Just in case you don’t know what Goodwood #74MM stands for: no worries. I did not either. It stands for the 74th edition of the Goodwood Member Meeting, an event at Lord March’s Goodwood estate that is not only about racing, but also about heritage and responsibility. The event will be held from March 18th to March 20th. Stay tuned as we will report about the event, including some watch spotting. IWC is a main sponsor of the Goodwood foundation. Last year IWC launched a special Goodwood Ingenieur in a limited edition of 25 watches. Will IWC launch another edition? We will know soon enough. Read further what our thoughts are.
IWC and Mercedes AMG: a partnership that goes beyond marketing
The visits to the Mercedes museum and – even more – the Mercedes AMG facility in Affalterbach (Germany) made me aware of the similarities between the companies and how much more this partnership is than “just” market opportunities. IWC and AMG share many values: heritage, passion for performance, mechanics, craftmanship, perfection, and ‘simplicity’. The latter does not mean ‘simple’ but designing products that eliminate unnecessary components to meet a specific function or functions. It is no wonder that many people who own IWC watches also own AMG cars and vice versa. If you have visited the IWC factory and the AMG factory, you will know what I mean. The adagium “one man, one engine” resembles the responsibilities of watch makers in assembling and finishing movements.
One Man, One Engine
Every engine carries the name of the person who assembled the engine. In contrast to mass production, AMG mechanics assemble the performance units by hand. The mechanic is responsible from the first to the last step in the assembly process. The mechanic’s signature on the engine badge is a personal guarantee of quality and exclusivity. But also a sign of skills, passion and pride. These people should be proud on their skills. Every micromillimeter counts in a watch and in a high performance engine.
The process in the AMG factory is unique. Engines are assembled by people, not machines. Each person picks up a motor block and compiles the motor step by step passing a series of work stations that hosts all spare parts and machinery to get the job done. Quality Control is integrated. A barcode scanner is used to indicate which tool is used for which part.
The testbench is another interesting area. Like the testing of Ingenieur watches, the engines are put to the extreme. Needing a test of an engine running at high speed for 3 weeks and generating temperatures beyond 900 degrees celcius? No problem!
The sound of an AMG engine, the passion for perfection and performance, and the beautiful design are mind-blowing. As well as the resemblance to the values of IWC.
The heritage of the Silver Arrows (Silberpfeil)
While a modern race car or performance car can be exciting, seeing and hearing the classic race cars and engines makes your heart sing and your brain happy. A select group of journalists got the opportunity to see how the Silver Arrows from the fifties are prepared for the racing event at the Goodwood 74th Member Meeting event. The design of the engines, the sound of the engines, the smell of the special oil for these cars, the design of the cars; it is pure poetry.
The history of the Silver Arrows goes back to 1934, when – a few hours before a race at the Nürburgring – technicians carefully scraped the white paint of a Mercedes Benz W25 race car to save weight. A legend was born. Not only because the Mercedes Benz race cars showed their aluminium bodies in full glory but also because they dominated racing for a long time. By 1937, the engine of a Mercedes Benz W125 delivered 646 horsepower. The cars reached speeds of more than 300 kilometers per hour during races.
It requires a highly skilled driver to handle these cars. This was racing in its purest form. During the Goodwood 74th Member Meeting, Mass and Häkkinen will go head to head in a race with the Classic W196 R silver arrows.
Check the following links for more information:
- Mercedes Benz Silver Arrow. Link: https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/lifestyle/culture/mercedes-benz-silver-arrows-a-living-legend/
- Wikipedia on the Silver Arrow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Arrows
During the trip we got IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil watches to our disposal to wear during our rides with the Mercedes AMG cars and our visits to the AMG facory, the Mercedes Museum and the Mercedes Benz Classic Cars workshop where the Silberpfeils are prepared for the race. A very nice gesture of IWC. See this link for more information on the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil ref. 3785. By the way, those straps are so beautiful and are so comfortable to wear.
The Mercedes Museum, a unique collection of 900 cars
The Mercedes Museum is impressive in 2 ways: the design of the building and the collection of cars. The entire collection includes 900 cars, of which 160 are are displayed, including unique and extremely rare pieces. Definitely worth a visit when you are in the Stuttgart area!
Will IWC launch a Goodwood ##74MM edition?
As a watch lover, you may wonder “what about the watches?”. We don’t know yet but don’t be surprised if IWC launches a new watch dedicated to the 74th version of the Goodwood Member Meeting. And don’t be surprised if that is again an Ingenieur. If we have to make a guess, the watch will have a classic look because the Silver Arrows of the Fifties played such an important role at this event.
See this link for information about last year’s Ingenieur Automatic Edition AMG GT edition in solid boron carbide (reference IW324602) launched at Goodwood: http://www.iwc.com/en/news/iwc-takes-to-the-grid-with-watch-innovation-at-goodwood-members-meeting/
The Breuniger IWC Flagship Store
The last part of the trip was a visit to the Breuniger store in Stuttgart that has a flagship IWC corner. We were fortunate to see some special pieces.
Stay tuned for more news and photos. A Live Stream of the event all weekend, capturing all the races and the most exciting moments, will be online the coming weekend through this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NLnHCchWXs.