In the world of racing, timing is everything. And, in the world of men, cars are one of their favorite toys. Maybe that is why you always see motorsports racers at the wheel with heavily designed and sophisticated racing watches.
For many decades, the watchmaking industry has kept a strong connection with automobile racing. As a result, you can see automotive watches in the market. The automotive watches are not like aviation watches, field watches, or dive watches. Instead, they tend to be more exotic, flashier, and more casual to present you with that rugged-yet-stylish vibe. Similar to racing cars, racing watches are either of classic designs with features like automotive gauges or sleek and modern designs connected to the present-day motorsports.
Among all iconic racing watches, there are 2 essential features that all serious racers look out for: a tachymeter and a chronometer.
On one hand, a tachymeter is typically a kind of bezel that allows you to calculate time and distance. By measuring the time (how many seconds) you travel through a certain distance, the outer markings on the bezel will show you the speed that you have covered in that time. In addition, whatever the unit you are using to measure with, the tachymeter always reads units per hour. Indeed, the tachymeter is really helpful for racers to calculate the time of laps.
On the other hand, a chronograph is a watch with an additional, separate stopwatch function. Though you might find some chronograph watches with only one sub-dial for measuring seconds, most racing watches have 3 dials for seconds, minutes, and hours.
7 of the Best Racing Watches
Tag Heuer Caliber 16 Formula 1 Racing Watch
A dedicated speed racer should be speedy, agile, and strong. So are racing watches! The 44mm racing watch has a fine-polished steel case with black PVD coating and an ebony dial with Rhodium plated luminescent indexes. Created for every enthusiastic racer, this automotive watch features a tachymeter scale on its bezel and a self-winding movement. The watch also presents its wearer with a 42-hour power reserve and remarkable racing chronographs, including 60-seconds sub-dial at 9, 30-minutes recorder at 12, and 12-hours counter at the 6 o’clock position. To assure you maximum accuracy for both time and day, the Tag Heuer Caliber 16 Formula 1 racing watch also has a small date window at the 3 o’clock position.
IW380902 IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racing Watch
Classic. Modish. And Sporty. This timepiece features 3 racing chronographs: for seconds, minutes, and hours. The IWC racing watch was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG, one of the luxury sports cars with motorsport passion and legendary achievements. With an 89361 self-winding movement, this watch has a 68-hour power reserve and a flyback function.
PFH340-1012700-HC3042 Rose Gold Parmigiani Bugatti
This automotive watch aims to defy all limits as it explores all possibilities fearlessly. Speaking of its movement, this racing watch has a PF370 caliber, which borrows its composition from automotive technology. It allows the wearer to experience a true Bugatti engine on the wrist. Unlike other mechanical watches using a wind stem crown, the Bugatti watch is normally manually wounded by using a dynamometric starter. Also, it is able to reserve power for up to 10 days!
GMT-Chronotimer Monobloc Actuator
Created by Porsche with inspiration from racing cars, the racing watch has a chronograph with a single rocker switch, which adds to its usability and durability. The GMT-Chronotimer Monobloc Actuator watch has a water resistance of up to 100 meters. Thus, it’s suitable for both road racing and water racing. With an ETA Valjoux 7754 chronograph movement, this titanium watch makes 28, 800 vibrations per hour and is able to reserve power for up to 48 hours.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
Born to race back in 1963, this mechanical Rolex racing watch has been able to support individual professional racers. The watch has helped spread the name of the brand while retaining its special class among racing chronographs. With a 4130 self-winding chronograph caliber, the Rolex watch allows its wearers to measure the elapsed time and their average traveling speed by using the tachymeter on the bezel.
Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph Watch
The Omega racing watch has a unique chronograph. With a special crystal, the dial contains a small seconds sub-dial at 9, a 30-minutes recorder at 3, and a 12-hours counter at the 6 o’clock position. Inside, this remarkable watch has an OMEGA 1861 manually-wound mechanical caliber. And it usually comes with a special moon-watch presentation, featuring a “NATO” strap and a tool for changing the bracelet.
Bremont MKII Jaguar Chronograph watch
Classic, sporty, and vintage, this Bremont watch has a look that reminds you of the 1960s’ Jaguar sports cars. It also has the Jaguar heritage racing logo at the 6 o’clock position. Furthermore, its hour markers resemble the numerals on the E-Type instruments. With a 13 ¼”’ BE-50AE automatic caliber with 28 jewels, the watch reserves power for up to 42 hours. Its racing chronograph functions include a 30-minutes counter at the 3 o’clock position and a seconds sub-dial at the 9 o’clock position.
In motor racing, every second counts. Before you battle with your opponents, you must first battle with time. And, to battle with time, you have to get the best racing watch on your wrist first. It could be a special model like the Tag Heuer Caliber 16 Formula 1 watch or any one that possesses outstanding chronograph and tachymetric features.