IWC Schaffhausen has been partners with Mercedes and its AMG sub-brand for quite some time now, both through the road cars and its Formula 1 team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1. The two brands seem to complement each other in multiple ways, often taking style and innovation in new directions. IWC’s flagship model, the iconic Big Pilot is today’s topic of choice for a new set of watches inspired by the military-vehicle-turned-ultra-luxury-SUV by Mercedes, the G-Wagon. IWC has transferred elements of the top-of-the-range Mercedes-AMG G63 onto the new IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot G63, which comes in two very distinct materials.
The new G63 is first and foremost based on the legendary Big Pilot, which means a rather impressive case of 46.5mm in diameter and 14.6mm in height. Naturally, it has a soft-iron inner case to protect it from magnetic forces, as well as sapphire crystals secured against sudden drops in air pressure. What distinguishes the two from the regular Big Pilot collection is the material used for the case, caseback and crown.
The IW501201 uses 18k Armor Gold for the case, a proprietary alloy that is more resilient than regular gold and in terms of style takes after the recently introduced Mercedes-AMG G63 Grand Edition. The IW506201 goes in a different direction with a lightweight Ceramic Matrix Composite case, a material engineered in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center. Instead of using a polymer as a binder, carbon fibres are embedded in a ceramic matrix, making it extremely damage-tolerant and insensitive to thermal shocks. This time around, the crown and caseback ring are in Ceratanium.
The dial for both versions is identical in design but with different colours. The black base dial has a diamond-like pattern inspired by the air intakes of the G63. The applied indices and hands are finished with either beige-gold coloured Super-LumiNova (IW501201) or light-grey Super-LumiNova (IW506201). Furthermore, there is a small seconds indication at 9′ with the signature 7-day power reserve at 3′. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this display, but it’s not the most common configuration for the Big Pilot either. The final indication is positioned at the bottom of the dial, where a bevelled window reveals the date.
IWC dropped in its in-house IW52010 automatic movement we primarily know from the Portugieser collection. This runs at a rate of 28,800vph and provides 168 hours of power reserve (or 7 days, obviously). It comes with the Pellaton winding system to efficiently transfer kinetic energy to the barrels. The movement is covered by a tinted sapphire crystal decorated with Mercedes’ three-point star in a black bar mimicking the look of the spare wheel cover on the G-wagon.
Both IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot G63 models come on a black rubber strap with a microfiber inlay, fitted to a folding clasp that matches the case (either Armor Gold or Ceratanium). The watches are not limited and retail for EUR 37,200 in 18k Armor Gold or EUR 49,700 in Ceramic Matrix Composite. This makes it quite a bit pricier than the Armor Gold version, which is quite unexpected to say the least. They are available through IWC Boutiques and the brand’s e-commerce platform in limited quantities, although it’s not a limited edition with a fixed production run.
For more information, please visit IWC.com