Maximum robustness and performance, a utilitarian heritage, and design cues that have proved stronger than time… These are the shared characteristics of IWC Schaffhausen’s Big Pilot’s Watch and the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Celebrating these icons, the Swiss luxury watchmaker has released a duo of special-edition references — the Ref. IW501201 and Ref. IW506201 — of its Big Pilot’s Watch, inspired by the Geländewagen, the high-performance AMG G63 specifically.
BIG PILOT’S WATCH AMG G 63 — REF. IW501201
Sporting a case and crown crafted from 18-carat Armor Gold — an “innovative” alloy, which, IWC says, elevates the hardness of gold to a whole new level — this variant cuts a handsome figure. The dial is finished in black, as is the rubber strap, which features a microfibre inlay. The elegant, yet striking, colour scheme was inspired by the exterior paintwork of the recently launched Mercedes-AMG G63 ‘Grand Edition’.
BIG PILOT’S WATCH AMG G 63 — REF. IW506201
Signifying a first for the Schaffhausen-based brand, this piece is the first IWC to feature a ceramic matrix composite (CMC) case, engineered in close collaboration with the German Aerospace Center. So, what makes CMC so special? Well, in a nutshell, the fibres making up this composite material are embedded in a matrix of ceramic, rather than polymer. This makes CMC “extremely” tolerant to damage and lightweight. This iteration’s otherwise all-black aesthetic is beautifully contrasted by light-grey finishes for the hands, hour markers, and sub-dial counters, the latter of which takes inspiration form the G-Wagon’s headlamps. Both references are powered by IWC’s 52010 calibre, a “highly robust and precise” automatic movement.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is arguably one of the most iconic motor vehicles ever produced, with a history stretching back to 1979. The pinnacle G, the G 63, employs the Affalterbach-based automaker’s 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8, producing 430 kW and 850 Nm of torque, allowing thr opulent off-roader to complete the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds, before topping out at 220 km/h.