IWC Announces the Big Pilot’s Watches Motivated By the Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Last Updated: September 15, 2023Tags:

The success and allure of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and IWC Schaffhausen’s Big Pilot’s can be attributed to their timeless design, unmatched solidity, and functional lineage. IWC Schaffhausen, a renowned Swiss luxury watchmaker, is unveiling two unique Big Pilot’s editions in tribute to these designs. These timepieces resonate with iconic G-Class elements like headlights and the spare wheel cover and are also crafted from some of the most durable materials. One features an 18-carat Armor Gold® case and crown, while the other introduces IWC’s ceramic matrix composite (CMC) case.

The Big Pilot’s AMG G 63 (Ref. IW501201) is splendour in design, with its 18-carat Armor Gold® case and crown, complemented by a black dial and a black rubber strap decorated with microfiber inlay. This colour duo takes inspiration from the Mercedes-AMG G 63 “Grand Edition.” Armor Gold® is a new alloy that enhances gold’s resilience, making it more wear and tear-resistant. It is also far superior to the standard 5N gold and gives the watch a higher resistance to wear and tear. Its blend of sand-blasted and polished finishes imparts a sleek modernity to the timepiece.

On the other hand, the Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G 63 (Ref. IW506201) stands out as IWC’s debut timepiece with a ceramic matrix composite (CMC) case, crafted in association with the German Aerospace Center (DLR). This material isn’t your typical carbon fibre-reinforced material. Instead, the fibres in CMC are nestled within a ceramic matrix, not a polymer, making CMC components remarkably durable. Their resistance to thermal shocks makes them the preferred choice in industries demanding lightweight, strong, and heat-resistant materials – from aerospace to luxury car brake disc manufacturing.

The process of creating the case is a lengthy procedure. The process begins with a standard carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer. During an extended heat process known as pyrolysis, the polymer matrix turns into carbon, resulting in a tight network of fibres housed in a permeable carbon matrix. Next, silicon crystals are layered on the component, which is then subjected to heat in an oven. In this siliconisation phase, silicon fills the voids and undergoes a chemical reaction with the carbon, culminating in a new matrix comprised of silicon carbide ceramic.

Once refined with diamond tools, the CMC cases take on a matte black hue, with a unique structure influenced by the fibres, ensuring every case is one-of-a-kind. Lorenz Brunner, who heads Research and Innovation at IWC, elaborates, “The crafting of this robust yet lightweight material is intricate. To attain flawless quality, we navigated numerous hurdles – from choosing the ideal raw elements for the fibres and matrix to pinning down the precise parameters for each production stage. IWC’s debut CMC watch case represents our prowess in pioneering material solutions.”

Besides the signature power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock, both new versions also have a small second counter at 9 o’clock. The contrasting subdials, framed by white rings, echo the iconic headlights of the G-Class. Their black dials feature a raised pattern reminiscent of the air intakes on Mercedes-AMG vehicles. In contrast to the traditional Big Pilot’s Watch with printed numerals and markers, these models showcase appliques PVD-coated in black, highlighted with luminescent material.

The in-house 52010 calibre powers the Big Pilot’s AMG G 63 editions. Components of its winding mechanism, especially those under significant stress, are crafted from the nearly wear-resistant zirconium oxide ceramic. This self-winding mechanism, conceived in the 1940s by IWC’s past Technical Director Albert Pellaton, harnesses even minor rotor motions in both directions to accumulate a seven-day power reserve across twin barrels. Watch enthusiasts can see these movements through the tinted sapphire case back, adorned with a Mercedes-Benz star, reminiscent of the G-Class’s rear spare wheel cover.

The watches are available at IWC boutiques or Moreover, you can register the watches under the My IWC care initiative, providing an extra 6-year extension on top of the regular 2-year International Limited Warranty.