Rolex Celebrates 100 Years of the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Rolex, the official timepiece of the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2001, is celebrating the 100th anniversary of this iconic endurance motorsports event. The brand has also announced a special Cosmograph Daytona watch to commemorate the 100 Years of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This timepiece will be gifted to winning drivers of this year’s race.

The first race of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was held in May 1923. From 10 to 11 June in 2023, the oldest and most prestigious endurance race will celebrate its centenary at Circuit de la Sarthe in north-west France.

At 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 10 June, the Rolex clock will begin to count down the 24 hours of this year’s race. The capacity 62-car field features the new Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) machines and many of the sport’s biggest names, including the reigning champions, No. 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Honouring this remarkable achievement, the winning drivers are to receive a specially engraved Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, in the year that marks the 60th anniversary of this exceptional chronograph.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 24 Hours of Le Mans
Image credit: Rolex SA

As the winning team steps onto the podium, they will also be presented with the centenary trophy depicting a ribbon weaving towards the finish line at Circuit de la Sarthe, created for this landmark event.

The special edition 24 Hours of Le Mans Daytona is based on the model with a black dial (reference number 116500LN-0002), which was introduced in 2016. Rolex has recently introduced the new generation Cosmograph Daytona as the replacement of 116xxx series.

Rolex’s close ties with motor sport date back to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s World Land Speed Record successes in the 1930s, when he became the first driver to break the 300 mph barrier (483 km/h) at the wheel of his car, Bluebird.

Since then, Rolex’s presence in motor racing has grown steadily, its support extending to revered endurance events such as the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship.

In 2013, Rolex became associated with Formula 1®, having supported Rolex Testimonee Sir Jackie Stewart since 1968. The three-time FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion has been joined by fellow high achievers from the world of motor sport: Tom Kristensen, the record nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, Mark Webber, the multiple Formula 1® race winner and 2015 FIA World Endurance Champion, and Jenson Button, the 2009 FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion.

Most recently, Jamie Chadwick, Indy NXT driver, three-time W Series Champion and the sport’s most exciting young female talent, became part of the Rolex family.