Geneva, 20 July 2016 – Car aficionados have been making an annual pilgrimage to the Monterey Peninsula in California for over 65 years. What started in 1950 as a road race and concours organized by a group of sports car owners has since developed into the Monterey Classic Car Week, a week-long celebration of vintage automobile excellence attracting enthusiasts and collectors from around the world. Rolex has been deeply involved with the week since 1997, and is privileged to partner those whose passion and dedication has created this point of reference in the automotive world.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is the largest event during this seven-day extravaganza and is staged at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the scene of America’s golden years of sports car racing since 1957. Having partnered the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races between 2001 and 2009 at the same venue, Rolex became Title Sponsor of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in 2010.
Constructed on a “dry lake” in 1957 known as the Laguna Seca circuit, the Reunion is always awash with robust competition and exciting racing. Every period of racing history is showcased as part of this museum in motion, with some 550 race cars and motorcycles invited to compete at the challenging 11-turn, 2.238-mile (3.60-kilometer) anti-clockwise circuit; whether at the wheel of a classic or modern-day automobile, this track demands tremendous driver skill. Those who are triumphant here claim the Spirit of Monterey Award and the ultimate racing driver’s watch, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona – the perfect timepiece to commemorate such a momentous achievement.
When they are not mastering the circuit or speeding down the renowned Corkscrew, a 1,000-foot plunge and the most famous corner in North America, the vehicles are displayed in the streets inside the raceway for enthusiasts to closely admire and appreciate. Each year, the Reunion features a brand, a specific model, a type of vehicle, or even an accomplished racing driver. This year’s featured marque will be BMW as the German manufacturer celebrates its 100th anniversary. Can-Am will also be a main focus, to honour the racing series’ 50th year, a series in which Rolex Testimonee and three-time FIA Formula One™ Drivers’ World Champion, Sir Jackie Stewart, competed and was twice victorious with the 1971 Lola T-260.
It is this appreciation for the past and its traditions, combined with a shared pursuit of excellence on the wrist and track respectively, that binds Rolex so closely together with the Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the Monterey Classic Car Week more widely.
MONTEREY CLASSIC CAR WEEK
This year’s event, running from Thursday 18 August until Sunday 21 August 2016, will be defined by four pinnacle moments: the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex; The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering; the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®; and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Individually, each event demonstrates the constant evolution of motor sport and provides connoisseurs with an opportunity to revel in the past; together, the events form an index for those who truly appreciate the qualities and heritage of the classic car, linked by a common theme that Rolex shares: a passion for speed, endurance, innovation and tradition.
ROLEX AND MOTOR SPORT
Rolex's close ties with motor sport date back to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s World Land Speed Record successes in the 1930s, when he became the first driver to break the 300 mph barrier at the wheel of Bluebird. Since then, Rolex’s presence in motor racing has grown steadily, supporting iconic endurance races such as the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans; iconic classic car events steeped in elegance, beauty and tradition, including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Goodwood Revival; and the leading motor sport series, Formula 1®.
Rolex, the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, is headquartered in Geneva and enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as superlative chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces all the essential components of its watches in-house, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programmes.
Virginie Chevailler, Rolex SA
+41 22 302 26 19
Sophie Stansfield, Influence Sports
+44 7541 237 399