Turbocharged: IWC Releases New Performance-Oriented Chronographs in Partnership with Mercedes-AMG and F1

The new Pilot references in titanium and Ceratanium® are built not for the skies but for the racetrack. Precision is, of course, the name of the game
 Turbocharged: IWC Releases New Performance-Oriented Chronographs in Partnership with Mercedes-AMG and F1
November 16, 2023
 Turbocharged: IWC Releases New Performance-Oriented Chronographs in Partnership with Mercedes-AMG and F1

As the high-performance sibling of Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG takes each Benz model and enhances its performance, handling, and overall driving experience. The collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and AMG, which stands for Aufrecht, Melcher, and Großaspach (the names of its founders and Aufrecht's birthplace), began in the 1960s. Mercedes-AMG models are known for their powerful engines, sportier suspension setups, distinctive design elements, and advanced technology. Each AMG model typically features a handcrafted engine, signifying attention to detail, which is also the hallmark of the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41 references. These racing chronographs, available either in titanium (AMG version) or Ceratanium® (Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team edition), are born of a collaboration among IWC, AMG, and F1.

The worlds of automobiles and watchmaking share quite a few similarities. Both cars and watches are often considered status symbols and are appreciated for their design and aesthetics. Luxury car brands and high-end watchmakers often collaborate to create limited-edition pieces that reflect a fusion of automotive and horological designs. High-quality materials are crucial in both industries. Luxury watches may use precious metals, exotic materials, and gemstones, while luxury cars may incorporate fine leather, wood, carbon fibre, and other high-end materials into their interiors. Precision engineering is a hallmark of both industries. High-end watches are known for their accurate and intricate movements, while luxury cars are celebrated for their advanced engineering and performance capabilities.

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41 is launched as a bouquet of four references, using two different materials that are dear to the brand: titanium and Ceratanium®. The first two models (Ref. IW388305 and Ref. IW388304), made of grade 5 titanium, are dedicated to AMG, the sports division of Mercedes-Benz. The other two editions, using IWC’s innovative Ceratanium® (Ref. IW388306 and Ref. IW388307) are built for the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team. However, putting the materials and a couple of coloured details aside, both the models are almost identical. The lugs, the crown at 3 o’clock, and the two chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock of the respective models are made of titanium or Ceratanium® as well.

The watches are built around the Pilot’s Chronograph 41 and come in 41 mm cases. The chief element that makes this new sub-collection a true motorsport marvel is the bezel. All references are equipped with fixed, black, and polished ceramic bezels with tachymeter bezels to calculate average speeds. The dials are almost similar with minute differences in finishing. The dials of both titanium and Ceratanium® models are crafted from  black lacquer and get glossy surfaces. Each watch gets a 30-minute display at 12 o’clock, a 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock, and a 60-seconds counter at 6 o’clock. The three counters are finished individually before assembly on the all-black dial. Each dial also has a dual window at 3 o’clock for the day of the week and date. The chronograph counters get snailed finishing, black hands, and black nickel and luminous applied Arabic hour markers.

The seconds track on the periphery features precision markings even as traditionally, IWC pilot models have simple minute/second tracks. The main difference between the AMG (titanium) and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team (Ceratanium®) editions are discreet green accents on the day-date, the small-seconds hand, and the seconds track. Under the slightly grey-tinted sapphire backs of both editions (the titanium AMG features a transferred logo) is a manufactured chronograph, the Calibre 69385, which is controlled by a column wheel and a bi-directional pawl winding system, boasting a 46-hour power reserve. 

While the titanium model gets an ‘AMG’ embossing on the sapphire glass, the Ceratanium® model gets the embossing of ‘Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team’ on the outer periphery of its caseback. The dark grey materials with matte finish can be found on the oscillating weights. The models come with titanium or Ceratanium® outer casebacks, depending on individual variants, and bracelets, along with black rubber straps. Each black rubber strap can be switched out easily with an EasX-CHANGE® system. Both editions of the Performance Chronograph are 100-metre water-resistant.

Image Credits: IWC