April 14, 2024

Monza GP F1: In the box Renault with the pilot Jolyon Palmer

Since its foundation, Bell & Ross has helped fighter pilots keep time. In 2016, the brand joined the highly exclusive world of Formula 1 and became the official watch partner of Renault Sport Formula One Team. Conceived for racing drivers, the design of the new Bell & Ross BR-RS17 collection brings together the latest technological advances and the most innovative materials used in the racing world, such as carbon fiber.

During the last Italian Grand Prix, in Monza, we had the occasion to meet in the paddocks with Jolyon Palmer, the second pilot of Renault Sport Formula One, and to ask him about his passions, his career and – most importantly – his relationship with watches!

Bell Ross

How and when started your passion for car racing?

Pretty much since I was a baby, I was always watching racing on TV. My dad was a commentator when I was very young for BBBC TV and it feels like I always had it in my blood. I got a go Kart to drive around the house when I was about 3.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A Formula One driver, believe it or not!

Bell Ross
Are you passionate about watches?

Yes, I really like watches, I tend to always wear a watch at work as well as in my personal life.

In your opinion, what are the associations between watchmaking and F1?

F1 is all about timing, everything is done on the clock, precision matters and it is the same for quality watches.

Bell Ross
How can a watch help your performance while driving?

I don’t actually wear a watch while driving as I have my racing gloves covering my wrists over the overalls.

Talking about the Bell&Ross RS collection, what are the features you like the most? 

I like the complexity of this collection, the X1 has this modern iconic styling, it has some racing / mechanical aspect. The carbon fiber being very present.

Bell Ross
Which one is your favorite among the three models?

Definitely the X1 R.S.17!

What’s your perception of the latest technology and materials introduced in F1? Carbon Fiber, for example…

The newest materials brought to Formula One are definitely helping from an aerodynamic perspective and help us keep the car as light as possible but also as strong as possible.

What’s your favorite track? And the one where you achieved your best performance.

My favorite track is Monaco, I won there twice in GP2 which is very special. Whilst in Formula One, my best performance was in Malaysia last year.

Bell Ross

What are the watches you wear outside of the racing world, and why?

I actually keep wearing my X1 R.S.17 outside of the track, I enjoy wearing it and I sometimes swap for the BR126 40th Anniversary model.

Do you have a dream watch?

Not really I’m afraid, I like wearing watches and love my X1 but I can’t think of a dream watch I’d particularly like to get one day !

Jolyon Palmer

Son of the pilot Jonathan Palmer, Jolyon made his Grand Prix debut as a race driver in Renault Sport Formula One Team’s inaugural season last year. Prior to Formula 1, Jolyon won the 2014 GP2 Series title on the back of a record-breaking season, becoming the first British driver to win the F1 feeder series since Lewis Hamilton in 2006. Driving for the successful French team DAMS, the now 26-year-old set a new record for the greatest number of points scored in a season with 256 points. He qualified on the front row seven times, won four races (at Bahrain, Monaco, Monza and Sochi) and secured an additional eight podium placings to win the championship with three races to spare.