Maurice Lacroix Partners With Formula E Team Mahindra Racing To Become Its Official Timekeeper
The Swiss watchmaker joins the India-based Formula E team for the 2020-2021 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Announced earlier today, Maurice Lacroix and Mahindra Racing are joining forces to compete in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. The all-electric racing series enters its seventh season starting January 16th and 17th, 2021, for a doubleheader in Santiago, Chile.
For the upcoming season, Mahindra Racing also welcomes a new driver line-up with Alexander Sim and Alex Lynn, both veterans of Formula E. Throughout the season, each driver will be sporting a Maurice Lacroix timepiece and specially designed Maurice Lacroix racing gloves. Plus, each of their M7Electro racing cars will receive Maurice Lacroix branding.
Stéphane Waser, Managing Director of Maurice Lacroix, explained how this partnership came about, "Formula E is something we've been keeping our eye on for a few years, but a few months ago we were introduced to the Mahindra team through a common partner. After talking together, we saw Mahindra's mindset very closely matched the challenger vision of our brand. Plus, with the sustainability aspects [of Formula E], all of the elements came together very nicely.”
Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal & CEO of Mahindra Racing, added, "We are a global brand headquartered out of India, and Maurice Lacroix has a solid presence and brand recognition in our country. Maurice Lacroix is an aspirational brand in India, and it's great to be associated with a brand that our fans relate to. It's very exciting to take this journey forward!"
As the first Formula E team to achieve accreditation with the FIA’s Sustainability Programme, Mahindra Racing is a leader in the sustainability space. Mahindra has been at the forefront of sustainability for many years, from group-wide carbon neutrality to Zero-Waste-to-Landfill policies. The effort and passion for a zero-carbon footprint are also shared by the Maurice Lacroix team, who, in recent years, have made great strides to improve the brand's sustainability efforts.
Mahindra Racing’s Gill advises, "We are just at the start of our relationship, and there are some exciting ideas around sustainability that we want to talk about. That's a pillar that both Mahindra Racing and Maurice Lacroix are going to be talking about."
Maurice Lacroix has been active in the motorsports space for nearly two decades, but in the last decade, the brand has centered its area of focus on e-mobility and electric propulsion. The brand began its e-mobility journey in 2011 with a partnership with Fisker Automotive, the all-electric, zero-emissions automotive brand.
As Waser explained, "It was important for us not to do a traditional car and watch brand partnership. We wanted to expand in the e-mobility space. Since our relaunch in 2016, we're doing more and more urban activities with modern values. Formula E and e-mobility is the future, plus add in precision mechanics, and this is what Maurice Lacroix is all about."
What To Expect
Mahindra Racing has achieved four race victories and 18 podiums throughout its seven seasons in the Formula E championship. For a series that is so incredibly close in terms of competition, this is a remarkable feat.
However, coming off a season where it didn’t accomplish a podium or victory, the team has high hopes for the 2020-2021 season, which Gill explained, "We want to get back to becoming a race-winning team and back to the podium. We want to be one of the top teams in this championship. We're also very aware that Formula E is one of the biggest sports in the world right now. To rub shoulders with some of the biggest heritage motorsports brands is a huge motivation to go and push for the best."
But what can Maurice Lacroix enthusiasts and collectors expect from the brand as a result of this partnership?
Waser explained, "When we do partnerships, it's not just about putting the logo and advertising on the car. We want this to be a deep partnership where we share projects. Mahindra is strong with sustainability and the materials that they use, and we're looking to bring these elements into our watches. Plus, we've already developed with Mahindra Racing some beautiful watches at three different price points to allow all fans access to these timepieces. So stay tuned!”
A Relationship With Time
For over a century, racing and timekeeping have been intrinsically linked. In fact, Watchonista has explored this topic on numerous occasions via our Car & Motorsports columns. And obviously, for both partners, this partnership all comes down to time.
From Maurice Lacroix's "Your Time Is Now" campaign to Mahindra Racing's blistering lap times aboard their state-of-the-art all-electric cars, timekeeping will be central to the success of this partnership. I had the chance to ask both of Mahindra Racing’s drivers about their relationship with time, and each gave profound insights.
Alexander Sims said, "Personally, time is pretty critical for me at home because I have three kids, so getting them out of the house in the morning is always a challenge, so we have to make sure we're on time every single day. But obviously, the work that we do in racing is centered around lap time, particularly in qualifying. It's all about who can go around the fastest. So, it's what our entire focus is."
And Alex Lynn told me, "It's hard to be a racing driver and not feel romantic about watches, in particular, but also, your own relationship with time. Racing is so steeped in history when it comes to watchmaking and racing against time. For a long period of my life, I've been defined by time, but specifically the lap time I can produce. It's made me into the driver I am today."