AMG. Three simple letters to most, but three special ones to others. Letters that stand for Aufrecht-Melcher-Grossaspach, but that is not the most important bit. The important bit is that they have been producing high-performance Mercedes cars for 50 years and have been integrated into the Mercedes brand for years now and can rely on many fans and supporters, often gathered in clubs or groups. Celebrating all things AMG, the Dubai based Group 63 club have collaborated with Halda Watch Co. 1887 to create the Halda Race Pilot Group 63 Limited Edition.
The first ever milestone AMG car was a big red saloon powered by a hefty V8 that slew just about anything it came up against. Winning its class in the 1971 Spa 24 Hours in Belgium, and coming in second overall, it was a formidable opponent for the smaller, more nimble racers of the era, cementing AMG’s capabilities almost immediately.
Following this success, expansion was sure to ensue, with mayor customization options to boost your Mercedes’ performance. Besides road cars, racing has remained a focal point for AMG, with the 190E touring car the epitome of its success; 50 victories in the German Touring Car championship (DTM for insiders) over a 6-year period. The latest endeavour for AMG is the F1 inspired and powered AMG Project One:
By 1990 the partnership between Mercedes-Benz (then known as Daimler-Benz) was solidified beyond a simple cooperation, with the integration of the company into the car manufacturer. From then on, numerous AMG-products have seen the light of day, with virtually no models left untouched by the performance division, with the boxy G-wagon even receiving 2 additional wheels, big power and ludicrous performance!
Group 63 is the world’s largest group of AMG-owners that originates from Dubai and is founded by Khalid al Mulla in 2009. It includes members of Dubai royalty, like honorary member the Crown Prince of Dubai, but also international members. There is basically one demand only, you must own a Mercedes AMG series car, the top-level AMG cars. Think Mercedes E63 AMG, S63 AMG or SL63 AMG to name just a few. The group currently has close to 200.000 members, and holds no less than 47 world records! For instance, the world’s most expensive hyper car event, known as the “Super Sprint UAE”, with 178 vehicles coming in at a combined value of over EUR 152 million in 2016.
For the Limited Edition, Group 63 had three demands; carbon fiber needed to be incorporated, it had to be mainly black, and it had to feature red accents. The final result is an adaptation of their Halda Watch Co. 1887 Race Pilot, which we reviewed in detail a while back. The concept behind Halda’s watches, whether it be the Race Pilot or the Space Discovery, is a cradle like construction with interchangeable modules to be snapped in place. Both watches, and thus the Group 63 Limited Edition as well, come with a mechanical module and a digital module. As an extra, the Race Pilot is also supplied with a Trackmaster module, that measures a number of things while on track with your AMG car for instance.
The mechanical module received an updated dial, incorporating the demands by Group 63, so a black-and-red combo and carbon fiber parts. The indications on the dial are still in the same place and displayed in a similar manner. The original Halda Race Pilot had a rim-like design, and the Halda Race Pilot Group 63 has only received slight updates. The main dial is made of carbon fiber, interestingly from the same supplier where Swedish car manufacturer extraordinaire Koenigsegg sources their carbon fiber. On top of that, there still is a rim-like applique, doubling as the hour marker for every odd hour and red stick markers for every even hour. The power reserve indicator at 2 o’clock and the small seconds indicator at 9 o’clock are connected to resemble an instrument panel like in a car’s dashboard.
The movement for the mechanical module is still the Zenith sourced Elite Caliber 685, that besides hours, minutes, small seconds and power reserve, also indicates the date. The race module displays information of 150 race tracks around the world, performance information of your car and tracks and stores your racing for future comparison. Finally, the military grade Trackmaster module is to be mounted in your car and help you focus on lap times. It uses a series of LED indicators to show you if are ahead, equal or behind compared to your best lap time so far. It also tracks acceleration (0-100/200/300), top speed, G-loads, quarter-mile performance and sector times.
The mechanical and digital module can be snapped in the cradle, which is attached to a rubber strap with a folding buckle. The 45mm wide Halda Race Pilot is quite thick, at 17,6mm, but it needs to house a lot of stuff to be this versatile. The watch never becomes uncomfortable though, so I guess this Halda Race Pilot Group 63 Limited Edition will be no different. It will be available in a run of 63 individually numbered pieces, the first of which to be presented to the Crown Prince of Dubai, honorary member of Group 63. It is available for pre-order on Haldasweden.com and will cost EUR 17,180.