June 12, 2017
IWC has launched the limited-edition IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “50th Anniversary Of Mercedes-AMG” watch to commemorate, as the name suggests, the golden anniversary of AMG, the performance motoring arm of Mercedes-Benz. The watch will be available in a limited run of 250 pieces and is available at only a small premium over the standard Ingenieur Chronograph Sport.
Under the dial, this watch shares the same movement as the regular production IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport or the Portugieser Chronograph, which is the in-house Caliber 89361. An automatic chronograph equipped with 68 hours of power reserve, this movement offers flyback functionality, a feature that fits right in with the motorsport racing theme as it is used to time successive intervals of time like race laps. It also has the unique hour and minute totalizer (which we discussed in the above linked-to article) at 12 o’clock which is intended to make the chronograph reading more intuitive.
The one difference between this IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “50th Anniversary Of Mercedes-AMG” and the other watches equipped with the calibre 89361 is apparent when you look at the case back. Like the original Ingenieur from 1955, the IWC Mercedes-AMG Ingenieur Chronograph Sport is equipped with a soft iron cage that helps make the watch anti-magnetic, though IWC does not provide concrete figures on how anti-magnetic it actually is. In keeping with the motorsport and specifically AMG theme, the back of the soft iron cage has holes drilled into it in a radial formation to make it look like a brake disc. In addition, the back of the cage is engraved with the words, “Tribute to One Man One Engine.” This is in reference to the fact that each engine that is produced by AMG is assembled from scratch by a single AMG mechanic. Personally, I struggle to see the benefit of engraving and drilling into the soft iron cage, and think a solid case back with similar engravings would’ve been sufficient. The AMG theme, however, is loud and clear.
The dial is silver plated with a zero-to-sixty-styled index, another of the many motorsport-inspired design changes. On that note, IWC has said that the color scheme of red, white, and anthracite was meant to reflect the color scheme found on race tracks around the world, i.e., red and white for the curbs and anthracite for the asphalt. All the hands related to the chronograph function are in red, while the ones dedicated to telling time are in black. The dial is completed by a date window at 3 o’clock and in a final touch to the motorsport theme, a tachymeter scale around the edge – a feature that, while not particularly useful in this day and age, was definitely expected on such a watch.
All of this is housed in a 44mm titanium case rated for 120m of water-resistance, with a screw down crown and rectangular pushers. At 15.9mm thick and with Grade 5 titanium which has the appearance of stainless steel, you’d be forgiven for expecting this to be a heavy watch. However, one of the primary benefits of titanium is that it is a very light yet strong metal. While the use of titanium is not unique to this limited edition, it definitely fits right in with the idea of performance motorsports where lightweight, strong materials are highly prized. The case has brushed sides, polished front and back bezels and polished crown guards and pushers. The bezel for the case back is engraved with “Edition 50th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG” and “One out of 250.”
IWC’s relationship with Mercedes-AMG goes back to 2004, and has resulted in multiple limited editions, several with unique case materials like boron carbide. This watch represents another milestone in that continuing relationship. With this collaborative relationship in mind, owners of each of the five special-edition Mercedes-AMG GT3 “Edition 50” cars will also receive a limited edition IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport. Like the watch, this car was specially designed and launched to celebrate the 50-year anniversary.
I mentioned that this edition had a surprisingly light premium over the non-limited model. Special edition watches often cost significantly more than their standard siblings, many times with no other reason than that it is labeled a special edition and maybe has a different dial color – and for some supposed “exclusivity.” This can be quite frustrating for watch collectors. The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “50th Anniversary Of Mercedes-AMG” costs only $800 more than the standard Ingenieur Chronograph Sport. This makes it more attractive for the collector who appreciates the Ingenieur line but wants something different and less common than the regular offerings – and in a year where we’ve seen “limited edition” runs of 2,012 or 6,000 pieces, 250 pieces makes it feel more “rare” indeed. The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “50th Anniversary Of Mercedes-AMG” is available on a black calfskin strap, at retailers and online for $11,800. iwc.com