Ahead of this year’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, IWC Schaffhausen auctioned the last Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Toto Wolff x Mercedes- AMG Petronas Formula One Team.” Limited to only 100 pieces, this exclusive Big Pilot’s Watch commemorates the achievements thus far of Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO of the Mercedes F1 Team.
Over the years, Toto Wolff has been seen wearing several IWC watches and prototypes, on and off the racetrack. The watch numbered 50 out of 100 – the last available – will be auctioned by the international auction house Bonhams. The proceeds will go to Ignite, a joint charitable initiative operated by the Mercedes F1 Team and Sir Lewis Hamilton to support greater diversity and inclusion in motorsport. IWC Schaffhausen has also announced the establishment of an annual 50,000 Euro donation for Ignite.
In 2013, the Austrian entrepreneur and former racing driver Toto Wolff became a shareholder and executive director of the Mercedes F1 Team. During his time as the Team Principal and CEO, the team has won eight consecutive constructors’ titles between 2014 and 2021 – more than any other team in elite world sport. With the “Toto Wolff” Big Pilot’s Watch, Wolff was honoured for his achievements with an IWC watch that carries his name.
“Toto Wolff is the outstanding team principal of his generation, and the Mercedes F1 Team has seen unprecedented success under his leadership. Winning a race or a single championship campaign are great achievements in their own right. However, Toto’s ability to create a dynamic team driven by a high-performance culture has led to unmatched consistency and eight consecutive constructors’ titles over the last nine years of his tenure,” said Chris Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.
The “Toto Wolff” watch (Ref. IW503607) features a Ceratanium case and crown. Ceratanium is a new material developed by IWC. It is as light and robust as titanium and almost as hard and scratch-resistant as ceramic. It is based on a special titanium alloy forged explicitly for IWC. The case components are machined from bars and then treated in a furnace process at high temperatures. During this heat treatment, they develop not only ceramic properties on their surface but also their striking matte black finish.
The watch has a glass dial. The hands are black with their printing and luminescence in the team’s signature “Petronas green” colour. It is fitted with a black rubber strap with textile inlay.
Following the announcement, Toto Wolff commented: “After almost a decade of partnership, it is an honour and a privilege to have been asked to design a watch with IWC Schaffhausen. For me, it had to be a Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar. The watch uses Ceratanium, a material that stands for robustness and strength, two features that are very important to me.
“The dial is in bold Petronas Green, the colour of our team, and, of course, I had to add a subtle red collar around the crown and pay tribute to our friend and colleague Niki Lauda. The final design is exactly how I had imagined it to be, and I am delighted to donate this special timepiece to the auction and hope to raise as much as possible for the Ignite partnership.”
IWC’s perpetual calendar was developed by former head-watchmaker Kurt Klaus during the 1980s. The mechanical program automatically recognises the different lengths of the months and the leap years, requiring no manual adjustment until 2100.
The moon phase display shows the moon as seen from the northern and southern hemispheres and will only deviate by one day after 577.5 years. The calendar module is driven via a single nightly switching impulse by the IWC-manufactured 52615 calibre.
This automatic movement features IWC’s iconic Pellaton winding system, which has been reinforced with ceramic components and accumulates a power reserve of 7 days in two barrels. The movement can be admired through the tinted sapphire glass back.