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By Aldous Tuck | August 10, 2016 | Watches
Swiss watchmakers and champion athletes team up for timepieces that offer split-second accuracy as well as winning style.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:
Omega has been an official Olympic timekeeper for nine decades. In honor of this summer’s Games the brand has released the Seamaster Bullhead “Rio 2016” ($9, 600), created with a blue leather strap that speaks to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games logo accented with yellow, green, red, and black stitching reminiscent of the Olympic rings. The watch features a central chronograph seconds hand and a 30-minute recorder at 12. A limited edition of 316 pieces were created. Available at Russell Korman Fine Jewelry, 5011 Burnet Road., 512-451-9292
As the official timer at Wimbledon, Rolex has a deep connection to tennis plus a myriad of partnerships in the sporting world. The Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 in steel and yellow gold ($12,700) is a new generation of a true classic that is constructed of 904L steel and 18ct. yellow or Everose gold. The watch is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 meters. Available at Ben Bridge at The Domain, 512-491-8014
With eight decades of aeronautics informing their designs, Breitling is the official timekeeper of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, sponsors several aviation teams, and collaborates with elite pilots. The Avenger Bandit ($6,015) debuted at this year’s BaselWorld watch fair and is officially chronometer-certified by the COSC. It is self-winding, high-frequency, and features a one-quarter of a second chronograph with 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers. The Cambered sapphire crystal is glare-proof. Available at Sam L. Major Jewelry, 2727 Exposition Blvd., 512-473-0078
TAG Heuer is synonymous with auto racing, and the new Carrera Heuer 02T ($20,200) keeps the brand on track. The COSC-certified automatic chronograph with tourbillon escapement is made from 5 grade titanium. The black skeleton bridges feature a chronograph minute counter at 3 and a chronograph hour counter at 9. The strap is matte black alligator on black rubber. Available at Ben Bridge at The Domain
The origin of precision timing in sports is shrouded in lore, but we do know that in 1932 Omega sent 30 state-of-the-art chronographs to the Olympic games in Los Angeles, providing not only the first official timekeeping technology, but also the first record of 1/10th of a second timing.
Over the following eight decades, a number of brands proved their expertise across the sporting spectrum in the role of official timer and through longstanding partnerships.
From sailing and equestrian competitions to world-class tennis, golf, motor racing, and beyond, Swiss makers have pushed their technical know-how to the limit, building reliable instruments that help competitors of all stripes attain excellence—and perhaps even that elusive gold medal.