Luxury watch brand Rolex has been named as the official F1 timekeeper from the 2013 season.
Rolex insisted that the new deal reinforced its 'commitment to motor racing and its support of global sport at the very highest level', with the deal set to see Rolex branding appear at a number of events during the season ahead.
As well as becoming official timekeeper, Rolex will also become the official timepiece of the sport.
“This is an exciting step for us at Rolex as the fit between Formula One and our brand feels very natural and, like all great partnerships, needs little explanation,” Gian Riccardo Marini, Chief Executive Officer of Rolex SA, said. “In our respective fields, Rolex and Formula One embody the spirit of adventure, superlative engineering and a strong desire to push the limits of technology. These aspirations are enormously appealing to younger generations.
“Rolex watches are symbolic of the quest for the highest level of performance and reliability that is epitomized by Formula One. Over the last 50 years both Rolex and Formula 1 have grown into world-leading aspirational brands and there will be many fantastic opportunities that we can enjoy together.”
F1's commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone praised the new deal as an exciting one for the sport.
“Without question Rolex is the partner of choice for a world class sporting series like Formula One,” he said. “The brand's prestige, the excellence of its watches as well as Rolex's passionate and long-standing commitment to motor sports gives it true credibility.
“This partnership is something that many people interested in Formula One will have been waiting for and should rightly be excited about. Rolex has incredible sporting heritage and therefore Formula One is the right place for Rolex to be.”
Rolex is already official timing partner to the Bloodhound SCC World Land Speed Record project while it's backing of the Grand-Am Series and Daytona 24 Hours in the United States is amongst its existing motorsport ties.