Manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has dedicated two limited-edition Pilot’s watches to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, the renowned constructor of Formula One cars based in the UK. As the team’s “official engineering partner” since 2013, IWC exploits the many parallels that exist between motor sport’s premier competition and high-end watchmaking. Kitted out with the black and turquoise livery of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, two limited-edition Pilot’s watches – a perpetual calendar and a chronograph – join IWC’s line-up of aviator models.
Editor’s note: Yes, indeed, at IWC a Pilot’s watch doesn’t only mean “flying tool” but refers to pilots in general, of the airborne and track kind. Previously reserved to the Ingenieur line, with the integrated bracelet and shaped case, the new AMG editions are no longer based on this collection – the Ingenieur of today is dedicated to classic motor racing, not to technical, modern F1. This is the role of the Pilot’s watch, which also refers to air-inspired watches. A bit confusing!
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport” (Ref. IW503003)
The adjective ‘big’ used in the name of this model is accurate. This is a massive watch coming in at 46.5mm with a height of 15.6mm, but that has always been a part of its appeal. Compared to this same model in bronze, the dark colour scheme gives the watch a more contemporary, stealth mood. In this instance, it is close to the Rodeo Drive edition.
Like other perpetual calendars in the Big Pilot’s Watch family, the layout and display are based on the perpetual calendar module developed by Kurt Klaus during the mid-1980s. The beauty of this display is that even after 30 years, it remains suitable for large watches such as the Big Pilot. Indications are relayed in four separate counters, with displays for the date, day of the week, month, year in four digits and perpetual moon phase for the northern and southern hemisphere. It also features a small seconds and a power reserve indicator. The hands, the Arabic numerals, markers and all the inscriptions on the dial are picked out in Petronas emerald green (excluding the year).
The case is crafted in matte black zirconium oxide and houses the sophisticated in-house perpetual calendar module that automatically detects the different number of days in a month and won’t need adjusting until 2100. The titanium caseback has a sapphire window revealing the calibre 52615, part of the new generation of movements introduced in 2015 by IWC. An update of the 7-day automatic movement, this new calibre still retains the same amount of energy but is now delivered by a twin-barrel architecture (for better torque management). It is equipped with several ceramic wheels, which are more wear-resistant than traditional alloys: the winding pawls and the automatic wheel are made of black ceramic while the skeletonised rotor features a golden inlay with two chequered flags of F1 races.
Quick facts: 46.5mm diameter x 15.6mm height – black ceramic case, carbon fibre dial, titanium caseback with sapphire crystal – 60m water-resistance – calibre 52615, in-house – automatic with Pellaton winding – 7-day power reserve – black calfskin strap with Petronas emerald green stitching – ref. IW503003 limited to 10 pieces – EUR 40,600
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport” (Ref. IW389005)
In keeping with the spirit of motorsports, this Pilot’s watch is equipped with a flyback chronograph to measure elapsed times. The black ceramic case measures 44.5mm with a height of 15.6mm and like the perpetual calendar has a racy carbon fibre dial. The elapsed hours and minutes are displayed in white on the sub-dial at 12 o’clock while the small seconds appear in a sub-dial at 6 o’clock, this time with Petronas emerald green markings. A date window at 3 o’clock and large white Arabic numerals and hour markers complete the picture. This new watch is close in both case, movement and specs to the recently introduced Chronograph Edition “Blue Angels”.
Equipped with flyback functionality, a simple press of the reset button allows you to start timing again instantly. The sealed caseback also emblazoned with two chequered F1 Race flags, protects the automatic chronograph movement – calibre 89361 – along with the soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields. Beating at 28,8000vph or 4Hz, the movement offers 69 hours of autonomy.
Quick facts: 44.5mm diameter x 15.6mm height – black ceramic case, carbon fibre dial, sealed titanium caseback – 60m water-resistance – calibre 89361 – automatic flyback chronograph – 69h power reserve – black calfskin strap with Petronas emerald green stitching – ref. IW389005 limited to 50 pieces – EUR 16,700
The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport” IW503003 and the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport” IW389005 are now available at IWC boutiques or from authorised dealers.
More information at iwc.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.