May 25 2021
25 May 2021
Sports cars and sports watches have perennially made for a perfect pairing thanks to their mutual reliance on engineering and performance. In that spirit, IWC’s Big Pilot AMG is the result of collaboration with Mercedes-AMG, the sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz that takes racing technology to the streets by applying it to its road-going series of cars.
The two companies have partnered on limited editions since 2004, but this is the first cross-branded watch to be earmarked for the permanent collection. It is also the first Big Pilot’s watch with a titanium case, and the first to contain the IWC caliber 69385, an automatic column-wheel chronograph movement with 46 hours of power.
“Our 17-year partnership with Mercedes-AMG is a natural fit,” says IWC CEO Christophe Grainger-Herr. “We are the engineers of fine watchmaking, and I think that has something to do with our unique location here in Schaffhausen in the east of Switzerland. We are removed from the Western valley [where most watchmakers are located]. We are much closer to the German automotive industry; Mercedes-AMG is just one hour up the road, in Affalterbach, Germany.”
The titanium case was inspired by AMG‘s signature Selenite Grey Magno paint finish, and the matte gray color is trending. Ultimate Grey is Pantone’s color of the year for 2021, and it’s showing up right now in everything from cars to home décor and fashion. The color, in a slightly darker hue, carries to the dial, which is made of carbon fiber, a material used in AMG‘s aero components. It is produced in a complex process involving heat and pressure involving weaving machines that give them a woven textile structure. The carbon fiber dial is a distinctive variation on the familiar design of the Big Pilot’s watch, an appropriate touch for a watch that was introduced in the 1990s, the golden age of carbon fiber chronographs.
The original 39mm case has expanded since the ’90s to a more robust 43 mm, with a thickness of 14.9 mm. The silver subdials, reminiscent of motorsport registers, match the sheen of the case. It comes with a black embossed calf leather strap to match the dial’s carbon fiber texture.
“IWC is our longest-standing partnership,” says Mercedes-AMG CEO Philipp Schiemer. “We are both technology-driven companies with the same passion for handcrafted precision technology, and we are both creating very emotional products. When you look at an IWC, you’re not just looking at the time, you are enjoying the watch. It’s the same with driving an AMG. You’re not thinking of where you’re going, you are enjoying the ride.”
The Big Pilot AMG is eligible for registration under the My IWC care program and thus benefits from a six-year extension to the standard two-year International Limited Warranty. It is priced at $9,100.