IWC’s newest timepieces are the watchmaking equivalent of a mixed metaphor. Part of the Swiss brand’s iconic Big Pilot’s range, they are limited-edition aviator models dedicated to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, the Formula 1 carmaker and six-time world champion that IWC has supported since 2013.
Like most watch brands with automotive sponsorships, IWC plays up the similarities between car racing and high-end watchmaking: “They both depend on high-tech materials, world-class engineering, ultimate performance and ongoing innovation,” according to the brand’s website.
And it’s tough to disagree. The special editions are housed in matte black zirconium oxide ceramic cases and bear dials made of carbon fiber, high-tech materials that grace premium car models such as the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+.
Both timepieces—a chronograph and a perpetual calendar—feature striking accents of emerald green, evoking the Petronas team colors. The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport” is equipped with an IWC-manufactured 89361 calibre, which displays the stopped hours and minutes in a subdial at 12 o’clock and has a flyback function. As looks go, the 44.5 mm model is fairly traditional—Petronas green colors the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock as well as the stitching of the black calfskin strap.
The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport” is considerably more vivid: The 46.5 mm timepiece features hands, Arabic numerals, markers and inscriptions on the dial decked out in Petronas emerald green. Its layout is based on the legendary perpetual calendar module that master watchmaker Kurt Klaus famously developed for IWC in 1985. (The entrance hall of the brand’s manufacture in Schaffhausen, Switzerland—opened in August 2018—features a 30-foot-high model of the groundbreaking wristwatch. At age 85, Klaus continues to serve as a brand spokesperson.)
The chronograph ($15,600) and perpetual calendar ($38,000) are limited to 50 and 10 pieces, respectively, and are available at IWC boutiques worldwide.