"Honda Racing Limited Edition", a collaboration model of Honda Racing and Casio's motor sports brand "EDIFICE" released in October last year. Although both companies were Japanese companies, this project, realized from the spirit of pursuing advanced technology on the world stage, became a big topic not only in the watch industry but also in the motor sports world. Following the first edition, “EQS-800HR”, a model will appear that has advanced its philosophy and cooperation one or two steps. The latest product “EQB-1000” with a case thickness of only 8.9mm was chosen as the base.
Two latest works appear in the super popular series sold out immediately!
The "EQS-800HR" released last year was also an item commemorating the 50th anniversary of Honda's F1 participation. Taking advantage of the base model, the dial was made of carbon, and the red line was used extensively based on white, and the design was inspired by the 1968 Honda F1 machine "RA301". This became so popular that it was sold exclusively at the Honda booth at the F1 Japan Grand Prix held at the Suzuka Circuit in October, and later on the Honda mail order site, but sold out immediately. On the mail order site, about 50 prepared models became legendary models that sold out in just 45 seconds.
The collaboration model with Honda F1 is scheduled to appear this fall based on "EQB-1000". Two models will be released, the “EQB-1000HRS” with an impressive crimson textile band and the “EQB-1000HR” with black IP on the case and metal band.
What's more, this year's model not only changed the appearance, but also equipped with Honda F1 technology. Equipped with F1 technology? On the watch? This time, I went to Honda Motor Co., Ltd. headquarters in Aoyama. Mr. Masafumi Yamamoto, Managing Director (hereinafter referred to as “MD”) of Honda F1, was able to talk in detail.
The same material as the key device of the F1 power unit for the watch !?
–Please tell us about the opportunity for the collaboration between Honda F1 and EDIFICE.
Mr. Yamamoto:“In 2017, Honda left McLaren and decided to form a team with Scuderia Toro Rosso (*) from the next season (2018). Mr. Franz Tost, the representative of Toro Rosso So, Honda also talked with Casio about how to do something interesting, and at that time Casio was already working on a collaboration model with Toro Rosso and had a track record. “ Motor sports and watches, where measurement is important, have been compatible with each other for a long time, and we once wanted to meet and talk. ''
* F1 racing team with Red Bull as the team owner. Casio has also been a sponsor since 2016.
In fact, Casio has heard that Honda will supply power units to Scuderia Toro Rosso's machines, and seems to have been exploring approaches. There, Mr. Franz spoke to the Casio side and connected each other.
Mr. Yamamoto:“As soon as Mr. Franz contacted me, Mr. Casio contacted me. Well, I also wanted to meet you. The first meeting was the Suzuka Grand Prix in October 2017. The story went so fast that it was good enough to make a collaboration model. ''
That is the EQS-800HR mentioned at the beginning. By the way, immediately after the decision to collaborate with Honda, Casio's development staff have visited HRD Sakura (Sakura City, Tochigi Prefecture) several times, a technological development base for Honda Motorsport. Here, he observed the manufacturing of the F1 power unit, and the development teams of each other had a rough meeting and found hints that lead to this EQB-1000HRS and EQB-1000HR.
Mr. Yamamoto:“This time, Casio had a request to increase the number of original elements that were not found in the base model. As a result of studying what would be good, the material that was used in the F1 engine valve came to an end. “Titanium aluminide” is an alloy of titanium and aluminum, which is hard and strong anyway.When used in a valve, it is subjected to a surface hardening treatment called DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) as a wear-resistant measure. It is a very important part that can operate at ultra-high speeds of 15,000 times or more, so it needs to be strong and hard enough, and if the valve breaks, it will just not be able to run the car.
This titanium aluminide was treated with the same DLC as the actual valve, and it was decided to use it for the watch bezel. By the way, the titanium aluminide used is an ingot from HRD Sakura. In other words, it is the material used in the actual F1 valve. ''
According to Casio spokesman, titanium aluminide is harder than "64 titanium" used in some G-SHOCK models. Therefore, in the cutting process that is difficult to machine, the bezel was cut at the factory introduced by HRD. It is a part that can be called the “soul” of both companies, which is the result of Honda ’s F1 technology and Casio ’s passion for toughness.
Is the watch “ Lacy ''?
–Did Yamamoto MD request that you make a watch like this in the second collaboration?
Mr. Yamamoto:“I personally like the red color, and because the image color of Honda ’s motorsport is red, so I asked you to make it based on red. The design has gone up with a bright red band, no, no (laughs).
The dial has a red gradation and is lacy. This is a red gradation on a carbon-like ground plate. Therefore, the unevenness of carbon eyes remains. The second and in-dial hands are also red, which is also impressive. It ’s not like tachometer. However, the current F1 is a digital monitor for steering, not such a meter. But it ’s a lacy image. ”
As an aside, Mr. Yamamoto's word “Lacy” was said to function as a keyword within Casio. Initially, the development team used the term "racing concept", but since listening to Mr. Yamamoto's comment, "This design is fine with lacy" when presenting the design proposal, "Is this lacy?" More lacy "and so on. Then, it was said that the consciousness and image of the development team were unifying without notice. It is an episode that talks about how words play a big role in image sharing.
The EQB-1000HRS band is a "Kevlar (R) fiber insert band" that is reinforced by incorporating a kind of engineering plastic "Kevlar".
――Along with the Honda racing logo of the band, the atmosphere reminds me of a racing suit.
Mr. Yamamoto:“That's right. Actual racing suits use nomex, a non-burning fiber, which is strictly different. However, there was a plan to use nomex in the development stage. However, nomex is not flammable rather than durable. I think that Kevlar inserts are better suited for watch bands. ”
――This model has a mobile link function via Bluetooth.
Mr. Yamamoto:“That was also a request from me. Casio seems to have thought the same way.
I'm using EQB-800 now, but this mobile link function is really convenient.
I often go to various countries around the world for my F1 job, but at the same time I get permission to use my smartphone after landing, I switch to local time with the app. Just look at this to the cabin attendant (laughs). Then everyone asks what this is. No, this is surprising if you explain that the watch is connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth and automatically changes to local time. Like 007 (laughs). The needle turns around and stops at the local time.
Until then, I was talking about the self-winding watch, and every time I went to various countries, I swung around the crown myself, and the needles went a little too far. I felt like it was really cool.
Now this is always when I move. What's more, the main dial and in-dial tell you the time in two countries at the same time, and this can be changed with a single button. So if you set the main time to Japan time and the in-dial to Milton Keynes, where our racing team is now (London time zone), you will always know the time difference with them. This is also very convenient. You don't have to worry about daylight saving time, it's accurate. I can no longer return to automatic winding. ''
Honda racing spirits in your arms
――How do you feel when you look at the EQB-1000HR that looks like this?
Mr. Yamamoto:"It's thin! If it's so thin, the case looks small. If this is the case, women can wear it. This is cool.
The metal band model with black IP case and band got white from the Honda Racing logo that was red at the design stage. Please let me say a little about the color of the dial. But that ’s it. It was OK with almost no modification.
This metal band model is also very good. I like this choice. The last time was good, but this time the design is particularly good. If you look at it, the base model looks sober. There are so many original elements. ''
-Please try it on.
Mr. Yamamoto:“Oh, this is a nice fit. The case is small and thin, and above all, the lug fits right on your wrist. I definitely want this. "
The EQB-1000HR coloring is the best match for the Honda F1 uniform worn by Yamamoto. Everyone who attended the interview (including the Honda staff) was amazed that “It fits really well” and “It looks like the same person designed it”. It can be said that Casio designers worked with a deep understanding of Honda's racing spirit.
EDIFICE has been running with motor sports. By collaborating with Honda F1, it can be said that it has evolved more lacy and more authentic. And the EQB-1000HR must give an indispensable “joy of ownership” to the passionate fans of Honda and Toro Rosso.
As of last year, sales are scheduled to be held at the Suzuka Grand Prix and Honda booth in October. Although mail order is being considered, the limited number of Kevlar (R) fiber insert band models is only 900 (the number of black IP metal band models is undecided). Please note that it may be sold out in Suzuka.
(PR) Provided by: Casio Computer