As you’d expect from IWC, they’ve absolutely nailed the timing of their latest limited edition. In partnership with the fast folks at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, the two brands have created the IWC F1 Pilot’s Watch just in time for the first-ever Miami Grand Prix.
IWC F1 Pilot’s Watch: What Is It?
IWC and Mercedes-AMG have been working together since 2013, enjoying mutual expertise in precision engineering, accuracy and a general attitude toward high performance. While you’ve probably noticed the IWC Big Pilot printed onto the back of Lewis Hamilton’s racing gloves, the partnership has born the fruit of several limited edition timepieces, including a carbon fibre dial Pilot’s Chronograph in 2021.
This year, the IWC F1 Pilot’s Watch (the eye-wateringly long full name of which is IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team”) uses a similar template to that of 2021, but is specific to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, right down to its cyan highlights. A lick of blue/green might not sound like much, but it really works visually, and when you consider the timing of the launch with the Miami GP, the colour can’t help but remind you of Don Johnson’s shirts in Miami Vice.
In the spirit of high-performance organisations and materials, the case is cast in 41mm of titanium, which has been finished with utilitarian sandblasting that looks a treat. Standing 14.5mm thick, it’s not meant to be a slim timepiece, but thanks to the lightweight titanium case, would likely feel a lot smaller on the wrist. With 100m of water resistance, it’s a proper sport watch, with the watch closed by a special edition sapphire crystal caeback.
The black chronograph dial is quintessential IWC, with a trio of subdials clustered around the day and date windows at 3 o’clock. Each of the subdials is slightly sunken, adding some nice visual depth that is complemented by a matte finish. Against the matte black surface, the Petronas-inspired cyan hands and hour markers serve up a strong visual pop and offer strong luminescence in low light.
Visible through the caseback is the IWC’s own self-winding 69385 calibre, which features a column wheel and is comprised of no less than 231 components. Ticking away 28,800vph, the movement offers 46 hours of power reserve.
This newest expression of the IWC F1 Pilot’s Watch arrives with two different straps, both of which can be swapped easily thanks to IWC’s tool-free EasX-CHANGE system. One of the straps is embossed black leather, backed with a contrasting cyan leather on the inside of the strap, while the second strap is a cyan rubber strap. Both are secured via a classic pin buckle.
Verdict & Price
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team” is a compelling new addition to the catalogue of the Schaffhausen-based watchmaker, taking full advantage of the strong relationship with Mercedes-AMG. It looks great with the Petronas-cyan highlights, is thoroughly sports with its comfortable titanium case and can be nicely dressed up or down with two different straps. The Mercedes F1 team might not be having the same season it had in 2021, but IWC is only getting better and better.