From 15-18 August, during four action- packed days, California celebrated the legacy and the future of the automobile, paying homage to its on-going influence on the modern world. Attracting an array of international manufacturers, competitors and spectators, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering and the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex, showcased beautiful, pioneering and innovative vehicles. As part of its almost 85- year association with motor sport, Rolex has supported classic car events since 1997, highlighting the Swiss watch brand’s continued commitment to ground- breaking engineering.
Mark Webber, Rolex Testimonee and multiple Formula 1® race winner, described his visit to the Pacific Coast: “California is synonymous with extraordinary cars and style. Coming here for the first time, I’ve been amazed by the variety of motoring activity. We’ve seen unbelievable cars from all around the world at The Quail and at the Concours, while at the race track it was great to see the cars being pushed to the limit.” Emphasizing the level of excellence on display, Webber continued: “It has been staggering to see the passion, the patience and the painstaking love that the owners put into getting these cars to this extraordinary level. Both Rolex and classic car events reflect the meticulous precision it takes to make something elegant and robust – something that is timeless and forever.”
PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE®
SUNDAY 18 AUGUST
As the sun set on this week of motoring activities, it was the 1931 Bentley 8 Litre Gurney Nutting Sports Tourer that was crowned ‘Best of Show’ at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. Embodying style and authenticity, it was only fitting that in Bentley’s centenary year one of the brand’s cars took top honours. Following the prize giving ceremony, owner Sir Michael Kadoorie said: “I feel very privileged to be the recipient of the ‘Best of Show’ and it is extra special as Bentley is celebrating 100 years. Reaching such a milestone says a lot about the people who have put in a great deal of effort to enrich the Bentley name. To win a Rolex watch, thanks to this wonderful car, is a great pleasure.”
The event began when the cars rolled onto the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links® during Dawn Patrol. As the fog lifted, the cars on show, all of varying provenances, eras and designers, were judged in their respective classes by over 100 technical judges, before the ‘Best in Class’ winners and subsequently the ‘Best of Show’ were announced. Away from the 18th hole, leading car manufacturers revealed highly anticipated new models while the concept lawn exhibited pioneering inventions.
ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPORTS REUNION
THURSDAY 15 – SUNDAY 18 AUGUST
The acclaimed WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca played host to the four-day Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion as racing cars spanning a century – from 1910 to 2013 – took to the track across 14 categories. Spectators were enthralled by the sights and sounds as these vintage automobiles re-enacted motor sport history. In the paddock, prominent constructors showcased cars from a variety of motor racing disciplines while the visiting public had the chance to meet the drivers and witness the mechanics fine-tune the vehicles. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), the featured marque of this year’s event, proudly displayed over 100 of its most successful cars to commemorate the organization’s 50th anniversary. The event encapsulates the spirit of motor racing and Rolex’s enduring support of the sport, as cars from across the decades compete like they were originally built to, around a challenging 11-turn, 3.602 km (2.238 mile) circuit.
THE QUAIL, A MOTORSPORTS GATHERING
FRIDAY 16 AUGUST
The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering hosted 6,000 guests as automobiles and motorcycles competed to reach the Rolex Circle of Champions. The garden party atmosphere, showcasing vintage and futuristic cars, global cuisine and fashion, takes place annually on the greens of The Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel. This year, the launch of the Bugatti Centodieci, the debut of the Acura Type S Concept and the US reveal of the Lotus Evija, made headlines as manufacturers looked to the future. As the day drew to a close, the 1931 Stutz DV 32 Convertible Victoria by Le Baron was honoured as the 2019 ‘Rolex Best of Show’. Gracing the stage with her family to collect the award was Caroline Cassini who reflected on the significance of this week of motoring events: “These festivities promote lots of camaraderie but really it is all about these wonderful works of art – the cars at The Quail are rolling sculptures. This Stutz has been in our family for a while now, and it is definitely a very special car.”
PEBBLE BEACH TOUR D’ELEGANCE® PRESENTED BY ROLEX
THURSDAY 15 AUGUST
As the sun shone down on Portola Road, a remarkable collection of cars from across the ages lined up for the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex. Bringing to life the history of the automobile, this exquisite motorcade travelled along portions of the famous 17-Mile Drive and down Highway 1, crossing Bixby Bridge, before returning to Ocean Avenue in Carmel-by-the-Sea for lunch. The diverse line-up of vehicles provided aficionados with a preview of the spectacular field to be shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, and was a fitting way to start Rolex’s long weekend of automotive activities in California.
Rolex’s commitment to motoring excellence and timeless style dates back to the 1930s, when Sir Malcolm Campbell broke land speed records with a Rolex timepiece on his wrist. To this day, the Swiss watch brand continues to honour the influential role of the automobile, paying respect to the designs of the past while appreciating the cutting-edge cars of the present and future.
Many of the world’s most acclaimed automobiles will be on display next month as the Californian coast becomes a hub of motoring activity. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, held between 15-18 August, will honour the heritage and style of vehicles from yesteryear together with the cutting-edge models of the future. Committed to pioneering design and continuous innovation, Rolex began supporting the illustrious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® in 1997 as part of its long-standing partnership with motor sport that dates back to the 1930s, when Sir Malcolm Campbell broke World Land Speed Records at the wheel of his car Bluebird.
The Rolex Testimonee and multiple Formula 1® race winner who will be attending the annual celebrations for the first time, considers the significance of the past: “We all like to look forward but it is equally important to reflect on what has been achieved and to appreciate the remarkable stories and legends of sport. Look at Mercedes Gleitze swimming across the English Channel in 1927 and Sir Malcolm Campbell breaking land speed records in the 1930s – Rolex was a part of these amazing feats. That’s why it is so important to celebrate events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Rolex has such an authentic relationship with these events because of its long history and strong links to pioneering moments of the past.”
Pebble Beach Golf Links®, which staged golf’s 2019 U.S. Open last month, hosts the most prestigious event of the week, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® on Sunday 18 August. Automobiles are driven onto the picturesque 18th hole during the legendary Dawn Patrol, and throughout the day, expert judges assess the vehicles on style, technical merit and accuracy. The winner of the Best of Show Award is declared during the closing ceremony, in recognition of the exceptional show of passion and desire to preserve the past. This year, Bentley cars are set to make up almost a quarter of the entrants and will feature across six classes as the manufacturer marks its centennial year. Italian design house Zagato, which also celebrates its 100th anniversary, has a dedicated category. Away from the golf greens, the concept lawn will continue to showcase innovative designs as state-of- the-art automobiles are revealed to the visiting public.
The Concours is preceded by the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex on Thursday 15 August, when spectators catch their first glimpse of these classic automobiles. A delight for the senses, this parade roars to life as the cars depart Portola Road, heading south down the coast via Bixby Bridge, before circling back to Carmel-by-the-Sea where they are displayed on Ocean Avenue for the afternoon.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, a cornerstone of California’s automotive festivities, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). Announced as this year’s featured marque, it will be the first time that an American racing organization has received this honour at the event. From Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 August, more than 550 authentic and period-correct automobiles – spanning 103 years of motor sport history – will compete in 14 categories around the challenging 11-corner, 3.602 km (2.238 mile) WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca circuit. The open paddock, bustling with activity, provides enthusiasts with an opportunity to interact with drivers and admire the racing cars as they pay homage to motor racing and recognize its influence in the USA and across the globe.
On Friday 16 August, against the backdrop of the Santa Lucia Mountains, an array of eclectic cars and motorcycles will assemble for The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. In its 17th year, this distinguished event will present the ‘25th Anniversary of the McLaren F1’ and ‘A Tribute to the Electric Car Movement’ among its featured themes. Alongside this premier vintage automotive display, international cuisine and style are celebrated on the rolling greens of the Quail Lodge & Golf Club. Judged by fellow entrants, car collectors compete to reach the Rolex Circle of Champions, where the vehicle of the highest calibre is awarded the Rolex Best of Show to reflect the Swiss watch brand’s ongoing commitment to excellence in both design and production.
Rolex’s partnerships with Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and these Californian events celebrate ground-breaking craftsmanship and iconic style, values which continue to shape both the automotive and watchmaking industries. Sir Jackie Stewart, Rolex Testimonee and three-time FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion, says: “It is a wonderful relationship because passionate car and watch aficionados understand the great privilege of owning something very special, with a long history and timeless elegance. The Concours, Reunion and The Quail celebrate the heritage of the automobile, featuring the most beautiful cars ever built. Rolex always aligns itself with excellence in every endeavour it supports and it continues to lead the world in that respect.”
After 24 hours of competition at the 13.626 km Circuit de la Sarthe, it was the No. 8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing that took victory this afternoon at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019. The record-breaking 61-car field that started the 87th edition of this historic endurance challenge, demonstrated the durability and robustness of the modern sports car. Rolex has championed 24-hour racing since the 1960s, recognizing the on-going quest for engineering excellence and precision. The Swiss watch brand has been the Official Timepiece of the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2001.
Completing 385 laps, the No. 8, driven by Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso, took the lead with just under an hour to go when the sister No. 7 car suffered a puncture in a dramatic final act of the race. The No. 7 had been fastest all week, taking pole position on Thursday and, through record-breaking pace in the early stages of the race, secured a healthy gap, before being forced to pit for new tyres twice in quick succession, forfeiting the win to finish second. With victory, the No. 8 secured back-to-back 24 Hours of Le Mans titles and the 2018-2019 FIA World Endurance LMP Drivers’ Championship.
Closely-fought racing continued down the field. The Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) category teams proved reliable as 16 of the 20 starters crossed the finish line, with the No. 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut at the head of the pack, one lap ahead of its nearest rival. In an epic contest of endurance, that often felt more like a sprint race, the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance Pro (LMGTE Pro) class had wheel-to-wheel racing from start to finish, with manufacturers separated by seconds for much of the 24-hour marathon. The result was ultimately decided when the No. 63 Corvette Racing spun off the track, allowing the No. 51 AF Corse to take the LMGTE Pro win in the year that Ferrari marks 70 years since its maiden 24 Hours of Le Mans victory. The No. 85 Keating Motorsports built an unassailable lead in the LMGTE Am class, completing a total of 334 laps to stand atop the podium.
This edition marked the first time the 24 Hours of Le Mans hosted the season finale of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Over the course of 86 hours of driving across six countries and 14 months, the WEC witnessed incredible technical developments across the field as the teams continuously closed the competitive gap to one another.
Rolex Testimonee and record nine-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Tom Kristensen remarks: “This weekend has illustrated the rollercoaster of emotions at Le Mans – we have experienced the thrill of close racing, as well as the anguish of untimely reliability issues. The race demands absolute perseverance and durability from both human and machine in their shared pursuit of the ultimate performance.”
Presented to the overall winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a specially engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, acknowledging the legendary status of the contest and the achievements of those who continue to take on this definitive race against time.
The illustrious reputation of the Rolex Giraglia has been sculpted by the passion and persistent pursuit of excellence of those who take part together with the dedication and purposeful collaboration of the event’s established partners. The 2019 edition, the 67th uninterrupted annual running since 1953, provided a resounding demonstration of why the event has endured. Rolex, a supporter of yachting since the 1950s, has been a close and committed partner of the event since 1998.
A total of 297 international yachts, and nearly 3,000 sailors, took part across the weeklong competition. Sporting highlights included the three days of inshore racing off Saint-Tropez and the 241 nautical mile offshore race to Monaco. Very few sailing events command such large participation nor comprise such a diverse programme, uniting intense competition, majestic locations and convivial social events. Rolex’s longstanding relationship with the sport includes enduring partnerships with individuals and organizations who set the highest standards. The organizers of the Rolex Giraglia – the Yacht Club Italiano and the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez – together with hosts of the 2019 finish, the Yacht Club de Monaco, fit emphatically within this criterion.
One of the greatest golfing venues in the world, Pebble Beach Golf Links will welcome 156 of the world’s best professional and amateur golfers for the 119th edition of the U.S. Open from 13–16 June.
This will be the sixth time that Pebble Beach has hosted the event, one of the four annual golf Majors, highlighting the championship pedigree of this revered course which celebrates its centenary year in 2019. This year also marks the 40th edition of the tournament that Rolex will preside over as Official Timekeeper, a position it has held since 1980.
For more than 50 years, the Swiss watch manufacturer has nurtured one of the most enduring relationships between a brand and sport. In 1967, Rolex partnered with Arnold Palmer, joined by friends and rivals Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, affectionately known as The Big Three, who played a key role in modernizing this ancient sport.
Since then, Rolex has become intimately linked with golf, extending its support to every level of the game, from its elite players, to men and women’s Major championships and the foremost professional tours around the globe. It is a partnership steeped in quality, reliability and a pioneering spirit, attributes that permeate everything Rolex does.
Not only is it an important year for the Swiss watch manufacturer and Pebble Beach, Rolex Testimonee Brooks Koepka will arrive at this dramatic stretch of California coastline with the opportunity to continue his sequence of historic victories. In winning the 2019 PGA Championship in May, Koepka reclaimed the World No. 1 ranking and became the first golfer to successfully defend two Major titles. He clinched his fourth Major at the Bethpage Black Course on New York’s Long Island after claiming the 2018 PGA title at Bellerive Country Club in Missouri. At Pebble Beach he will be aiming to become only the second golfer to win the U.S. Open title three years in a row, a feat not repeated since Scotland’s Willie Anderson won in 1903, 1904 and 1905.
The course requires long drives from the tee, yet precise iron play around the greens, an exacting challenge that ensures only the worthiest can be crowned champion. In his quest for a momentous third successive U.S. Open title, Koepka must once again rely on his accuracy and consistency, qualities that are echoed in Rolex’s quest for perpetual excellence in all its endeavours.
Should the 29-year-old win at Pebble Beach, he would join an elite group of Rolex Testimonees to have won the U.S. Open at this famous venue. In 1972, Jack Nicklaus won his third title here. Ten years later he was pipped by great friend and rival Tom Watson, who claimed his only U.S. Open title with one of the greatest finishes in Majors history. And Tiger Woods’ win in 2000 by a then record 15 strokes is considered one of the greatest performances in golfing history. His victory was the first en route to holding all four Major titles at the same time, the so-called Tiger Slam, a feat no other golfer has achieved.