Just ahead of the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend, IWC has announced the auction of the last available Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Toto Wolff x Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.” Within the world of F1 racing, Mercedes is regarded as one of the most dominant teams in the modern era and IWC Schaffhausen proudly serves as one of its sponsors. (You can even see images of IWC watches printed on the drivers’ gloves.) With that in mind, its record of eight consecutive constructors’ titles that occurred between 2014 and 2021 all took place under Toto Wolff’s command as the CEO and Team Principal of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
To celebrate Toto Wolff, his extraordinary career, and his long-standing relationship with IWC, the Schaffhausen-based manufacturer has produced a 100-piece limited-edition version of the IWC Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar that was designed by Toto Wolff himself. While all 100 examples have been claimed, the last available one — numbered 50 out of 100 — is set to be auctioned by Bonhams with the entirety of the proceeds benefiting the charitable initiative Ignite, which aims to support greater diversity and inclusion within the world of motorsport.
Based upon the case of the brand’s existing perpetual calendar edition of the Big Pilot, the 46.2mm case of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Toto Wolff x Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team” measures 15.4mm-thick and features a domed sapphire crystal and 60 meters of water resistance. However, the case on this latest edition is crafted from IWC’s proprietary Ceratanium alloy, which features a matte black appearance and promises the lightweight durability of titanium with the scratch resistance of ceramic. A tinted sapphire crystal sitting in the center of the watch’s screw-down caseback offers a view of the movement, while the black Ceratanium screw-in winding crown features a thin red collar as a subtle tribute to the late F1 champion Niki Lauda, who was a close friend of Toto Wolff’s and who played a crucial role in helping him establish the Mercedes F1 team as the racing powerhouse that it is today.
The dial of the new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Toto Wolff x Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team” is made from tinted transparent glass and offers a few of the inner movement that sits below it. The dial layout itself will be instantly familiar to those who have previously seen any of the perpetual calendar Big Pilot watches, featuring a quartet of registers on its dial for displaying the day, date, month, moonphase, running seconds, and power reserve indicator, along with a rectangular window at 7:30 that offers the year in a four-digit format. Additionally, on the Toto Wolff x Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team edition, its hour markers and various accents appear in the team’s signature Petronas green, with black-finished hands indicating the values against its various displays.
Just like other perpetual calendar versions of the IWC Big Pilot, the new Toto Wolff x Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team edition is powered by the brand’s in-house Caliber 52615 automatic movement, which was originally developed by former head-watchmaker Kurt Klaus during the 1980s. In addition to compensating for the different numbers of days in each month and even leap years, the Cal. 52615 also features an innovative moonphase display that is accurate to one day every 577.5 years, and shows the moon as it is seen from both the northern and southern hemispheres. Running at a standard frequency of 28,800vph, the self-winding movement features IWC’s Pellaton winding system, which has been reinforced with ceramic components and includes two mainspring barrels to offer users a lengthy 7-day power reserve.
At a quick glance, the new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Toto Wolff x Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team” offers a strong resemblance to the original Petronas edition that made an appearance a little over two years ago to celebrate the team’s 2019 constructor’s title victory. However, while the previous model was a 10-piece limited edition with a ceramic case and a carbon fiber dial, the Toto Wolff edition features a Ceratanium case and a transparent dial, which give it a more modern and intricate overall appearance. In addition to the auction of the watch itself, IWC has announced the establishment of an annual €50,000 EUR donation to Ignite in sport of the charitable initiative’s goal to promote diversity and inclusion within motorsport. Despite having an official retail price of $49,400 USD, all other examples of the Toto Wolff edition have already been sold, meaning that this final example represents the only one that will be made available to the public. With that in mind, regardless of how much it fetches at the upcoming Bonhams auction, which is set to run from June 30th until July 7th at 10:00 AM EST, the sale of this exclusive watch will be benefiting a good cause. For more information, please visit the manufacturer’s website.