on watch

SIR JACKIE STE­WART marks his 50th year of his part­ner­ship with Rolex and re­calls how he be­came an em­blem­atic fig­ure in mo­tor sport

#Legend - - HIGHLIGHTS -

Jackie Ste­wart cel­e­brates his 50th an­niver­sary as a brand am­bas­sador for Rolex

IN THREE- TIME For­mula One cham­pion Sir Jackie Ste­wart, Swiss watch­maker Rolex found its dream am­bas­sador, or “Testimonee”, as the brand calls him. Ste­wart is renowned for his re­lent­less com­mit­ment to the sport, demon­strated both by his nat­u­ral and un­com­pro­mis­ing skill be­hind the wheel and his pi­o­neer­ing ac­tion for im­prov­ing the sport out of the cock­pit – char­ac­ter­is­tics which Rolex deems in sync with its DNA.

Rolex be­lieves a Testimonee has to rep­re­sent cer­tain val­ues that the brand holds dear – and that’s more than just strut­ting around wear­ing its watches and lo­gos.

Ste­wart cer­tainly fits the bill as the per­fect can­di­date be­cause he not only ex­tols the virtues of the prod­ucts he en­dorses, but he is also known to im­merse him­self fully into them – and none more so than Rolex. Ste­wart em­bod­ies the ded­i­ca­tion, ex­cel­lence, pre­ci­sion and in­no­va­tion that also un­der­pins Rolex’s watch­mak­ing prow­ess.

This year marks the 50th an­niver­sary of Ste­wart be­com­ing a Rolex Testimonee. The long-stand­ing part­ner­ship forms an im­por­tant

part of the brand’s de­vo­tion to mo­tor sport and its broad range of spon­sor­ship ac­tiv­i­ties. To­gether, they have wit­nessed many sig­nif­i­cant mo­ments and con­tinue to strive for per­fec­tion.

Rolex’s com­mit­ment to mo­tor sport dates back to the 1930s, when “the king of speed”,

Sir Mal­colm Camp­bell, broke the world land speed record on Florida’s Day­tona Beach while wear­ing the lux­ury Swiss watch. He achieved this mile­stone in his fa­mous Sun­beam Blue Bird and helped to es­tab­lish mo­tor sport as an in­te­gral part of the brand’s cul­ture.

Since then, Rolex’s pres­ence in the world of mo­tor rac­ing has grown steadily through part­ner­ships with iconic events and ex­cep­tional per­son­al­i­ties, with a shared quest for the ul­ti­mate in per­for­mance and in­no­va­tion. In 1992, the lux­ury watch­maker for­malised its re­la­tion­ship with Day­tona as the ti­tle spon­sor of the Rolex 24; in 2001, it was named an Official Part­ner and the Official Time­piece of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In

2013, the brand be­came a Global Part­ner and the Official Time­piece of For­mula 1.

Re­flect­ing on his part­ner­ship with Rolex, Ste­wart says: “I am in­cred­i­bly proud of ev­ery­thing I have achieved over the years, in­side and out­side the car, and Rolex has been a key part of this un­be­liev­able ad­ven­ture – every watch tells its own story. I pur­chased my first Rolex, hav­ing qual­i­fied well at the In­di­anapo­lis 500, be­fore I be­came a Rolex Testimonee. It was a Rolex Day-Date in 18K gold with Pres­i­dent bracelet, and it in­stantly es­tab­lished my love of and re­spect for Rolex. The watch that I par­tic­u­larly trea­sure is my new Day­tona. It was pre­sented to me in 2016 by Rolex at the Grand Prix de Monaco to cel­e­brate the 50th an­niver­sary of my first win around the hal­lowed streets of the prin­ci­pal­ity. There is a spe­cial en­grav­ing on the back of the watch, which of course makes it all the more im­por­tant to me. Rolex has be­come the most de­sired watch in the world – the es­teem, the pres­tige and the pride of own­er­ship that Rolex com­mands is un­matched.”

Born and raised in Scot­land, Ste­wart’s up­bring­ing was rel­a­tively hum­ble. As a child, he strug­gled to read and write due to un­di­ag­nosed dys­lexia. He be­gan work­ing at his fam­ily’s garage as a me­chanic when he was just 15 years old. How­ever, vic­tory at a clay-pi­geon shooting com­pe­ti­tion on New Year’s Day in 1953 marked a wa­ter­shed mo­ment for the teenager, when he dis­cov­ered a talent worth pur­su­ing. Ste­wart’s early suc­cess in this field led to him rep­re­sent Scot­land and Great Bri­tain on the Euro­pean stage. To this day, he re­mains the only per­son to have won Bri­tish Grand Prix in both shooting and For­mula 1 rac­ing. Ste­wart says he owes much of his pro­fes­sional suc­cess to dys­lexia, be­cause it prompted him to in­tently fo­cus on tasks that re­quire not only an ex­treme at­ten­tion to de­tail, but also rapid de­ci­sion-mak­ing – such as shooting mov­ing tar­gets or com­pet­i­tively driv­ing a dan­ger­ously fast au­to­mo­bile.

With­out a doubt, Ste­wart is one of his­tory’s most cel­e­brated rac­ing driv­ers, hav­ing won three FIA For­mula One Driv­ers’ World Cham­pi­onships and hav­ing com­peted at the fore­front of mo­tor sport glob­ally through­out the 1960s and ’70s. In to­tal, Ste­wart took part in 99 For­mula 1 Grand Prix races, win­ning 27 of them, car­ry­ing off three world cham­pi­onships (in 1969, 1971 and 1973) and fin­ish­ing 43 times on the podium.

Wear­ing his dis­tinc­tive Royal Ste­wart tar­tans, Ste­wart con­tin­ues to at­tend races glob­ally – and his on­go­ing loy­alty to mo­tor sport makes him the ul­ti­mate Rolex Testimonee.

From top: Rolex’s com­mit­ment to mo­tor sport dates back to the 1930s;Sir Jackie Ste­wart at the Good­wood Re­vival Bri­tish Grand Prix

Clock­wise from left: Sir Mal­colm Camp­bell broke the world land speed record on Day­tona Beach, Florida in the 1930s; Jackie Ste­wart rac­ing his Ma­tra-Ford MS80 at the Grand Prix of Italy

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