One of the most accomplished motorsport athletes, Lewis Hamilton is equally famous for his racing pedigree (seven-time F1 world champion, on the same level as Schumacher), his striking personality and his distinctive personal style and polarizing outfits. This sense of fashion and style has long been reflected in his horological choices, not only by wearing some of the boldest creations of IWC (his and Mercedes-AMG‘s long-time partner) but also by creating special editions together with the Schaffhausen-based watchmaker. Today, both parties reveal the IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Retrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton, a watch that isn’t just about colours and aesthetics but about high-end watchmaking too.
This new limited edition is the third timepiece designed in a collaboration between IWC and Lewis Hamilton and the first to be based on the Portugieser. The first joint creation was the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition Lewis Hamilton IW379602, a full titanium chronograph released in 2014 as a duo with a watch by Nico Rosberg (back then Lewis’ teammate at Mercedes-AMG). The second watch designed by Lewis for IWC was the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Lewis Hamilton IW503002, a watch with a striking look, to say the least. A big bold model, it combined a black ceramic case with a burgundy-red dial, gold accents on the dial, crown and caseback and a perpetual calendar.
It’s now time for the third IWC collaboration watch with Lewis. And if it hasn’t lost all of the flamboyance of the previous BP model, it still retains a strong focus on colours and luxury, it feels more mature, less ostentatious and with more horological depth than before. A first for both parties, this new LW edition is based on a Portugieser and, to be precise, on an existing watch that we covered here. The Portugieser Tourbillon Retrograde Chronograph is one of the most complex models in IWC’s lineup, and it has been the base of choice for Lewis, who then added his touch.
There are some major updates on materials and colours here. The large case, measuring 43.5mm in diameter and 15.9mm in height, is made of 950 platinum with brushed and polished surfaces. It is topped by an arched-edge sapphire crystal, protruding pronouncedly from the case. The combination of a large diameter, an unmistakable thickness and the obvious weight of platinum makes for a watch with a lot of wrist presence. The weight of luxury…
The other obvious evolution compared to previous editions of this Portugieser Tourbillon Retrograde Chronograph is the choice of colours. With his known love for bold tones, Lewis Hamilton has chosen a rich teal-coloured dial, which is complemented by a tone-on-tone textile strap closed by a platinum folding clasp. There’s more than just the colour to this dial, as it also bears 12 small diamonds for the hour markers as well as the seven-time F1 World Champions’s logo.
This new limited edition IW394008 is more than aesthetics. It’s also a highly complex watch that combines a one-minute flying tourbillon with stop-seconds at 6 o’clock, a retrograde date indication and a chronograph with flyback function and elapsed hours/minutes displayed in a single totaliser at 12 o’clock. Classic design elements of the Portugieser can be found on the rhodium-plated leaf-shaped hands and the signature Arabic numerals.
The sapphire back of this Portugieser Lewis Hamilton reveals a well-known movement, however, with a dedicated gold-plated decoration and wound by an 18k oscillating weight. This in-house calibre 89900, first introduced in 2017 in the Da Vinci collection, is part of the brand’s most advanced movements. Its architecture is based on the in-house chronograph developed by Kurt Klaus in 2007, and it comes with an integrated column-wheel architecture with flyback function. It can store up to 68 hours of power reserve and runs at a 4Hz frequency.
Furthermore, it’s equipped with a flying tourbillon (56 individual parts, only 0.675 grams) with a rare feature, a hacking mechanism, meaning that it can be brought to a complete halt for precise time-setting. Finally, the pallet lever and escape wheel are made of silicon and feature a diamond coating – Diamond Shell technology – which reduces friction and improves the flow of energy in the movement.
Availability & Price
The IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Retrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton IW394008 will be released in a limited run of 44 watches, reflecting the number Hamilton has raced with since the beginning of his career. It will be priced at CHF 150,000. For more details, please visit www.iwc.com.