 1992, Rolex formalized its relationship with Daytona as Title Sponsor of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA and following the turn of the twenty-first century the watchmaker was named an Official Partner and the Official Timepiece of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
You may have noticed Rolex's presence in Formula 1 in the last couple of years, in 2013, Rolex became a Global Partner and the Official Timepiece of Formula 1®.
Reflecting on his career to date, that includes three FIA Formula One Drivers’ World Championships™, Sir Jackie Stewart said: “I am honoured to have been with Rolex for 50 years, it’s a rare commitment and almost unheard of in sport – it has been a fantastic journey together. I am still as impressed and in awe of the brand today as I was back then.
I purchased my first Rolex having qualified well at the Indianapolis 500, before I became a Rolex Testimonee. It was a Rolex Day-Date 18 carat gold with President bracelet and it instantly established my love of and respect for Rolex.
The watch that I particularly treasure is my new Daytona. It was presented to me in 2016 by Rolex at the Grand Prix de Monaco to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my first win around the hallowed streets of the principality.
There is a special engraving on the back of the watch, which of course makes it all the more important to me. Rolex has become the most desired watch in the world – the esteem, the prestige, the pride of ownership that Rolex commands is unmatched.”
Wearing his distinctive Royal Stewart tartans, Sir Jackie continues to attend races globally and his ongoing loyalty to motor sport makes him an ultimate Rolex Testimonee – embodying the dedication, excellence, precision and innovation that also underpins Rolex watchmaking.
We only wish Rolex would come back and usurp the Omega boys that are currently running the helm at the James Bond franchise. As well as racing they have a lustrous heritage for appearing in style-driven films such as American Psycho and Get Carter.