When I heard that Armando wanted a creative update on sports and design, I was skeptical. Me? Sports? I do like my sports, but I’m not that heavily engaged, though I do have my favorite soccer teams, I guess.
There are so many aspects here, but I settled on car racing and watch design. Since the late sixties, there’s been a strong design between consumer watch brands and car racing, helped by celebrities including actors (Steve McQueen, Paul Newman) and primarily formula one racers such as Joe Siffert, Derek Bell, and Jim Clark.
So, watch design and car racing (that’s a sport, right?) have been tied together since the beginning of car racing, as watch manufactures have produced stop-watches for cars (on-the-dash) and for manual time keeping, but that’s another story in itself.
In the sixties, mainly driven by Rolex and Heuer, watch brands associated themselves with the drama of car racing and a certain look evolved that has shaped watch product design to this day.
Here some beautiful examples:
1) The Heuer Autaiva ‘Jo Siffert’. So named after the famed Swiss formula one race car driver, who died in an accident at a young age. This is an incredible watch:
On a side note: Jo Siffert also inspired artist Jean Tinguely to a fountain made out of various (car) parts, check it out here:
2) The Rolex Daytona ‘Paul Newman’. I wish I had the budget for one of these puppies. One of the most classical chronometers. And of course, the name associated with one of the most famous race tracks. More here:
3) The Heuer Monaco ‘Steve McQueen’. Honestly, practically anything associated with Steve McQueen is cool in my eyes ;’) But this is a wonderful watch, very different from the others presented here, as it’s rectangular in shape. These are popular, but even the reproductions are expensive. I love just looking at these though:
There are many more examples, some here:
You’ll see in everything from the fact that these are all chronographs, to the design of the watch and the straps, that there’s a huge influence of the ‘mechanical’ look of these watches based on racing. Maybe one of you can write about another sport and design and present a different angle.
PS: if you’re into watches, hodinkee is just a totally cool site, as you can tell from the links I used.