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John Surtees CBE (11 February 1934 – 10 March 2017) was an English Grand Prix legend. A four-time 500cc motorcycle World Champion – winning that title in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 – the Formula One World Champion in 1964, and remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels.
Surtees won the 500cc motorcycle world championship in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 with the MV Agusta factory team, for whom he scored 22 wins at the top level before switching to cars, making his debut for Lotus and winning the Formula One title for Ferrari in 1964, which included a remarkable win at the Nürburgring and one at Monza.
It was an achievement made all the more impressive given the level of competition he faced, beating Graham Hill and Jim Clark into second and third places. During the 12 years he raced in F1 he won six races from 111 starts. He also took a third place for Ferrari at Le Mans in 1964.
He left the Scuderia having been at odds with the then manager in 1966, a decision Enzo Ferrari, who hugely admired the British driver to the extent that he invited him to join the team twice – something unheard of at the time – believed was a mistake for both parties and cost them a further championship.
In 1966, he also won the CanAm Championship in a Team Surtees Lola, again notable for the level of competition in a field that included Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill.
During his time on bikes he won the Isle of Man Senior TT four times, becoming the first man to win it three times in succession between 1958 and 1960. During the 1970s he ran his own team, the Surtees Racing Organisation, but although he was appointed MBE, OBE and CBE, many were disappointed he was never recognised with a knighthood.
Surtees was a gentleman on and off the track from a different era of motor sport, when socialising with competitors was the norm, something he enjoyed enormously and with a ready wit, bewitching smile and a wealth of entertaining stories he went on to continue to charm everyone he had contact with subsequently.
It was a great honour that John wanted to work with us on this this project but was put on hold due to his ill health in December 2016.
After his passing we were approached by his family to finish this project and we're pleased to say that they have had overall say in the design, in fact they designed most of the watch. His daughter Leonora Martell Surtees said that this was a piece "that dad would have worn..."
The Surtees Chronograph is strictly a limited edition, with the profits going to the HSF Foundation that John started for his son Henry after his tragic accident at Brands Hatch in 2009.
Only 100 of these timepieces have been made and are numbered on the case back.
Tech Specs :
Material: Chrome finish stainless steel
Dial Colour: Sunray Grey finish with Surtees Blue highlights
Movement: Japanese Quartz movement
Water Resistance: 5ATM
Glass : Flat Sapphire Glass
Strap: Mesh Racer Strap
Material: Italian leather