Not just for the collectors here is why motorsport inspired watches like the Rolex Daytona and the Tag Heuer Monaco are the fancy of celebs like Jay Z and Ryan Reynolds too

Ryan Reynolds wearing a motorports-inspired Chopard watch in Netflix movie 6 Underground. Photo: Chopard


Watchmakers have long found inspiration in the world of motorsports. Craftsman from the two respective fields share a passion for details and a desire for precision. We look at three iconic watches with a link to historic races – and the celebrities we’ve spotted wearing these designs.

A Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman 6241. Photo: handout

Rolex Daytona
The single most recognisable chronograph watch in the world is closely linked to motorsports. Named after the famous Daytona 500 race, the watch is one of Rolex’s most collectable – with the famous Paul Newman Daytona, once owned by the actor, shattering records at auction in 2017 when it was sold for US$17.8 million.

Via Instagram / @phillipsauction

Rolex has continued to reinvent the reference, in recent years adding different dial colours to the line, as well as launching the popular black and white ceramic bezel reference in 2016. The rainbow gem-set Daytona has been a hit as well.

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Via Instagram / @atechnicaltime

It’s a favourite among celebrities. You’ll spot it on the wrists of everyone from watch fanatic John Mayer to Beyoncé and Jay Z.

1st Monaco special edition – 01. Photo: Tag Heuer

Tag Heuer Monaco
Long before Tag Heuer acquired the Tag in its name, the Heuer brand launched the square Monaco watch. A chronograph, the piece, as you might have guessed, takes its name from the Monaco Grand Prix race. The “King of Cool” Steve McQueen wore the watch in the 1971 film Le Mans. The reference celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, and the designs now bare the modern Tag Heuer logo.

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Via Instagram / @caferacersofinstagram

The watch was most recently seen on the wrist of comedian Colin Jost, fiancé of starlet Scarlett Johansson, on the 2020 Academy Awards red carpet.

Colin Jost and Scarlett Johansson attend the 92nd Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood. Photo: Getty Images

Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph – Zagato 100th anniversary edition. Photo: Chopard

Chopard Mille Miglia
Chopard created this watch to celebrate the historic open road endurance race that has taken place across Italy since 1924. The brand has created various limited editions of this reference for both men and women.

Italy’s open-road endurance race, Mille Miglia, in 2019. Photo: Chopard

Ryan Reynolds wore the Mille Miglia GTS Power Control Grigio Speziale in blackened titanium in the Netflix original film 6 Underground.

Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.