Stefan Johansson: Racing Driver... Watch Maker
The Swedish Le Mans winner, former Ferrari Grand Prix driver and still very active international racer is well known for his on-track heroics. Not everyone will be aware of the ‘Stefan Johansson Växjö’ watch company, though...
I met up with Johansson at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, held last month at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
A Classic Driver reader, the ever-friendly Swede was winning in Zak Brown’s ‘Blaupunkt’ 1986 Porsche 962, and sporting on his wrist a timepiece from his own watch company – in this case a Mark VIII E 033 (Black).
The 47mm matt-black (PVD-coated) chronograph is just one in a range of limited-edition watches produced by the company. The dial celebrates the FIA motor racing flags in much the same way that yachting watches use racing pennants. It’s powered by a self-winding 13 1/4 ETA Valjoux Caliber 7750 movement, which features a date display, plus hour/minute/second stopwatch function.
The rear of the case is clear, revealing the movement, and features an etched ‘chassis number’ (this watch is limited to just 250 examples). Owners can also specify their name, or an image, on the reverse, as an option. For straps, the client has a choice of snakeskin with orange, red or blue hand-stitching, or the custom-made black rubber sported by Stefan here.
The veteran of over 100 Grands Prix has many business interests outside the driving seat. He’s also a talented artist. So the watches cleverly marry his sporting background with a flair for design – and will be joined by other branded accessories including fragrances, eyewear and luggage.
The Stefan Johansson Växjö Mark VIII E 033, in black, costs $US9,500 (excluding customs & shipping). For further information, see www.sjwatch.net.
Text - Steve Wakefield
Photos - Classic Driver / Stefan Johansson Växjö
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