The British Racing Green Chronograph was designed to incorporate the heritage color with the sub-dials emulating the roundels found on race cars from the 1920s. The Orange seconds needle was taken from the BRM race car radiator needles of the 1950’s Jaguar D-Type. All incorporated in a sunray dial which gives the watch an overall retro-feel.
Not many colors in the World of motorsport are as iconic as British Racing Green.
In the days of the Gordon Bennet Cup, Count Eliot Zborowski suggested that each national entrant be allotted a different color. Every component of a car had to be produced in the competing country, as well as the driver being of that nationality. The races were hosted in the country of the previous year’s winner. When Britain first competed in 1902, they had to choose a different color from the national flag colors of red, white and blue, because those had already been taken for the 1900 race by America, Germany, and France respectively.
When Selwyn Edge won the 1902 Gordon Bennett Cup race for England in his Napier it was decided that the 1903 race would be held in Ireland, at that time a part of the United Kingdom, as motor racing at the time was illegal in Great Britain. As a mark of respect for their Irish hosts, the English Napier cars were painted shamrock green.
In keeping with these Irish/Napier roots, many of the earliest greens used on British racing cars were of a lighter olive, moss, or emerald green. Later, darker shades became more common, though there was a return to lighter greens by HMW and other teams in the 1950s. Initially, the color use only applied to the Grandes Épreuves but was later codified in the Code Sportif International (CSI) of the FIA for use in all international-level motor racing events.
Synonymous with great racing drivers such as Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Sir Stirling Moss, and (Sir) John Surtees, this color evokes the time when motor racing was dominated by driving legends. From Bentley to BRM, to Lotus and Vanwall, they all used British Racing Green
The dial of this piece represents the detailed dials used in some of the cars that raced during the ’50s and 60′ and shows information such as distance traveled using the accurate chronograph feature.
The orange needles come from the historic link BRM Racing had with this iconic color, where they highlighted the front grill of the car with bright orange to differentiate from teammates. Jaguar uses it to this day on their new Project 7 F-Type.