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IWC, Mercedes-AMG release titanium chronograph


Talk Box

A tried-and-tested partnership delivers on time

HERE COMES another attractive piece of wrist candy, courtesy of two internationally renowned brands.

After first forging a partnership in 2004, IWC (International Watch Company) Schaffhausen and Mercedes-AMG have consistently leveraged their reputation and expertise to produce memorable, desirable timepieces over the years. Beginning with the Ingenieur Collection AMG, a procession of significant releases and collaborations have followed — various AMG Special Edition models, cockpit clocks, other special edition watches, and racing projects, plus experiences as well. And, owing to the success of one Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1 racing, even casual observers today should be familiar with the IWC and its affinity with Mercedes-AMG.

Recently, another chapter was opened in the partnership, as the two European brands jointly revealed the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG.” The 43mm wristwatch is the first of its kind for IWC (with 85 years of history in this type of timepiece) to be encased in Grade 5 titanium, lending a matte-gray finish to the watch. Described IWC Schaffhausen CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr during the product’s recent global launch, “It’s a material directly derived from automotive engineering — a material that’s extremely hard, lightweight and very scratch-resistant indeed.” At the heart of the automatic-winding timepiece is IWC’s in-house 69385 caliber with a frequency of 28,800vph/4Hz and power reserve of 46 hours. It utilizes woven carbon fiber for its dial, something “directly derived from AMG’s aero components.” It gets black hands and a black leather strap, along with a sapphire crystal with an arched edge. This in turn receives anti-reflective coating on both sides.

Sub-dials count off hours, minutes, and seconds; and the racing-inspired black dial contrasts with the Silver Arrow-inspired sub counter calling to mind motorsport instrumentation. Flip the watch to reveal a tinted crystal case back emblazoned with a large Mercedes-AMG logo. A black embossed calf leather strap with contrast stitching and folding clasp keeps the watch on the wrist.

Mr. Grainger-Herr said that IWC’s affinity with everything automotive “runs really deep, and goes all the way back to history.”

Of the partnership with Mercedes-AMG, he explained, “(It) also has something to do with (our) unique location here in the east of Switzerland,” explained the executive. “We are removed from the western valley of Switzerland, much closer to the German automotive industry just up the road. Now, we’ve been a longstanding partner with Mercedes-AMG and there’s only a short one-hour motorway run that is connecting us to Affalterbach, the home of AMG.”

For his part, AMG CEO Philipp Schiemer declared, “IWC is our longest standing partner over 17 years. I think this is not usual in the industry, and I think the reason why is because we share the same values.”

Both companies admit to being technology-driven, while creating “very emotional products.” Mr. Schiemer continued, “With IWC you are not just looking at the time, you want to have a smile in your face. It’s the same with driving an AMG. When you enter the car, you don’t think about where to go. You just enjoy the ride.”

The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” is now available for pre-order from www.iwc.com, through IWC boutiques, and authorized retail partners.