(This article by Roberta Naas first appeared on Forbes.com.)
IWC Schaffhausen, known for its precision engineering and timeless design, has unveiled a horological masterpiece in collaboration with seven-time Formula One™ world champion and IWC brand ambassador, Lewis Hamilton. The Portugieser Tourbillon Retrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton is a limited-edition timepiece that marries the worlds of haute horlogerie and motorsport-inspired aesthetics.
This extraordinary creation, limited to just 44 pieces, is a testament to the enduring partnership between IWC and Lewis Hamilton, marking the third special edition timepiece born from their collaboration since 2014. Lewis Hamilton is known not only for his driving record, but also for his style. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team driver embraces bold colors and patterns.
The Portugieser Tourbillon Retrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton (Ref. IW394008) boasts a 43.5-millimeter platinum case, the epitome of rarity and luxury. Its sheen provides the perfect backdrop for the striking teal-colored dial, adorned with 12 sparkling diamonds. The dial design features slightly recessed displays for the chronograph and retrograde date functions, creating a visually captivating and sculptural look.
At the heart of the Portugieser Tourbillon Retrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton is the mesmerizing flying hacking minute tourbillon, located at 6:00 on the dial. French for “whirlwind,” the tourbillon is a visually enticing, constantly moving escapement that compensates for errors in timekeeping due to the effects of gravity when the watch is in certain positions on the wrist. Also making this tourbillon exceptional is its integrated stop mechanism, allowing precise time-setting down to the second. The complicated tourbillon is comprised of 56 individual components, weighing a mere 0.675 grams — a testament to the precision and craftsmanship synonymous with IWC.
Driving this timepiece is the IWC in-house-made caliber 89900 with chronograph function and retrograde date display. The use of silicone for the pallet lever and escape wheel, enhanced with a diamond coating known as Diamond Shell® technology, reduces friction and optimizes energy flow within the movement. This innovation contributes to an impressive power reserve of 68 hours, ensuring longevity and accuracy.
For the first time since 1993’s legendary “Il Destriero Scafusia” – IWC’s most complicated timepiece — the brand presents a movement with gold-plated components, further underscoring the watchmaker’s commitment to excellence and innovation.
This limited-edition timepiece not only celebrates the spirit of precision, innovation, and style but also embodies the indomitable spirit of Lewis Hamilton, an icon in the world of motorsport. The mechanical chronograph tourbillon offers flyback function, flying hacking minutes, retrograde date display, and more. The finely finished movement, complete with 18-karat gold rotor, is visible via a transparent sapphire case back. The watch is water resistant to 3 bar.
Another cool feature that sets this timepiece apart is the presence of Lewis Hamilton’s logo, resembling a panther’s eyes, adding a personal touch to an already distinctive design. The watch is secured to the wrist by a matching textile strap with a folding clasp, ensuring both comfort and style. It retails for $169,000.