Let's face it, watch fans: few of the supposedly automotive-inspired timepieces out on the market bear much automotive inspiration beyond a logo or maybe the odd design flourish. But this is something else.
Upon announcing its licensing agreement with Formula One Management last month, Swiss watchmaker Hublot revealed the monochromatic F1 King watch, which by and large followed the same rules as everyone else: slap a logo on there and call it a day. But that was just a stopgap measure until this piece came along.
Called the F1 King Power, this watch is crammed with racing-inspired design features, from the ceramic bezel made to look like an F1 brake disc to the chronograph push-buttons styled after an F1 steering wheel's to the rubber-coated Nomex wrist-strap. The case is made of satin-finish zirconium with PVD-coated titanium components, packing the HUB 4100 automatic chronograph movement with a tungsten-carbide rotor and a 42-hour power reserve. Now that's more like it.
The watch was unveiled this past weekend in Shanghai during the Chinese Grand Prix. You can view photos from the event in the gallery below and read the details in the press release after the jump.
Friday 16th April 2010, Shanghai: 2010 Formula 1 TM Chinese Grand Prix
Following on from the recent announcement that Hublot has been chosen as the "Official Watchmaker" of Formula 1TM, the brand presented the Official Watch of Formula 1TM, the F1 TM King Power in Shanghai today.
Hublot was appointed the "Official Watchmaker" by the Formula 1TM umbrella organisation in March. This agreement provides access behind the scenes at F1TM. The prestigious world of motor racing is a source of fascination. It represents both cutting-edge technology, the ultimate in precision, control and top-level sport. For the Hublot brand, which is based on luxury, a tradition of quality, excellence and advanced technological research, the world of the paddocks forms one of its most prestigious partnerships and is a clear culmination of its strategy to be visible to its clients, wherever they may be. The creation of a special watch, in the form of a King Power displaying the "F1" logo, is the fruit of the collaboration between the F1 TM heads and Hublot's watch creators.
Inspired by the world of F1TM, combining expertise with the highest quality, manufacturing processes at the cutting edge of research and high-tech materials, this zirconium watch is 48mm in diameter and its bezel has been designed to evoke the disc brakes on a Formula 1 TM car. Its strap is made up of two layers, featuring rubber on the inside and NomexTM, a material similar to that used to make racing drivers' overalls, on the outside. Both sporty and high-tech, the F1 TM King Power was enthusiastically received by those present when it was unveiled in Shanghai by Hublot's CEO, Jean-Claude Biver. The brand also opened its first boutique in the Formula 1 TM Paddock Club.
Jean-Claude Biver, Hublot's CEO, is full of enthusiasm: "I have always had great admiration for the exceptional and unique achievements of Bernie Ecclestone. Without him there would be no Formula 1: He created this global phenomenon! I have also had a great deal of admiration for the drivers who are able to control these ultra-sophisticated racing machines down to the slightest movement, all at incredible speed! Nor should we forget the cradle of high technology that F1 represents. It's such a delight to be here with Hublot today, so close to Bernie, the racing, the drivers, the cars, the high technology and the F1 Grand Prix in general".
Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula One Group: "I have long had a keen interest in watches and the art of watchmaking and I am very pleased to be able to discover this magnificent watch today with Jean-Claude. Hublot's meteoric rise in the industry has been a very well-managed achievement and I would like to congratulate Jean-Claude for this. There is an energy, creativity and dedication to perfection about Hublot which sits very well with us and I could not think of a better brand with which to begin a new chapter in Formula 1's enduring association with luxury watches".
F1TM KING POWER
Case "King Power", diameter 48 mm, in satin-finished zirconium
Bezel Zirconium and ceramic, disc brake decoration with 6 H-shaped black PVD titanium screws in relief
Crystal Sapphire with interior/exterior anti-reflective treatment
Bezel Lug Black composite resin
Lateral Inserts Black composite resin
Case-back Satin-finished zirconium
Crown Black PVD titanium with black rubber insert
Push-pieces Black PVD titanium with red rubber insert, marked START and RESET
Screws Black PVD titanium
Water resistance 100 m or 10 ATM
Dial Multilayered, indexes with black nickel treatment, black SuperLuminova™,
F1 logo at 12 o'clock
Hands Micro-blasted, satin-finished & rhodium-plated, with red SuperLuminova™
Movement Mechanical chronograph with automatic winding, Hublot calibre HUB 4100
No. of Components 252
Bridges Micro-blasted, bevelled & polished
Screws Black PVD
Oscillating Weight Tungsten carbide with black PVD treated dimpled surface
Main plate Sandblasted & rhodium-plated
Barrel With reinforced spring
Escapement Glucydur hairspring
Power Reserve 42 hours
Strap Black rubber with Hublot and F1TM logo inside and black Nomex™ outside
Clasp Titanium, with black PVD folding mechanism