IWC is a fortunate watch brand in that it gets its logo into the most glamorous of all the sports: motorsports, specifically Formula One. For a long time now, IWC has been sponsoring Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, though most of us call it Mercedes or Mercedes Benz. You can see the IWC Schaffhausen logo travelling at speeds of over 200 miles per hour on the side of the front wing on the Mercedes cars, driven by Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. The latter of which designed one of the watches we see launched today.
Based on IWC’s Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar watch, Hamilton’s edition features two colours that are known to complement each other exceptionally well when applied correctly. They are black and gold. The black ceramic case features, surprisingly, a burgundy coloured dial with a sunburst finish to it. The textile strap is also burgundy in colour as well. On the dial, we find gold plated hands to match the 18k gold onion style crown, a signature flourish of pilots watches, designed to make interacting with them while wearing gloves easier. The lume also seems to be gold coloured, at least to my poor colour vision anyway.
Around the back, you’ll find a solid gold rotor encompassed by a gold caseback. The movement itself is the IWC 52615 calibre, part of IWC’s 52000 line. It features twin barrels coupled to the Pellaton winding system for the rotor, which combine to give it a total power reserve of 7 days with a frequency of 4Hz. This edition will be limited to 100 pieces and will cost you $49,200, excluding taxes.
IWC is also releasing an even more limited version of their Big Pilot perpetual watch than the Lewis Hamilton version. Exclusively limited to just 10 pieces worldwide is the “Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport” version, which also uses a ceramic case like the “Lewis Hamilton” edition. The dial is made of carbon fibre, a signature of exotic cars and motorsports, and the colours of the accents on the dial are quite dim. Still, they are nevertheless the Petronas Emerald Green colour. It reminds me of Omega’s all-black Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon, and is very cool-looking in my opinion, though I prefer the contrast of Hamilton’s watch. Priced at $38,000 it is undoubtedly the more affordable of the two, but finding one will be ten times harder.
Both watches have large cases measuring 46.5mm by 15.5mm across them with a water resistance of around 60 meters, but the cases are also reinfoced, which protects them from blowouts caused by sudden drops in air pressure.