IWC Schaffhausen launches two new Big Pilot’s Watch editions to celebrate German luxury icon Marcedes-Benz and its signature G-Class.
The Big Pilot’s Watch from IWC Schaffhausen and the G-Class – aka the “Escalade for the Cash Engaged” – from Mercedes-Benz are both deeply rooted in a utilitarian legacy – one to be easy to read and highly robust, the other to offer uncompromising offroad capabilities, although most just cruise well-to-do neighbourhoods and rap video sets. After nearly 20 years of partnership with Mercedes-AMG, IWC now celebrates twin legacies with two striking special editions of the Big Pilot’s Watch.
While echoing signature G-Class design features, such as the headlights and the spare wheel cover, both new timepieces are made from extremely robust and resilient materials.
The Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G 63 (Ref. IW501201) boasts a case and crown made of 18-carat Armor Gold, an innovative alloy that elevates the hardness values of gold to a whole new level; a black dial and a black rubber strap with microfibre inlay. The black and gold colour code is inspired by the exterior paintwork and interior finishing of the recently launched Mercedes-AMG G 63 “Grand Edition”. The combination of sand-blasted surfaces and polished edges lends this Big Pilot’s Watch a sophisticated, contemporary character.
In contrast, the Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G 63 (Ref. IW506201) is the first IWC timepiece to feature a ceramic matrix composite (CMC) case, engineered in close collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The fibres of this composite material are embedded in a matrix of ceramic rather than polymer, making them extremely damage-tolerant and popular in the aerospace and luxury automotive industries.
The starting point for manufacturing a CMC watch case is a conventional carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer. In a heat treatment called pyrolysis, lasting several days, the polymer matrix is converted to carbon, leaving behind a dense weave of fibres embedded in a porous carbon matrix. Subsequently, silicon crystals are placed on top of the component, and everything is heated in an oven. During this so-called siliconisation, silicon is pulled into the cavities and chemically reacts with the carbon, forming a new matrix made of silicon carbide ceramic.
After finishing with diamond tools, the CMC cases exhibit a matte black colour and a unique structure determined by the fibres, making each piece truly unique.
In addition to the Big Pilot’s characteristic power reserve display at 3 o’clock, both new editions feature a small second counter at 9 o’clock. The opposing subdials with external white rings imitate the typical headlights on the front side of the “G Wagon”.
The black dials are embossed with a relief-like technical structure inspired by the air intakes of Mercedes-AMG performance cars. Unlike the classic Big Pilot’s Watch, which has printed numerals and indices, these special editions feature appliques that have been PVD-coated in black and filled with luminous material.
Both versions of the Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G 63 are powered by the IWC-manufactured 52010 calibre, a highly robust and precise automatic movement, the ingenious self-winding mechanism of which uses even the smallest movements of the rotor in both directions to build up a power reserve of seven days in two barrels.
The movements are visible through the tinted sapphire glass back that features a Mercedes-Benz star and which is reminiscent of the spare wheel cover on the backside of the G-Class.
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