Rolex celebrates the 100th anniversary of 24 Hours of Le Mans with a specially engraved Daytona Chronograph to be given to the winning drivers

Image - Rolex

This year’s edition of 24 Hours of Le Mans is going to be truly special as it marks the 100th anniversary of the iconic endurance race. The inaugural racing event which was officially called the 24 Hours Grand Prix of Endurance was staged in 1923 at the legendary Le Mans racing circuit in France and was entered by a strong field of twenty manufacturers, including Bentley. Rolex has supported the oldest and most prestigious endurance race as the Official Timepiece since 2001. To be a part of the centenary celebrations, the Swiss watchmaker has created a specially engraved Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona which will be given to the winning drivers this year. A record-breaking crowd of 300,000 people is expected to arrive at Circuit de la Sarthe in northwest France to be a part of the centenary celebrations and witness the ultimate racing event.

Rolex Testimonee and Centenary Ambassador Tom Kristensen at Circuit de la Sarthe. Image – Rolex

Nine-time winner and Rolex Testimonee Tom Kristensen is the most decorated driver in the history of 24 Hours of Le Mans. This year, he takes on the role of ambassador for the centenary edition. “For me, this year is all about the 24 Hours of Le Mans; there is so much anticipation as we build to this momentous event,” Kristensen said. Being the official ambassador is a big responsibility and an honour. I’m proud to celebrate the legacy of the 24 Hours of Le Mans over the past 100 years and to reflect on the many evolutions and revolutions, while looking forward to next week’s race. For a racing driver, Rolex and Le Mans are the perfect match. Both have an extraordinary heritage, built and forged over a century.”

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The french tricolor being waved at the start of the 2017 Le Mans. Image – Rolex

A total of 62 cars shared by 186 drivers will fight it out this weekend, navigating around the legendary 13.626-kilometer track for 24 hours. The capacity field will also include the new Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) class along with many of the biggest names in the sport, including Cadillac, Ferrari, Peugeot, and Porsche. Jenson Button, 2009 F1 world champion and another Rolex Testimonee, will also compete at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. “I’m very excited to be joining the Garage 56 line-up. It will be an incredible challenge and a privilege to be at the 100th anniversary of Le Mans in such an unusual car, alongside some of the greats of the sport. This race is all about time so to be competing as part of the Rolex family this year will be particularly special. Every driver should experience endurance racing. It’s about working together and developing each other into the best possible driver for the overall success of the team.”

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Sayan Chakravarty, a Senior Writer at Luxurylaunches, brings over 10 years of automotive journalism expertise. He provides insightful coverage of the latest cars and motorcycles across American and European markets, while also highlighting luxury yachts, high-end watches, and gadgets. An authentic automobile aficionado, his commitment shines through in educating readers about the automotive world. When the keyboard rests, Sayan feeds his wanderlust, traversing the world on his motorcycle.