There is a lot of overlap between the culture of high end watches and auto racing. After all both cars and timepieces require precision, advanced engineering, sleek designs and lots and lots of disposable income. So when the elite meet for a Formula 1 race, it makes sense that they would want to treat themselves to a unique souvenir. On the eve of the 2017 Montreal Grand Prix, luxury Swiss watch brand Hublot hosted racing legend Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen at the Château d’Ivoire boutique in Montreal to debut the Big Bang Ferrari collection in Canada.
To celebrate the car company’s 70th anniversary, Hublot and Ferrari teamed up to create a truly unique watch: the limited edition Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograph. Designed by Ferrari and built by Hublot, the timepiece is unique in its use of an Ether Ketone carbon exoskeleton case. It’s lightweight, super complicated and handsome – all things that appeal to gearheads.
As for the watch, Räikkönen says that “it was a tradition to get a watch at a certain age,” but the 2007 F1 champ cannot recall the make or model. But he is a fan of the Techframe Ferrari. “I like it because it is light.”
We also got a chance to test drive the Techframe Ferrari. And Räikkönen’s brief answer fully sums up the experience. The carbon case (it’s also available in titanium and the brand’s proprietary King Gold) and patented one-click deployant strap system (you can switch between black alcantara on black rubber, with red overstitching or a black Schedoni leather band), make the watch comfortable to wear.
The precision of Hublot’s in-house UNICO manufacture self-winding flyback chronograph movement also makes it a reliable timepiece — and timing is everything in racing.
The Techframe Ferrari also features such nods to automotive design as a 3D dial minute counter and date window at 3 o’clock that resembles a tachometer. The date aperture is a close replica of Ferrari’s signature speedometer. At 9 o’clock, the seconds counter is in the shape of an air extractor while elongated push-buttons are fixed to a rotating staff resemble the pedals on a car.
“It looks great,” says Räikkönen, but most importantly, “It feels correct.”