Watches are important daily accessories for their ability to tell time. However, as time progressed, they have been improved to help other aspects of day-to-day living, including professionals, and not just those who are rushing to work.
Formula 1 is just among the many sports that have required the help of a time keeping device to help determine the improvement in their body of work. This includes how much time they need to complete a lap, and maybe, how fast they are going at a certain point. However, the usefulness of a timepiece is not limited to professionals. Even onlookers and media personnel will need one. Unfortunately, they can be very expensive for the casual curious collector to buy. Racing accessories normally are. Luckily, there are cheap options available in the market for those who want to have one.
Tag Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph
What makes the Formula 1 Chronograph from Tag Heuer stand out is its electric blue dial that pops out immediately from its stainless steel casing through its anti-reflective sapphire dial window, which, on its own, makes it clearer for the user by preventing glare or reflection on the dial window. Its band is also made of the same material as its case ensuring that the watch itself does not collect rust and its durability is guaranteed.
To further their purpose of making the watch clear regardless of the conditions on the racetrack, they added illumination on to the indices because on its own it is not very good. The electric blue dial clashes too much with the orange that the minute markers are imbued with. In addition, they are very small. Also, the lume added ensures that even when the racetrack is dark, which can be on occasion, you are guaranteed to still be able to see the time. This also applies to the tachymeter which is sitting directly on top of the bezel.
The bezel itself, unlike the rest of the casing, is made out of aluminum.
A word for the wise: The Tag Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph is fully capable of being submerged into water. For example, for times when you want to do laps in the swimming pool. With this model, you are fully able to do so. However, remember to never use the push down crown when your arm is under water. Wait until you have your entire arm above water before you do anything with it.
Oris Williams Formula 1 Automatic
The Williams Formula 1 from Oris was designed to be a mixture of rubber and stainless steel, the latter being a staple in the racecar industry. This is apparent on the casing of this model ensuring that your timepiece does not collect rust and guarantees that the chances of the item breaking is reduced. However, the band itself is prominently rubber, and although it is not the most durable of materials to be used as a band, this might be one of the most comfortable since its hugs one’s wrist better than stainless steel ever would.
In addition, the band features a deployment clasp doubling the security around the wrist.
What impresses us with the William Formula 1 is its aesthetics and how they blend with each other perfectly. The indices and the minute markers are clear against the matte black color of the dial. Even the sub-dials blend in perfectly. Although, one hitch is the size of the indicators for the tachymeter are small compared to the entire piece. However, it is visible enough to be used which is vital because this is what makes it an accessory for racecar drivers and enthusiasts alike.
The entire piece is powered by an automatic movement. It is just unfortunate how this watch, unlike many watches that are on this list, was not designed to be exposed to water because at the moment, it does not have a water resistance rating.
Tag Heuer Monaco
What makes the second offering of Tag Heuer unique is its shape. Among all the watches on this list, it is the only one which has a square shaped casing. Regardless, it remains to be made out of stainless steel, this time, it includes the bezel. This means that you should not fear of the timepiece breaking down easily because it was built to last, this model is a timeless classic.
The band, however, is another story because it is made out of leather rather than steel. It is durable in itself, but the decision to use this material may have be due to the comfort it provides.
Moreover, it does not have a bezel where a tachymeter might be installed. This is a common feature for Formula 1 wristwatches that is unfortunately absent in this one. On the other hand, it is rated to be able to resist water for activities such as snorkeling and swimming. However, anything deeper than those, the watch will not be able to handle it.
Christopher Ward C7 Rapide Chronograph
This timepiece from Christopher Ward came from modern, powerful sportscars, and that is why, they picked bold colors to represent this timepiece. Although to some, the combination of black and red seems too much. However, the longer you look at it, the more it fits each other perfectly.
Aesthetically, we had an issue with regards to the choice of making the hour markers for two, four, eight, and ten print large when compared to the rest which are only represented by longer indices. Normally, it would have been the 12, three, six, and nine that are being highlighted. Not that it is a bad thing. In fact, it makes the piece more unique when compared to others. These markings along with the demarcation of the tachymeter allows for it to pop out of the dial and the black bezel. The same pattern continues with the sub-dials. This goes to show that Christopher Ward, as a company, wants to guarantee its users that their watches are visible regardless of the lighting condition, and to take it a step further, they added SuperLuminova SLN-T-C1 lumes into the indices. This way, no matter how dim or dark the racetrack is you can still tell the time.
The date window in the middle of the bottom sub-dial is the only feature of the piece that was not thought through because it cannot be seen clearly unless you look at it closely.
Materials used for the casing is stainless steel, and just like the rest of the watches in this list, it is guaranteed to last. However, the band is made out of leather which was used mostly for comfort.
In addition, the C7 Rapide Chronograph has been rated 100M for its water resistance proving that this piece is just not for Formula 1 racing. It can also be used underwater for swimming and snorkeling. However, it was not built for diving, and that is why, this should be avoided at all cost.
Edox Chronorally Sauber F1
Edox has been in the F1 industry for 25 years. To celebrate, the company decided to design a watch that is reflective of all the years they put into the sport, starting off by engraving the number of years they have been involved at the six o’clock demarcation. It is engraved in cursive to show elegance.
Its dials were designed to reflect the F1 cars that they have been sponsoring for years, and that is why the decision to make it into an electric blue color was made, and that follows the entire piece. The only parts that have any shade other than blue includes the hands of the watch, the sub-dials, and the bezel which have shades of black on them. This gives the watch depth and contrast that pulls the entire design together.
Aside from the sub-dials, the watch also has two complication. One is the date window, and the other tells what day it was. You can find strewn across the EDOX logo at the top.
Edox also designed the band using rubber only to be made a special piece by carving tyre marks into the band. They also used anti-reflective and scratch-resistant sapphire to be its dial window. This not only makes the dial protected, but also, this guarantees that the piece will not leave any glare or reflection when reading the time even when strong lights or an overcast is upon you.
Moreover, it was designed to reach a 100M water resistant training meaning you can do almost any water activity as long as it does not go into diving territory.
You can clearly see that Edox put a great deal of effort into the watch and pulled out all the stops.
At the end of the day, racing accessories including the watch are expensive. They will cost you money. However, invest in one, and if any of these affordable F1 watches are any indication, then, it will last you a lifetime.