The Hundred Club

Rolex have produced a special version of their storied Daytona watch to mark the centenary of one of the toughest challenges in sport — the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Ford Chicane at Circuit de la Sarthe during this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

As the final minutes ticked down, I found my excitement for the winners building. The gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans was coming to a conclusion, and the three-driver team of the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 499P were about to have their names — Antonio Giovinazzi, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado — immortalised by the racing gods. But forget lifting the trophy in front of the 235,000 spectators who descend upon this otherwise sleepy part of France, or the bragging rights that attend victory in this legendary race. The real prizes were the watches they would each be gifted. Le Mans’ timing partners, Rolex, bestow new Daytonas on the winners every year — perhaps the best prize in sport — but this year was special, as it was the centenary of the first 24- Hour race, and on this very track. It’s hard these days to imagine the heroics of the drivers in those early decades of the race, with Woolf ‘Babe’ Barnato and Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin piloting their huge four-and-a-half-litre Blowers for thousands of miles, day and night. Eddie Hall even completed the entire race on his own in 1950, an achievement that has not been equalled.


August 2023


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