DRIV­ING FORCE

WE S IT DOWN FOR A QUICK- FIRE CHAT WITH AUSSIE MO­TOR­SPORT LEG E ND AND CHOPARD A MBASSADOR, MARK WEB­BER.

GQ (Australia) - - GQ WATCH -

GQ: What do you love about watches?

Mark Web­ber: There are sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the world of rac­ing and watch man­u­fac­tur­ing, such as the ab­so­lute pre­ci­sion that’s in­volved in both. I vis­ited the Chopard fac­tory in Switzer­land, a fas­ci­nat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. There is so much pre­ci­sion and qual­ity con­trol in­volved, it’s an au­to­mated process that’s retained a hand­made ap­proach. To see the whole process, from when the crafts­men start melt­ing down blocks of gold, to the fine-build process for watches with all their in­tri­cate me­chan­ics, was re­mark­able.

GQ: Favourite piece from the col­lec­tion?

MW: I like the new ‘Su­per­fast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edi­tion’. Made of ti­ta­nium and DLC (Di­a­mond-like Car­bon), it’s ro­bust but with the rub­ber strap it’s also com­fort­able to wear. I’ve been a Chopard am­bas­sador for a few years now, they’re amazing time­pieces.

GQ: What’s the most trea­sured watch in your per­sonal col­lec­tion?

MW: I’m for­tu­nate enough to have some fine watches and, to be hon­est, I wear dif­fer­ent styles for dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions. I pre­fer watches that are prac­ti­cal when I’m in­dulging in my love of out­door ac­tiv­i­ties and pur­suits, or some­thing more classic for black-tie func­tions.

GQ: Have you ever cel­e­brated a vic­tory with a watch pur­chase?

MW: I went through a stage of buy­ing watches when I was in For­mula One, but not as a means of cel­e­brat­ing wins. It was more to do with me killing time in air­port duty-free shops and being too eas­ily tempted by the stun­ning pieces avail­able. I’ve barely worn some of them, so they’re more of an in­vest­ment.

GQ: What ap­peals about Chopard’s de­sign?

MW: A watch needs to be func­tional, clear and clean. I like a watch to be easy to use with a ro­bust, un­clut­tered face. Chopard em­braces its part­ner­ship with Porsche and the rac­ing el­e­ment that goes with it. The brand takes in­spi­ra­tion from mo­tor­sports and in­cor­po­rates it into the de­sign and de­vel­op­ment of the watches, which I re­ally like. For ex­am­ple the ‘Su­per­fast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edi­tion’ fea­tures de­tails and colours of my rac­ing team’s 2016 car, the 919 hy­brid, which we race in the World En­durance Cham­pi­onship.

GQ: What’s your go-to watch for a black-tie event like GQ’S Men of the Year Awards?

MW: If the oc­ca­sion is for­mal, then the watch on my wrist will be a ‘Su­per­fast Power Con­trol’ in rose gold – a perfect match be­tween rac­ing in­spi­ra­tion and the el­e­gance of the el­e­ment. The new Chopard Syd­ney store is now open at 119 King Street; chopard.com

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