Tested for You: The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team”
Let’s race into summer with one of the hottest releases this year: The first official team watch of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team from IWC.
At this point, the overlap between cars and watches should be clear. Watchonista has waxed poetically about this subject for a long time. Moreover, a result of these overlapping passions is that people have written entire tomes dedicated to the legions of car/watch collaborations.
Not only does the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team” from IWC come from that heritage of shared passions, but it celebrates the most successful Formula One team of the modern era. Luckily, I have had the privilege and pleasure of test driving it for the last two weeks.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team
Even the most casual F1 fans will know of the great Silver Arrow Mercedes that has dominated Formula 1 since 2014.
Drivers behind its wheel have racked up eight successive Constructors Championships, an F1 record. Plus, it has helped propel modern racing legends like Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg into the international spotlight. Fittingly, the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team” is designed to pay tribute to the larger team that makes those on-track victories possible. After all, it takes a village.
Mercedes-Benz has been participating in these highest rungs of racing since the 1930s, when the original Silver Arrows dominated the Grand Prix circuits. However, it wasn’t until 1954 that the German-owned car company officially joined Formula 1 alongside its single biggest rival – Scuderia Ferrari – a rivalry that still exists today.
Then, in 2010, Mercedes-AMG partnered with Petronas for its F1 team. And since 2014, the team has well and truly dominated Formula 1, winning 111 races, 7 World Drivers Championships, and 8 consecutive World Constructors Championships.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes -AMG Petronas Formula One Team”
Available only online, this commemorative team watch builds upon the incredible foundation of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41, which uses the same IWC Manufacture Calibre 69385 movement. This ruggedly elegant calibre is an automatic self-winding movement with 46 hours of power reserve and has both day and date functions.
However, unlike the stainless steel case of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team” case is made of lightweight titanium. And while this new Pilot’s Watch is not something I would describe as lightweight, its use of titanium makes for a noticeable difference in weight. Plus, aesthetically speaking, the titanium used for the watch is a beautiful steel gray color, which offsets the high polish on the crown and pushers.
The dial of the 41mm “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team” Edition is where the most obvious departures from the “standard” Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 come into play.
Specifically, the Arabic numerals and hand-applied (and lumed) indices rendered in the teams’ signature Petronas Green, while simultaneously being set against a black dial, creates a stunning effect that is enhanced further by the matching Petronas-Green rubber strap. On a side note: This “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team” Edition’s strap is one of the most comfortable summer straps I have ever worn.
Together, these colors create a high-impact style statement, perfectly befitting the Miami Grand Prix race where the watch was officially released.
Overall, there is not much here to complain about with the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team.” The watch is extremely comfortable, and the 7750-based movement has incredible mechanical bona-fides. Combine that with the Petronas Green and the grade 5 titanium case, and this watch makes for a fitting tribute to the engineering might of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team.
I even appreciate the incredibly subtle branding on the exhibition caseback that marks this collaboration. After all, any racing fan will know what those colors mean; no need for more logos to clutter the perfect dial.
On the Wrist: The “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team” Edition
The signature colors of this watch act as a homing signal to racing and car fans. I wore this piece during the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, and the sheer number of people who came over to me knowing exactly what this watch was all about was truly staggering. It is not an experience you usually get with other brands – and certainly not one you get with watches that have a price-point as attainable as this!
Heads of auction houses, Concours d’Elegance entrants, and even one highly-esteemed car restoration expert all knew what those colors meant, becoming a real conversation starter and a way to bond over our shared love of motorsport and watches. And at the end of the day, that sense of community and excitement is what it is all about. In fact, I loved my time with this watch so much that I would even consider getting one myself – but I only pull for Ferrari.
Pricing & Availability
On sale now, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team” is available exclusively online for only $7,850. For more information, visit the IWC website.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)