A timely deal for Formula One Management 13 May 2006
Bernie Ecclestone played host to the press in Barcelona on Saturday at the launch of a new range of official Formula One watches. It follows the signing earlier this year of a global license agreement between the Formula One Group and highly-respected watch manufacturer, Jacques Lemans.
Heading the range are two Swiss-made models, manufactured exclusively for Formula One Management for The Formula 1 Collection - the first ever official range of Formula One clothing and accessories - which will be launched at Formula1.com on June 6, 2006.
Jacques Lemans is a very competent watch manufacturer and this initial collection looks super. I hope this is the start of a successful collaboration, commented Ecclestone, who was joined at the presentation by Jacques Lemans CEO, Alfred Riedl, and ex-Formula One team owner Walter Wolf, who helped broker the deal.
The two exclusive FOM watches and the 34 mainstream models all reflect the Formula One philosophy in their design and manufacture. Materials such as carbon fibre, titanium, rubber and steel are used extensively and advanced functions such as the multi-time zone display suit the global nature of Formula One racing.
Central design elements of this collection are inspired by F1, commented Ralph Kutting, senior designer at Jacques Lemans. High-tech materials like carbon, titanium and ceramics all have a place in Formula One car design as they do in this unique range of watches.
Since its inception Jacques Lemans has followed a single important principle - to make beautifully designed and well-made watches at an affordable price. This philosophy has been applied to the Formula One watches, making this special collection available to the widest possible audience of Formula One racings enormous global following.
We are very happy that we have secured this contract with Mr Ecclestone, added Riedl. It presents a great opportunity and challenge for our designers, sales and production departments and this is a responsibility we take very seriously and with great enthusiasm.
Prices for the main collection range from Euro 190 to Euro 390. Pre-sales began in February and have exceeded all expectations, with many customers reserving their watch from retailers before even having seen the collection. The Swiss watches for Formula1.com will retail from Euro 600.
In 2007 Jacques Lemans plans to introduce an exclusive Limited Edition model of only 250 pieces. In addition, negotiations are under way with a Formula One driver to act as an ambassador for the company. Further details will be released in due course.