IWC reinforces its partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team with a new issue of a team watch – one to be worn by all members of the Formula 1 team: the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 with team colours. We got our hands on a preview sample watch, and bring you this hands on review.
Review: IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team”
The Retail Price for the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team” is SGD 11,700 inclusive of GST.
IWC and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team have been in partnership since 2013, and IWC has issued many watches in the theme of this relationship. Here are links to our coverage to the latest edition from 2021, which is in encased in titanium, but measuring 43mm. Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” REF. IW377903 press release and the full hands on review of the IWC Ref. IW377903.
However today, on the occasion of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, the partnership develops one level deeper with the release of the first official team watch. The new watch is based on the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 with special livery to celebrate the partnership. This watch will be worn by the team, including designers, aerodynamicists, race engineers, strategists and mechanics.
The case, dial and hands
As the watch base is the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41, the case shape and dial layout is exactly the same as the regular watch. There are only two key differences between the standard Chronograph 41 and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Edition. The first is that the new team watch is executed in a titanium case, making it very light. A key characteristic required for F1 racing. As mentioned the 2021 AMG collaboration is also in a titanium case, but was with a carbon fibre dial and in 43mm.
The titanium case offers the highest strength to density ratio of any metal, and as titanium is widely used in the automotive industry to produce car parts subject to immense stresses such as engine valves. The metal is also well known to be highly corrosion resistant. IWC also has a proven history in the use of titanium as case metals, being one of the pioneers in its use in watchmaking. The case is matte finished with sandblasting, and has a nice greyish shimmer characteristic of titanium.
And the second is the choice of a colour palate is different. The Team Edition has a black dial with transfer print markings in the team’s signature shade of green which is officially known as Pantone Petronas Green. This specific colour is used for the markers and hands.
Even the luminiscence is in the same shade of green, and completes this rather distinctive design.
The watch is delivered with two different straps in the box. A black embossed calf skin strpa and a green rubber strap. As IWC uses the EasX-CHANGE system as a quick release and attach mechanism for the straps, they can be quickly and easily exchanged at the touch of a button without requiring additional tools.
This is a curious landscape. If we count the pilot chronographs in the market, the range is huge and perhaps impossible to remunerate. Nevertheless, our 2021 detailed review section of the Pilot’s Chronograph 41 has details on some of these possible candidates.
But if we limit to F1 Team Watches, perhaps the landscape reduces to just this watch, with no competition, especially one which is intimately linked to the Mercedes-AMG, Petronas F1 Team like this IWC is.
The movement: IWC Caliber 69385
The movement used is a rather standard IWC 69385, which is manufactured by IWC in Schaffhausen. The movement is a workhorse movement used in IW3779-03 Pilot’s Watch Chronograph AMG. The movement is a rather standard 28,800 bph movement with a 46 hour power reserve and a large automatic rotor.
As is the practice for IWC, only their in-house manufactured movements are displayed with a sapphire case back, and this is showcased as one flips the watch. While it will not win any beauty contests, it is a precision column wheel controlled chronograph, and will prove to be a workhorse which will provide many years of reliable and accurate service.
The IWC Pilot’s Chronograph 41 Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Watch is a handsome watch. The 41mm case size is a nice fit for most wrists, and the special colour accents in Petronas Green adds character, pizzazz and pop to the watch, and very befitting a top performing Formula 1 Team bearing the same colours.
This is a must buy for all fans of the team. And an interesting alternative to the Pilot Chronograph fan looking for a watch which stands out from the sea of military or flight inspired chronographs in the market.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team” Specifications
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
IWC-manufactured calibre 69385
Frequency: 28,800 vph / 4 Hz Jewels 33
Power Reserve46 h
Titanium case, black dial, black hands, black embossed calfskin strap, green rubber strap
Sapphire, convex, anti-reflective coating on both sides
Water resistant: 10 bar
Case size: 41 mm diameter 14.6 mm height