IWC Schaffhausen X Lewis Hamilton present the Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph
“It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with Lewis on this project. His passion for IWC and comprehensive knowledge of mechanical watches were palpable at every stage of the two-year development process. Lewis knew exactly what he wanted and brought excellent ideas to the table. The result is a timepiece that combines his unerring sense of aesthetics and love of bold colours with some of the finest watchmaking technology ever developed in Schaffhausen,” Christian Knoop, Chief Design Officer of IWC Schaffhausen, said.
F1 Pilot Lewis Hamilton is not only one of the most accomplished athletes in motorsport, but he has also earned a reputation for his distinctive personal style and iconic outfits. The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team driver often pushes the boundaries with his fashion choices, embracing bold colours, patterns, and original designs. The IWC brand ambassador has now joined forces with IWC Chief Design Officer Christian Knoop and his team again to design his third special edition timepiece.
The first watch created in collaboration between IWC and Lewis Hamiltonwas the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition Lewis Hamilton (Ref. IW379602) with a titanium case and bracelet in 2014. On the case back, this edition featured a piece of carbon fibre from an original racing car. In 2019, Hamilton and IWC joined forces again to create the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Lewis Hamilton” (Ref. IW503002). This Big Pilot’s Watch combined a black ceramic case and a Burgundy dial with a crown and case-back ring made of 18-carat 5N gold.
The new Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton (Ref. IW394008) features a 43.5-millimetre case made of platinum, the rarest, purest and most precious of all metals, which perfectly complements the rich teal dial ornated with 12 sparkling diamonds. With slightly recessed displays for the chronograph and the retrograde date, the elaborately finished dial has a sculptural look. It also features the seven-time F1™ world champions’s logo, resembling a panther’s eyes. The timepiece is fitted on a matching textile strap with a folding clasp.
The absolute star of the dial is the flying hacking minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock. French for “whirlwind”, the tourbillon consists of the balance wheel rotating around its axis in a small cage. Not only does this constant rotation provide a visual spectacle on the dial but it also reduces the influence of gravity on the oscillating system, increasing the watch’s accuracy. Thanks to the integrated tourbillon stop, the mechanism can be brought to a complete halt, allowing the wearer to set the time with down-to-the-second accuracy. Consisting of 56 individual parts and weighing in at only 0.675 grams, the delicate mechanism is incredibly challenging for a watchmaker to assemble.
It is powered by the IWC-manufactured 89900 calibre, which also features a chronograph function. The stopped hours and minutes are displayed on one counter at 12 o’clock, making the elapsed time easy and intuitive to read. Another feature is the retrograde date display. The pallet lever and escape wheel are made of silicone and feature a diamond coating. This so-called Diamond Shell®, technology reduces friction and improves the flow of energy in the movement, contributing to a generous power reserve of 68 hours. The movement components such as the bridges are gold-plated and can be admired through the sapphire glass back. This marks the first time IWC has produced a gold-plated movement since the legendary “Il Destriero Scafusia” from 1993.