Thinking of Formula One will probably bring to mind images of glamorous races in locations like Monaco, Italy and Spain. But while F1 was once a predominantly European series, these days it includes grands prix in locations as far-flung as Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Brazil. Few of those locations, though, have had as long-standing a relationship with the top-tier motor racing series as the United States. To celebrate F1's return to America, the sport's official timekeeper is launching the special-edition luxury watch you see here.
After hosting a few pre-war grands prix in the early 1900s, the United States Grand Prix was held every year from 1958 through 1980. Things got a little spotty after that, with races briefly resuming in Phoenix from 1989, not to return again until 2000 when the USGP was held in Indianapolis. That ended in 2007, but F1 is about to make a big comeback at a new circuit constructed near Austin, Texas, to be held in mid-November. (A second race is slated for the shores of the Hudson River in New Jersey, but has been delayed til 2014.)
The Hublot F1 King Power Austin is the latest in a range of timepieces made in concert with Formula One's organizers. It's based on the Swiss atelier's celebrated King Power watch, but with a few unique touches. For starters, you might have noticed the brake-disc that replicates the carbon-ceramic brakes on an F1 car and renders it in titanium and carbon fiber affixed to the 48-millimeter titanium case as its bezel. The screws and lugs are fashioned from titanium and black resin, and beneath the sapphire crystal and detailed red dialó complete with F1 logo, of courseó rests Hublot's own 27-jewel HUB4100 movement. The automatic mechanism features a date window, chronograph function and 42-hour power reserve.
The timepiece straps to the wrist with black hornback alligator leather, complemented by red stitching and a black PVD deployment buckle. Only 250 examples will be made, each individually numbered.