Geneva, Thursday 21 July 2016 – Every August, one of California’s most spectacular locations, the Monterey peninsula, becomes the international focal point for motoring excellence and elegance during the Monterey Classic Car Week. Showcasing an exceptional selection of the world’s most beautiful vintage and modern day supercars, the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex are major highlights of this spectacular event. While individually focusing on different key attributes, together the Concours and Tour form an inimitable combination of speed, endurance and elegance. These values are perfectly compatible with Rolex’s and underline why the Swiss watchmaking brand has been Official Timepiece of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance since 1997 and became presenting sponsor of the Tour d’Elegance in 2007.
Established in 1950 and traditionally held on the third Sunday in August since 1972, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the most opulent motor show in the world and marks the finale of the Monterey Classic Car Week. This yearly meeting enables those passionate about automotive design, style and innovation to pay homage to the great eras of motoring history, as well as to catch a glimpse of both concept and new cars making their debut. Staged on the world famous 18th hole of the Pebble Beach Golf Links®, where U.S. Open golfing history is often made, tyres unusually meet turf. This distinct setting is rather fitting given Rolex’s role as Official Timekeeper of the U.S. Open and the brand’s strong links with four-time winner of the U.S. Open, Jack Nicklaus.
Approximately 200 of the most prized automobiles and motorcycles in the world roll onto the renowned fairway to be judged for historical accuracy, technical merit and style. This year, the Concours will commemorate the BMW Centennial and the 50th Anniversary of the Ford GT40 Victory at Le Mans, with the American manufacturer having also spectacularly triumphed on its return to the 24-hour race this year. While speed is not part of the criteria at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, all cars must be drivable and where better to set this outstanding museum in motion than the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex. Introduced in 1998 and open to all Concours participants, the non-competitive tour of 80 miles (129 kilometers), traces portions of the historic 17-Mile Road Race, which ran from 1950 to 1956, another nod to the outstanding heritage of this automotive festival.
The Tour starts from The Lodge at Pebble Beach™, parades along narrow roads bordered with pines and cypress trees, traverses nearby mountains and valleys, and pauses for a gourmet lunch in the charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The Tour is not just a golden opportunity for locals and enthusiasts from around the world to savour the beauty and elegance of some of the greatest classics of all time, but participating can be crucial for those hoping for victory in the Rolex-supported Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In the event that two cars tie during the judging of the Concours, the car that successfully participated in the Tour will take the prize. Never has the cliché, “You’ve got to be in it to win it” been more apt.
Participants not only compete for Class Awards, Elegance Awards and Special Awards, but also for the most coveted prize of all, the Best of Show Award. Last year’s winner was the 1924 Isoletta Fraschini Tipo 8A F. Ramseier & Cie Warblaufen Cabriolet. The Best of Show award is the Concours’ ultimate accolade, bestowing global recognition on the victor, who also claims the ultimate prize - the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41. Aesthetically, the Datejust has spanned eras, while retaining the enduring codes that make it one of the most recognized and recognizable watches and the perfect timepiece to commemorate success at Pebble Beach.
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; 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