Mark Webber: The Rolex Testimonee On Hard Work And RacingWritten by Melissa Kong
“Never rest on your laurels and always do your best.”
No stranger to the world of motor racing, Mark Webber is a former F1 driver, thrill-seeker and unabashed Rolex fan. Here, he shares some lessons he's learnt from the race track, and reveals why he loves the watch brand so much.
F1 is a very misunderstood sport. The combination of G-forces, searing temperatures in the car, intense concentration and lack of visibility make racing very tough. When you watch us on TV, you think we can see everything but when you’ve got a helmet on, it’s a very alien environment to most people. It’s like the special forces in the military—we all need composure and mind management.
After my first win in 2009, I bought a Rolex. It was a GMT-Master II and I’d been waiting for a very significant moment in my life to give myself a present that meant so much to me. I’ve always felt Rolex makes classy, sophisticated and timeless watches and I love how simple, robust and understated they are. How many things have basically a lifetime guarantee? It’s a gift to yourself for life.
A reliable watch is very important. For drivers, the watch has to be very functional and extremely precise. Our whole lives, we’re exposed to that on the race track and there’s no room for error. We can’t have a watch that will let us down, but it also needs to push the limits as well. I like the Daytona for sure, and also the Submariner, since I’m an ocean guy who grew up in Australia and I’m always in the water!
Being a Rolex testimonee is incredible. There are many races in the world where the drivers get a Rolex watch and they are always talking about the watch rather than the trophy itself, so it shows you how personal it is. A trophy isn’t with you all the time but a watch is, and you are reminded of the memories associated with it. So when Rolex rang me and we had the discussion about being a testimonee, it was a very big highlight for me.
Racing is in their veins. Rolex has been associated with racing for a long time and as a racing driver, that’s something I gravitate towards; I love that. The brand values that resonate with me would be to never rest on your laurels and always do your best.
I’ve learnt a lot of lessons from the race track. Never judge a book by its cover because a lot of people are doing incredible things that you may not know about. In racing, there are people who work behind the scenes like the engineers, and these people may not be in the frontline but they are doing a lot. Sports really teaches you a lot of great values—be tenacious, resilient, and a big believer in yourself. And treat people as you’d like to be treated yourself.
I always seek good advice and counsel. When I prepare myself for challenges, whether it’s racing on the track or across the sky, I draw a lot from experience, but I also get advice from people who have been there before. Their hindsight is your foresight.
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".