If you’re a member of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, you’re probably happy at being part of the most successful F1 team in recent history. Well, here’s another reason to be happy – receiving your very own IWC Pilot’s Chronograph in team colours for you to wear while performing your F1 duties.
Yes it’s true, starting from this weekend at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, you’ll be able to spot members of the team – including designers, aerodynamicists, race engineers, strategists and mechanics, or basically everyone visible on screen during the F1 broadcast – wearing the same IWC Pilot’s Chronograph with a distinctive green colour scheme, which is the same green as the corporate colour of Petronas, team sponsor and Malaysian petroleum company.
Not to worry if you’re not part of the team but want to imagine that you are, you can buy your very own official Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team watch at IWC’s website (iwc.com), although some caveats will apply depending on where you are located that I’ll get to later.
It’s a good move for team sponsor IWC since it’ll be a real world test of the toughness of the watches. They’ve been designed after all for a hard life banging around cockpits on the wrists of fighter pilots. This is a fact that should ensure that they survive in the tough environment of an F1 paddock, and if not, give feedback for IWC’s engineers to come up with new solutions that should trickle down towards the watches that we can buy. There’s really nothing like a real world test to validate the abilities of a watch, and it’ll be interesting to see how the watches hold up.
The watch itself is the very attractive IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 watch bearing the inhouse calibre 69385 chronograph movement equipped with a column wheel, with a power reserve of 46 hours and that is visible from the sapphire caseback. The case comes in the F1 appropriate grade 5 titanium, which is lightweight and very strong, sitting at 41mm wide and with a sandblasted finish that results in a greyish shimmer to its look.
The most distinctive aspect of the watch however, has to be the distinctive Petronas green colour scheme that adorns everything on the black dial, and this includes the hands, the subdials, arabic numerals, the date numerals and even the IWC logo. It makes for a very unique look that in normal circumstances might come across as too strong – but given that we know what this watch is for, the colour is entirely appropriate and even emotionally resonant.
The lume is, in typical and historically correct IWC fashion – with the iconic Mark 11 as a guide – only on the hands and the 3, 6, 9 and 12 hour markers, so expect usable lume but not a light show in the dark.
If you’re a fan of the team, there’s no other watch that you should consider buying, other than perhaps what Lewis Hamilton himself chooses to wear, out of the number of IWC watches he owns, though perhaps he might start wearing this one too more often in solidarity with his team.
Also good to know is the fact that the watch will come with two straps, one Petronas green rubber and another on black leather with green stitching down the sides. Both straps are easily swapped out due to IWC’s proprietary EasX-CHANGE® system. I’m guessing that team members will be sporting the more visible rubber option during the heat of the Miami GP, so that is something that you should look out for.
Now regarding buying this watch if you’re in South East Asia – as of today, IWC’s e-commerce retail option is not yet available for the region so if you want to get this watch the only way that you can do so is if you physically buy it at IWC boutiques in Singapore.
I’m told that IWC cannot send it to you if you’re outside Singapore (and within South East Asia) so the best option to get one is to rely on a friend in Singapore to purchase it on your behalf.
This situation might change sooner than later, and as far as it stands this watch is not a limited edition so there’ll be possibilities to purchase it down the line.
Aside from fans of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, I can think of one other group of people who might be interested in this watch. Given that the Petronas Green is one that Malaysians are all too familiar with – seen at Petronas stations all over the country while filling up their cars – wearing this watch might just be a good way to show their love and support for their country’s national petroleum company. Just a thought.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (Ref. IW388108)
Features Mechanical movement – Chronograph function for hours, minutes and seconds – Date and day display – Small hacking seconds – Screw-in crown – Glass secured against displacement by drops in air pressure – See-through sapphire-glass back
Movement IWC-manufactured calibre 69385 – Frequency 28,800 vph / 4 Hz – Jewels 33 – Power reserve 46 hours – Winding Automatic
Case Sandblasted Grade 5 Titanium, Diameter 41 mm, Height 14.6 mm
Dial black dial, black hands, black embossed
Straps Calfskin leather strap, green rubber strap included