While it’s getting a little tedious to see Verstappen sit at the top of the podium after every single Formula One grand prix, at least we’re guaranteed to see something new at this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix. That’s because it’s the first time F1 has come to the Las Vegas strip, racing amidst the iconic casinos and venues of Vegas. To celebrate the occasion, IWC have released two watches dedicated to their motorsport partners, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41 AMG and Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One.
In short, these are both redesigns of the 2022 IWC Mercedes-AMG Petronas Team Watch. With the main difference being a greater focus on performance and practicality. What that means is that the dials are little more pared back and utilitarian. Gone are the full Petronas blue numerals and hands and instead the standard AMG version has completely white accents in the style of a traditional IWC Pilot’s Watch while the Petronas edition maintains a small amount of blue on the date window and small seconds subdial.
There’s also been updates to the 41mm cases. Both of the Performance Chronographs have been adorned with black ceramic tachymeter bezels, allowing you to calculate your average speed over a set distance. The applications of which in motorsport are readily apparent. That’s not the only update though because while the AMG reference has a titanium case like the 2022 edition, the Petronas Formula One version is made from Ceratanium. Ceratanium is IWC’s proprietary material that combines the high strength to density ratio of titanium with the hard, scratch resistant surface of ceramic.
These aesthetic and structural updates mean both watches feel very distinct in the IWC range. There are quite literally no other chronographs with tachymeter bezels in the IWC range at the time of writing, giving them a broader visual profile than virtually any other Pilot’s Watch despite only being 41mm. They really live up to the Performance Chronograph moniker, offering the wearer as much information as possible as easily as possible while utilising cutting edge materials. The same can be seen with the bracelet options, which are either rubber straps or H-link bracelets.
Beneath the surface of both watches is the Calibre 69385 automatic with 46-hour power reserve. It’s the same movement as featured in the Team Watch and what we said about it then is still true today: it’s a staple of IWC’s Pilot’s Watch Chronographs and is solidly reliable with its column-wheel chronograph mechanism and bi-directional winding.
As for price, it depends on which strap option and which edition you go for. The titanium Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41 AMG is £8,650 on rubber strap, £10,400 on titanium bracelet. Then, the Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One in Ceratanium is £12,100 on strap and £17,800 on bracelet. In terms of value, they’re approximately £1,000-£2,000 more than equivalent IWC Pilot’s Watches, which is not unexpected with the addition of a ceramic bezel.
Price and Specs:
More details at IWC.