Jack Brabham’s Breitling: Racing History for the Wrist


Words by: JPS for duncan quinn

Sir Jack Brabham is what you call a real racing legend. He won a little thing called the Formula One World Championships in 1959, 1960 and 1966.

And he was the first, and still the only, man to do so in a car that he himself built, the unbeatable Brabham BT19, in 1966. Sir John Arthur “Jack” Brabham, AO, OBE (1926 – 2014) was Australian by birth, and was a Royal Australian Air Force flight mechanic and engineer before he began his racing career in 1948. His first achieved success in Coopers that he helped design before establishing his own racing marque with fellow Australian Ron Tauranac, which became the largest manufacturer of customer racing cars in the world in the 1960s.

Surely he was a Rolex man? He was not. Brabham’s timepiece of choice was a Breitling Duograph, which is now set to be auctioned off by Phillips in Geneva on May 15, where it’s expected to cross the finish line at up to $60,000. Combining a superb complication, stunning aesthetics, and an important racing provenance, Phillips calls it one of the most exciting Breitling wristwatches to appear on the market in recent history. The Duograph was Breitling’s most prestigious wristwatch at the time, incorporating a split-seconds chronograph. At 38.5 mm Brabham’s boasts the largest case diameter ever made, fitted with a stunning matte silver dial and a natty red chronograph hand. We could make some wrist space for this in a heartbeat.

Words by JPS for duncan quinn