Watches have been a significant part of the endurance racing culture since the moment each of the teams’ tires hit the grid for the very first time. Still to this day, time keeping plays an intricate role with strategy and making in-race adjustments. From tracking lap times to driver stints, these decisions based on time ultimately decide whether a team finishes at the top of the podium, or dead last. Once Hollywood got a hold of endurance racing’s crown jewel, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, arguably one of the most iconic and dangerous races known to man, popularity both within the sport and racing chronograph watches, exploded. Built on the foundation of the Tag Heuer Monaco and Rolex Daytona, a wide array of watch brand partnerships are currently found throughout the grid evidenced by brand names on body panels, team shirts and occasionally, a watch on a driver’s wrist. The latest to join this prestigious group of endurance racing watch sponsors is YEMA after inking a deal with the Alpine Endurance Team, making them Alpine’s official timekeeper for the next three World Endurance Championship (WEC) seasons.
For those unfamiliar with the FIA WEC, here’s a quick primer. In a span of a 9 month long season, 24 teams will compete in 7 (8 races next season) grueling, high-intensity races on some of the most world renowned tracks around the globe including Spa, Monza and of course, Le Mans. The Alpine Endurance Team has found success in the past several years with their A470 hypercar, reaching the podium at least 16 times, winning 3 races and capturing the world title during the 2018-2019 season. Alpine’s A470 is the inspiration for YEMA’s new collection that celebrates the fresh partnership between both brands and will be worn by the entire Alpine Endurance Team next season.