Did you know that in 2021 it’s officially been 60 years since Honda won its first-ever World Championship Grand Prix Race? It’s true! Back in 1961, young racer Kunimitsu Takahashi rode an RC162 to Honda’s premiere moto victory in the 1961 West German Grand Prix, in the 250cc category.
To commemorate that momentous victory, Honda Racing teamed up with watch maker Casio to create a limited-edition Edifice wristwatch. It’s a lovely piece to behold, and offers up plenty of tiny details to notice every time you take a look at it.
This watch features an aluminum bezel and dial, which recall the aluminum cowl on the RC162. The red and yellow lines on the watch also take their cues from the RC162’s graphics, back in the day. Other key design features include the classic Honda logo, as it was used at that time, as well as the Honda Racing logo and wings etched into the back cover. While many watches have leather bands, this one is specifically styled to recall the race leathers that Takahashi wore while achieving his (and Honda’s) first-ever international moto victory.
Since it’s 2021, while the watch features vintage styling and design cues, it also features plenty of modern touches, as well. It’s water resistant to 10 bar, uses Casio’s Tough Solar charging system to keep the battery topped up, can display the times from 29 cities around the world, has a fully automatic calendar, stopwatch, day/date functionality, automatic hand position correction, and 6-band radio reception. The model designation is EQW-A2000HR-1AJR, and will be available in an unspecified but limited quantity in May, 2021, at an MSRP of ¥ 77,000 (or about $705).
Whatever happened to Kunimitsu Takahashi? After winning four races and 14 total podiums in World Grand Prix motorcycle racing, he had a very serious crash in the 1962 Isle of Man TT. He recovered, but decided to move into four-wheeled racing. He went on to great success as a factory Nissan racer during the rise of the first-generation Skyline 2000 GT-R from 1969 to 1972.
This may be getting off slightly onto a tangent, but are you familiar with Keiichi Tsuchiya, also known by his “Drift King” nickname? Tsuchiya learned his techniques from Takahashi, who also earned the nickname “the Father of Drift.” Takahashi has had a long and successful career in auto racing, and was awarded the Sportsperson of Merit Award in July, 2020 by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports and Technology. So far, he’s the only auto racer to receive this award, and the fourth-ever motorcycle racer. The U.K. had John Surtees, CBE, and Japan has Kunimitsu Takahashi.