Hot on the heels of their latest collaboration with racing championship Lewis Hamilton, IWC is hammering home their autosport partnerships with the next limited edition pilots pieces: the Perpetual Calendar and Chronograph “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport” editions.
While Hamilton may not have had a hand in designing this new pair of watches, there’s still a link to the British driving icon; both are dressed in the same livery as his car, namely the Petronas emerald green.
In the case of the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar, that means every numeral, index and indicator has been picked out in the green. Set against a woven carbon fibre backdrop – and solid black subdials – it makes for a seriously cool stealth look, especially when finished on the black calfskin strap with contrast emerald stitching.
As with other perpetual calendars, there’s a lot happening on the dial: hours, minutes, seconds, day, date, month, year and moon phase. It’s good then that the watch is a solid 46.5mm, a huge black ceramic monster. It feels even bigger with that signature fluted crown in contrasting steel.
The whole thing is powered by the calibre 52615 movement with its twin barrels and 7-day power reserve. You can see it through the exhibition titanium caseback and it is a sight, with several ceramic components and a gold rotor inlaid with twin F1 chequered flags.
The second of the pair is a little more wearable, though a lot less cool. The smaller pilots’ chronograph (still a decent 44.5mm) keeps the same woven carbon fibre dial but substitutes the green for more standard white on all but the running seconds subdial. It’s a bit of an odd colour scheme there but I guess they needed some allusion to Petronas in more than the contrast stitching on the strap.
A sealed caseback rather than the sapphire one of the Big Pilot version, the back still has the chequered racing flags just engraved rather than set into the rotor. It’s powered by the calibre 89361 automatic chronograph movement; it has a less impressive 69-hour power reserve but is still a solid chronograph movement, and makes this Petronas edition a lot more accessible – EUR 16,700 as opposed to its sibling’s EUR 40,600.
The IWC Big Pilot Petronas edition is limited to just 10 pieces, while the Pilot’s Chronograph is set at greater yet still not exactly abundant 50. While I can’t imagine them racing away quite as fast as the Hamilton Big Pilot, they won’t be too far behind.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport”
Case/Dial: 46.5mm diameter x 15.6mm thickness, carbon fibre dial, black ceramic case, titanium case back
Water Resistance: 60 metres (6 bar)
Movement: In-house calibre 52615, automatic winding
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 168h (7-day)
Functions: Power reserve display, perpetual calendar with displays for the date, day, month, year in four digits and perpetual moon phase for both northern and southern hemispheres, small hacking seconds
Strap: Black calfskin strap
Price: €40,600, limited to 10 watches
Model Name: IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport”
Case/Dial: 44.5mm diameter x 15.6mm thickness, black ceramic, carbon fibre dial
Water Resistance: 60 metres (6 bar)
Movement: In-house calibre 89361, automatic winding
Functions: Date display, chronograph function for hours, minutes and seconds, flyback function, small hacking seconds
Frequency: 28,800 per hour (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 68h
Strap: Black calf leather strap
Price: €16,700, limited to 50 pieces
More details at IWC’s website.