If I had to use one word and only one word to summarise the new ‘Lewis Hamilton’ Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition – It would be ‘EXOTIC’. Limited to 100 pieces, this watch is a fantastic tribute to the British racing legend and IWC’s brand ambassador Lewis Hamilton.
As a six-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton sets the ultimate standard – and not just as part of motorsport’s elite. He also doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to fashion and lifestyle either. Luxurious streetwear, trendy suits and unusual accessories – with his daring and expressive sense of style, Hamilton uses fashion as a way to communicate his distinct point of view on global culture.
“This partnership with IWC was incredibly exciting for me, and it’s been an honour to collaborate so closely with the watchmakers in Schaffhausen,” said Hamilton. “Together, we’ve designed a beautiful timepiece which combines two things I am really passionate about – craftsmanship and design – and I am so pleased with the result.”
With its own distinct allure, the watch features a 46.5mm black zirconium oxide ceramic case, an exotic Bordeaux-red dial (With gold-plated hands) and the Big Pilot’s characteristic “cone crown” which is made of 18-carat 5N gold. Despite having a case size that is larger than most, I find the largeness of the crown does not overpower the look of the watch. A Bordeaux-red textile strap nicely complements the dial.
Another stand out feature, is the decidedly distinctive perpetual calendar complication. The date, day, month, year and moon phase are neatly laid out on the dial and can all be adjusted via the crown at 3 o clock. The mechanical programme autonomously recognises that different months are different lengths, and adds a leap day every four years at the end of February. The double moon phase display simultaneously shows the lunar phase in the northern and southern hemispheres and will only deviate from the moon’s actual orbit by a single day after 577.5 years.
The in-house IWC 52615 manufacture calibre ensures the watch rate is accurate. With the help of a Pellaton winding system and two barrels, the IWC-manufactured 52615 calibre builds up a power reserve of seven days. The components in the Pellaton winding system exposed to unusually high stresses and strains are made of non-wearing ceramic (zirconium oxide ceramic).
Finally, the case back presents an 18-carat 5N gold rotor that has the Falcon logo and the words IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN | LEWIS HAMILTON neatly engraved.
“Lewis approached us with the idea of a watch in Bordeaux-red and gold,” explained Christian Knoop, IWC’s head designer. “Our starting point was the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar – a favourite model of Hamilton’s, who is also an acknowledged expert in Haute Horlogerie. We decided on a case made of black ceramic with hints of gold and a Bordeaux-red dial and textile strap. This combination radiates understated luxury.”