Yesterday, Sir Stirling Moss passed away at the age of 90. Born 17 September 1929 in London, Moss was a legendary Formula 1 driver who won a total 212 of the 529 races he entered across various racing categories. He finished runner-up in the Formula 1 World Championship four times and third place three times all in a seven-year period from 1955 to 1961. He is considered “the greatest Formula 1 driver never to win the world championship”. He retired from active racing after an accident in 1962. He crashed his Lotus at Goodwood, put him in a coma for a month and for six months the left side of his body was partially paralyzed.
Amongst his famous wins are the 1954 edition of the 12 Hours of Sebring with American co-driver Bill Lloyd, where Moss became the first non-American to win the race. In 1955, Stirling Moss won the Targa Florio with British co-driver Peter Collins. In the same year, Moss also won the gruelling Mille Miglia (Italian for thousand miles) with navigator Denis Jenkinson in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Moss also won the famed Monaco Grand Prix three times (1956, 1960 & 1961).
In 1990, Moss was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and in March of 2000 was knighted for his services to motor racing.
Like fellow drivers of the era, Moss did wear wristwatches and had a few interesting pieces. The first was a gold Omega Seamaster, which you can see on Moss’ wrist from a photo taken in 1955. Moss wore the watch while racing and instead of a leather strap or bracelet, it was worn on an interesting open metal cuff bracelet (more on this later).
The second notable timepiece Stirling Moss had was an oversized stainless steel monopusher split-seconds chronograph, which you can see on his wrist from 1959. The manufacturer of the timepiece is hard to ascertain, as the logo on the dial is very small but the movement is most likely from Minerva, which made a split-seconds chronograph movement at the time.
Stirling Moss regularly attended the Mille Miglia, which has been sponsored by Chopard since 1988. He ended up with a couple of watches over the years and placed them on the same type of metal cuff band that was on his Omega.
The first was a 1994 Chopard Mille Miglia Chronograph in yellow gold (a unique piece) and the second was a 1996 Chopard Mille Mille Miglia Quartz Chronograph.
He died peacefully at his Mayfair home, London. He was “simply tired in the end and he just closed his beautiful eyes and that was that,” said his wife, Lady Moss. A gentleman racer who will be missed. May you rest in peace, Sir Stirling Moss.