IWC and Mercedes-AMG join forces on spectacularly sporty new watch
Swiss chronographs and German cars go hand in hand like apple strudel and ice cream. Indeed, the history of modern watchmaking and motorsport is deeply intertwined: as performance cars have gotten faster and faster, the need for precise timing has grown stronger and stronger. Both disciplines are ultra-competitive and demand only the best.
This is why the partnership between Mercedes-AMG and IWC Schaffhausen makes so much sense. The first is the performance division of the world’s oldest and most respected automaker; the latter, one of the most iconic and avant-garde watch manufacturers on the planet. Both have a deep respect for tradition that is matched only by their innovative driveâ¦ If you forgive the pun.
The two brands have worked together since 2004, and during that time we saw them collaborating on a number of watch collaborations – for example, the Ingenieur Automatic AMG GT Edition, the world’s first boron carbide watch. 2021 saw the pair team up again, this time on a rather striking edition of IWC’s famous pilot watch chronograph: a very fitting canvas for such a collaboration and perhaps the most beautiful version of the chronograph ever made.
The IWC Schaffhausen Chronograph Edition âAMGâ pilot’s watch (ref. IW377903) transforms the iconic pilot’s watch into the perfect watch for any dapper revheader. It is instantly recognizable thanks to its dial made of woven carbon fiber, a material directly derived from AMG’s aerodynamic components that gives a true motorsport aesthetic. The grade 5 titanium case finish is also inspired by AMG’s iconic Selenite Gray Magno paint finish.
Carbon fiber and titanium aren’t just for the look, however. Both materials are durable and lightweight, the ideal attributes for a performance-oriented watch. Combine that with the rugged yet precise 28,800 vph IWC Caliber 69385 at its heart, and you’ve got a watch capable of keeping up with the cutting edge of motorsport, even from the cockpit.
Enter Maro Engel: longtime Mercedes-AMG factory driver and watch enthusiast. Engels recently made headlines around the world for breaking the production car lap record at the iconic NÃ¼rburgring Nordschleife in a Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, lighting up ‘The Green Hell’ in 6 : 43.616, more than 1.3 seconds faster. than the previous recording.
Engel doesn’t just put Mercedes cars to the test, he’s also an unofficial watch tester of sorts. Engel has worn the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” numerous times behind the wheel and has been impressed with the durability of its titanium and carbon fiber construction.
âI put the watches under a lot of stress, not just the carsâ¦ being assured that I have [such] the high performance and reliability of my wrist is something very specialâ¦ I hit my watch a lot more than I would like, âhe admitted during the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Editionâ AMG âworldwide reveal. chatting with IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr and Philipp Schiemer, AMG CEO.
DMARGE had the chance to chat with Engel about his record lap on the NÃ¼rburgring, as well as the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series in which he put the time.
“[The NÃ¼rburgring] is the most difficult track in the world because you have just about every type of turn imaginableâ¦ Slow, medium speed, high speed, unbelievably high speed of long stretches over ridges, uphill, downhill, incline downhill. inside, tilting towards the outside, blind, short, long turnsâ¦ Even the carousel, with the original concrete from 1927. â
âYou also have what looks like a million different types of tar. Each year, they resurface certain parts, [but] it gives you a track that has so many different grip level changesâ¦ it’s just really, really tough in that regard. Knowledge is the key. “
Despite the brutal nature of the NÃ¼rburgring, on its record lap Engel was reaching speeds as high as 310 km / h – which is very close to the car’s top speed of 325 km / h.
Just as Engel is a versatile driver – who has done everything from GT3 racing and V8 supercars to Formula E and everything in between – the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is a very versatile car that delivers enormous tuning potential. So many things can be changed: the front splitter, rear spoiler, ride height, camber, traction controlâ¦ It is the car’s ability to be finely tuned for specific conditions to which Engel attributes its global threshing speed.
âI had a few days to really find a good setup for myself with the car on the trackâ¦. [But] any customer can really replicate that and use this setup on the race track as well, or adjust it to their liking. “
âThe driving styles are different; pilots will look for different things from a carâ¦ Even within professional pilots each pilot will have their own preferences so that definitely makes a big differenceâ¦ It gives you confidenceâ¦ I think without it it wouldn’t have been possible to achieve such a good lap time, especially in these conditions.
One of the main adjustable features of the AMG GT Black Series is its unmistakable split rear spoiler. A huge strip of carbon fiber, it was this downforce-generating spoiler that inspired the carbon fiber face of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition âAMGâ. Wings, aviator’s watches, carbon fiberâ¦ It all makes sense, doesn’t it?
Engel is set to return to the track for the NÃ¼rburgring 24 Hours, arguably an even more intense test not only of the car but also of the driver – and, of course, of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” than he will wear his wrist. We’re sure all three will be up to the task. If only we could time his laps with our own IWC chronographâ¦
Find out more about the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition âAMGâ – as well as the exciting and ongoing collaboration between IWC Schaffhausen and Mercedes-AMG – visit the IWC online store.