The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
Marking nearly two and a half years since the beginning of its partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, IWC has already achieved a great result: it is sponsoring the team which is widely dominating the 2014 Formula One Championship and has given life to a battle between its drivers evoking, ideally, the one between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
Just a few days before the F1 Singapore GP race that saw Lewis win and overtake Nico in the championship's standing with five races left, IWC has launched two new Ingenieur, both made in a limited series of 250 pieces each. They are laconically called IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition Lewis Hamilton and IWC Chronograph Edition Nico Rosberg.
These two timepieces reaffirm, once again, that with exception of the Ingenieur Automatic and the Ingenieur Dual Time, this collection is getting away from its classical take; Big Ingenieur and Mission Earth for example are now out of the collection and this timepiece is rapidly turning into a sporty high-tech watch, that will result in even more limited edition versions, as the partnership between Schaffausen and Stuttgart has been renewed until 2017.
They both represent a technical upgrade from the Ingenieur Chronograph Racer and introduce Titanium for the very first time on this model. Inside them beats the venerable caliber 89361 made in-house by IWC featuring a Flyback function and the patented double-pawl winding system, a Holy Grail of watchmaking at Schaffausen. Pushers, winding crown and screws are made out of Zirconium Oxide.
Here end the similarities, for both models have been custom made by IWC upon request and with the close collaboration of Lewis and Nico, as declared by Christian Knoop, Creative Director of IWC. The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition Lewis Hamilton has a carbon fiber dial and a titanium bracelet, making it the only Ingenieur in the collection to have been wholly made of Titanium.
The Ingenieur Chronograph Edition Nico Rosberg has, for the driver, a special meaning. Nico is a longstanding IWC fan and as a teenager was gifted by his father Keke with his first IWC that, according to what I can see from photos made during his 2013 visit at the manufacture, is a 2005 IWC Pilots Doppelchrono Ref. 3713.43, boasting a white dial.
Placing watches side by side, Nico's Ingenieur features a silver dial, yellow central second hand and 12 hour counter hands, a mix that clearly draws inspiration from previous Nico's racing helmet. Nico has gone for a rubber technical strap, with calfskin inlay and grey stitching.
The case back is anyway the icing on the cake: caliber 89361 is unfortunately not visible but, between sapphire crystal on the back and movement, a small piece of carbon fiber coming from the Silver Arrows has been inserted (IWC releases a certificate that states its authenticity).
Lewis has then applied his brand name logo which resembles a predator, while Nico's features his own name that is a logo as well. Two very original Ingenieur, esthetically quite far from the original model, aimed to Formula 1 addicts and technology fans, with Nico's version being a step ahead in the choice list thanks to the appealing colors combination. Pricing? Not yet released but stand-by and as soon as we know so will you.
(Photo credit: courtesy of IWC Watches; Google)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®