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Three watches that helped shape motorsport

Picture of Chris Teague

Chris Teague


Attend any car-related event, and it’s only a matter of time before you start running into watch enthusiasts. Motorsport, specifically autos, and watches, are tied at the hip. Even if we ignore Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and countless current racing heroes, it’s easy to see how fast cars and high-end watches could be easy acquaintances. 

That said, three watches tie the worlds of watches and motorsport together in ways no others can. These timepieces have become iconic in both worlds and remain an excellent choice for everyday wear even today. 

Here are the three most iconic motorsport-themed watches on sale today. 

Tag Heuer Monaco

Tag Heuer Monaco

It’s hip to be square, or at least that’s the opinion many Tag Heuer Monaco owners espouse. The iconic square watch has graced the wrists of some of the world’s most prominent figures in pop culture, motorsport, and beyond. Steve McQueen owned one, which should be all you need to know to get on board with Tag’s race-themed timepiece. 

The latest Monaco models retain their instantly recognizable shape and dual-register chronograph complication, but the latest models come with a modern movement and robust water resistance. Tag Heuer’s Monaco X Gulf watch, for instance, features a 39mm steel case and an open case back that shows off the movement and provides a healthy 100m/330ft water resistance rating. Additionally, the Calibre HEUER02 movement provides an 80-hor power reserve on top of the dual-register chronograph and date complications.

Rolex Daytona

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 

We’ve covered the Daytona before, and it’s obvious why it made this list. The timepiece is tied to motorsport and fast cars in a way that not many others are. Paul Newman wore a Daytona, and drivers still get a watch to call their own when they win the legendary motor race. The no-nonsense chronograph features three sub-dials and no date complication. Rolex’s sturdy Oyster case provides 100m/330ft water resistance, and the Oyster bracelet offers the ultimate comfort for steel sports watches.

The latest Daytona comes with a Rolex caliber 4130 movement, a self-winding chronograph movement with a 72-hour power reserve. Rolex says that the movement provides anti-magnetic qualities and the overcoil design helps stabilize timing in different positions. 

Omega Speedmaster

Omega Speedmaster

You may think that the Speedmaster is a space-going watch, but its origins are rooted firmly in motorsport. In the late 1950s, the watch was released with a hand-wound movement and the iconic three-register chronograph layout we know today. Omega has released countless variants of the watch over the years, including models with date complications, automatic movements, exotic case materials, and much more. 

Today, you can find almost any Speedmaster model on sale on the used market or through a trusted retailer. Omega is now owned by the Swatch Group and is sold in boutiques worldwide. On top of that, the large variety of Speedmasters produced means you can easily find the specific model that fits your needs. 

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