Video: The I.C.E. St. Moritz with the IWC Racing Team
From the Goodwood Festival of Speed to Arosa ClassicCars, for years, the IWC Racing Team, along with its 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing,” have been a ubiquitous contestant in the world’s most renowned and historic races. And this year, the IWC Racing Team is opening the season at the I.C.E. (International Concours of Elegance) St. Moritz.
Among all the prestigious Concours of Elegance events, like Pebble Beach or Villa D’Este, the I.C.E. is truly unique as it takes place atop the frozen lake of St. Mortiz. And for its first appearance at the event as a participant, the IWC Racing Team brought with it two legends of the 1950s: the previously mentioned 300 SL “Gullwing” from 1955 and the unique Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS “Porter Special” from 1956.
Watchonista had the privilege to accompany the IWC Racing Team during I.C.E. St. Moritz 2022 with Austrian racing driver Laura Kraihamer behind the wheel of the iconic “Gullwing,” which is quite the challenge in and of itself. Plus, our good friend Philip Rathgen, CEO of Classic Driver, granted us the honor of participating in a video presentation about the history and design features of the 1955 300 SL “Gullwing.” We’d also like to extend a special thank you to the IWC Paddock & Hospitality team and Laura Kraihamer for letting our video crew join her on the track and speaking with us about how unique and extreme driving such a legend can be in these conditions.
The I.C.E. St. Moritz: A White Canvas for Art on Wheels
Upon arriving at the frozen lake of St. Moritz in the early morning hours of an absolutely astonishingly sunny day, the mountains were replete with fresh snow, and the thermometer read an acceptable -15ºC below zero. It was the ideal weather for the event, and we couldn’t help but be conscious of the perfect conditions.
The scenic landscape had already left us speechless, but after discovering around 50 first-class collectible cars seemingly floating atop the ice, the tableau became almost surreal. Like a large white canvas, the frozen lake and snow-covered mountains magnified the colors and lines of these mechanized art pieces.
As we’ve already discussed, the IWC Racing Team presented the 300 SL “Gullwing” at the event. But in addition to that, the team also brought along the unique 300 SLS “Porter Special” that garnered a lot of interest and curiosity from judges and spectators alike. In 1956, Californian race car driver Chuck Porter rebuilt this roadster from a 300 SL “Gullwing” damaged in an accident. And up until 1964, Porter even won a few races with it. After that, the car dropped off the radar. It was finally found in 1999 and restored.
Perhaps, at this point, it doesn’t need to be said that the plethora of icons at the I.C.E. St. Moritz 2022 was remarkable. Yet despite that, the presence of the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, owned by Brandon Wang, was, without a single shred of doubt, an astonishing spectacle. Unsurprisingly, it won the event’s “InstaLake” award.
Moreover, getting caught off guard by the original James Bond Aston Martin DB5 shooting past me in a big cloud of snow dust was also a singular (and thrilling) experience. The specific specimen at I.C.E. did not take part in any filming, but it was used for the international promotion of Thunderball (1965).
The extremely well-named “Jet Set on Ice” award went to the glamorous 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB driven by the distinguished Katarina Kivalova. This car is one of only four examples of the 275 GTB made with this long nose alloy body.
Additionally, like a pop art sculpture, a 1968 Orange Lamborghini Miura P400 driven by Fritz Kaiser and star of The Italian Job’s opening scene was the natural-born winner of the “Stars on Wheels” award.
And last but definitely not least, the “Best in Show” award went to the 1933 Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B raced by legendary pilot Tazio Nuvolari.
The I.C.E. St. Moritz With The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41
After taking the IWC Pilot’s Chronograph 41 on a tour of the Oculus in New York City, we thought the I.C.E. St. Moritz 2022 was the perfect opportunity to give it a more rigorous test drive. And it did not disappoint.
Most strikingly, just like the sculpted bodies of the classic cars gathered atop the frozen lake of St. Moritz, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41’s blue radiant dial seemed to almost take possession of the rays from the sun and offered up a hypnotic game of light on the wrist.
We can’t say it enough, but the work done by IWC in the past few years to redesign the entire Pilot’s Watch collection is as remarkable as moving. At 41mm, the watch is ergonomic, even for a small wrist like mine. Plus, comfort is guaranteed when it’s on the blue calfskin EasX-CHANGE strap.
Overall, the consistency of the design across the dial is what impresses me most, with each of the displays being perfectly readable without overcrowding the space. Luckily, for the price of $6,500, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 definitely offers a lot of value and, of course, style.