On March 18, although a lot of the watch business was packaging or boarding airplanes such as Baselworld, IWC Schaffhausen was hosting its very own major launch event in the 76th Goodwood Members assembly in West Sussex, England, the traditional kickoff of the years historic motor racing season. In fact, the launching was twofold: the introduction of the IWC Racing Team and also the limited-edition timepiece that it inspired: this weeks See to Watch, the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition 76th Members Meeting at Goodwood.The institution of its IWC Racing Team, which will compete in classic car races such as the Salvador Cup in Goodwood where it surfaced, creates the Swiss manufacturer the first watch company to race into these events using its own group and automobile. That vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, is a legend among vintage-car enthusiasts, made by Daimler-Benz between 1954 and 1967 the same era that gave birth to IWCs first Ingenieur timepiece. The historical link, together with IWCs partnership with Mercedes-AMG, which inspired the recent revamp of this contemporary Ingenieur collection, created that watch model perfect for this limited edition commemorating the Racing Teams historic debut at Goodwood. This new Ingenieuer, which can be limited to 176 numbered pieces, has a 44-mm titanium case that offers exceptional protection against magnetic fields thanks to the soft iron interior cage. The lower part of this protective cage is observable through the caseback and made to resemble a brake disk; a 76 in honour of the years 76th Goodwood Members assembly, is inscribed in its centre.
Every year for over a decade now, IWC unveils a limited edition to raise funds for the Laureus foundation, a charity that brings sport to underprivileged children across the world. Each year’s Laureus watch has been different from the last – the preceding editions were the Da Vinci chronograph and ladies’ Portofino – but all share the same deep blue metallic dial.
The latest watch for the good cause is unusual, being the very first Laureus watch in black ceramic, the very first Laureus in a material other than stainless steel in fact. The Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” has a glossy black ceramic case that’s 41mm in diameter, being the same case as that on the Mark XVIII Miramar.
And as is tradition the usual matte black dial has been replaced by one in metallic blue, with a red-tipped seconds hand for some colour.
The other feature that’s a Laureus tradition is the engraving on the case back that reproduces a drawing by a child selected by the foundation. This year’s motif was done by an 11-year-old Brazilian girl who is part of Instituto Reação, a Laureus-supported organisation in Brazil dedicated to improving the lives of slum-dwelling children with education and sports such as judo.
Like the standard Mark XVIII, the Laureus edition is powered by the cal. 35111, which is a rebadged Sellita SW300. And it’s enclosed by a soft-iron cage to protect the movement from magnetism, a standard feature on IWC’s aviator watches.
The watch is paired with a crosshatch embossed calfskin leather strap.
Price and Availability
The Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” (ref. IW324703) is a limited edition of 1,500 pieces and is priced at US$5650 or S$8,650. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the edition will go to Laureus Sport for Good.