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IWC Oils
Time That Runs Like Clockwork

Depending on the stresses and strains to which they are exposed, around 50 points in the movement are treated with oils and greases developed especially for use in wristwatches.

Test Lab

At IWC Schaffhausen, new watch models are put through a gruelling test program involving up to 50 separate stages that include long-term immersion in warm salt water and being locked away in an environmental chamber. All this guarantees that they will be equipped for everyday use – and much more – when they finally reach their future owners.

Sound_check_engine_AMG_972x426
Sound Check

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Small World

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89800 Calibre Movement
Eternity in Digits

The IWC-manufactured 89800 caliber, which made its debut in 2009, redefined the digital date display. The triple-disc mechanism in the perpetual calendar features large-format displays for the date and month and, slightly more discreetly, the leap year cycle. All are ingeniously synchronized.

Top Secret

In a small town in central England, over 500 specialists spend their time developing and building silver arrows for the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team. Almost every one of the 3,200 parts in each car is custom-made.

Ingenieur: the story of a legend

When the Ingenieur from Schaffhausen was launched in 1955 it created a storm. But its actual history goes back much further: to 1888.

Movements Come to Life

All mechanical watches can be fascinating because of their intricate movements. Even simple watches, ones that only tell time, are extraordinarily complex mechanisms that have hundreds of miniscule parts that work harmoniously together. A complicated watch, one that performs additional functions, is by definition even more complicated.

Experiences

HALF WAY TO THE MOON

Date — 15 November, 2013

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HALF_WAY_TO_THE_MOON_Trucks_972x426
—To ship all the equipment necessary to run a successful FORMULA 1 team poses an enormous logistical challenge.

For the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, following the Grand Prix circus means transporting 30 tons of material in 10,000 individual parts and at least 60 employees to venues on five continents. Of course, they have to ensure that everything arrives there on time what calls for a system and improvisation in equal measure.

When Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are finally sitting in the cockpits of their Silver Arrows in Melbourne, David France in Brackley, Northamptonshire, in the UK can let out a sigh of relief. As Head of Logistics with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, he is responsible for ensuring that around 30 tons of material arrive on time in Australia, that is to say: over 10,000 miles away. Apart from the two race cars, the load consists mainly of spare parts, all the equipment needed for the garage and the technical infrastructure for race management, but also includes amenities for guests and VIPs, from comfortable armchairs to the espresso machine.

Between March and November of the current season, the FORMULA 1 teams take part in 19 races on five continents. To give an idea, the distance covered by the team members and their material represents half the distance from the Earth to the Moon. Back-to-back events especially – races on two consecutive weekends – imply an enormous logistical challenge. Every single item has to be in place and installed for the race at the next location only four days after the finish at the previous one.

The season kicks off with four races at overseas locations, in Australia, Malaysia, China and Bahrain. To ensure that everything is transported to its destination as efficiently as possible, the logistics specialists rely on a combination of sea and air freight.

OUR JOB IS TO ORGANIZE THE ENTIRE TRANSPORT CHAIN FROM VENUE TO VENUE.

—David France, Head of Logistics

HALF_WAY_TO_THE_MOON_972x426
—All containers of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team are transported by specially chartered Boeing 747 cargo planes.

Sea freight is the transport of choice for the large, bulky pieces of equipment that remain the same from one race to the next: cabinets full of nuts and bolts, oils and lubricants, compressed air bottles and compressors, as well as tables and chairs and parasols. To ensure that all this arrives in Australia on time, four containers are shipped from the UK eight weeks prior to the race. One of them is declared as hazardous goods and contains around 1400 liters of fuel specially refined for the Silver Arrows cars.

Since the time between races is too tight to ship everything by sea to the next destination, the entire sea freight set exists in quintuplicate. “It’s often cheaper to have five of everything and transport them by ship than to have a single item and send it all over the world by air freight,” explains France. To complicate matters, Brackley lacks warehousing for all the material needed. Sometimes a load will be dispatched on a particularly slow route so as not to occupy valuable storage space back home.

But when things do have to happen quickly, air freight is the answer. Three trailers of components that simply have to be state-of-the-art, above all the cars for Rosberg and Hamilton, are transported by air. The chassis, gear box, rear impact structure, engine, suspension and bodywork packed in special cargo pods. In a worst-case scenario, it would be possible to put together a replacement vehicle from the third chassis and spare parts available. Important equipment for the garage likewise travels by air. About a week before the race, the containers of all FORMULA 1 teams that are based in the UK are transported from their headquarters to East Midlands International Airport and loaded into specially chartered Boeing 747 cargo planes. In order to ensure that any one of the 10,000 parts can be located quickly, everything has its own precise place. Every department at Brackley is responsible for packing its own gear. The checklists are several dozen pages long.

HALF_WAY_TO_THE_MOON_equiptment_972x426
—The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team’s core race crew consists of 15 engineers, 38 mechanicians and technicians, and 5 marketing and communications specialists as well as a handful of other experts.

New car parts are being produced in Brackley literally down to the last possible minute. Anything that can be delivered to the circuit by Saturday morning at the latest is dispatched as additional air freight in boxes. This occasionally calls for improvisation. For example, a volunteer from Brackley flew to Shanghai with a spare helmet in his hand luggage because one of the drivers had a problem with his helmet in China. A member of the team picked up the helmet at the airport, and the courier got back into the same aircraft he’d arrived on for the 14-hour flight back to the UK.

The team travels to the European events in their eye-catching trucks. The silver trailers are installed in the paddock and will be familiar to anyone who follows FORMULA 1 on television. One truck carries the fully assembled cars. To make sure that these are the very latest configuration, the truck leaves as late as possible with two drivers, who drive non-stop, relieving each other as necessary. Other trucks contain spare parts, the garage equipment, and even a clean room for work with hydraulic components. Each of the trailers has an air-conditioning unit and two generators developing 150 kilovolts – enough to keep a small village supplied with electricity.

Race truck number 7 is a gigantic fridge on wheels. “We like to make sure that our mechanics and engineers get at least some home comforts when they’re far away from the UK,” grins France. The load includes Marmite spread, porridge oats, baked beans and, needless to say, an infinite number of teabags.

HALF_WAY_TO_THE_MOON_truckround_972x426
—The team travels to the European events in their eye-catching trucks.

WE’VE ALWAYS GOT SOMETHING TO DO, EVERY DAY BRINGS UNEXPECTED CHALLENGES.

—David France, Head of Logistics

HALF_WAY_TO_THE_MOON_F1car_972x426
—Ready to race: Back-to-back events on two consecutive weekends especially pose a logistical challenge.

When travelling to circuits in Europe, the team also takes its own motorhome along. Consisting of 28 containers, this temporary structure is assembled with a huge crane. On the first floor, among other things, one can find the team management’s offices and a lounge area for the team’s VIP guests. Guests can follow the race from the rooftop.

In addition to all the material there are, of course, a few people who need to get to the various circuits. The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team’s core race crew consists of 15 engineers, 38 mechanicians and technicians, and 5 marketing and communications specialists as well as a handful of other experts. One will also find a complete catering team on board, who consistently guarantee high standards when it comes to food and drink. “We organize the entire transport chain from Brackley headquarters to the circuit and back again, or move on to the next venue,” explains France. Three full-time members of staff spend the entire year making travel arrangements. Hotel reservations in Australia, for instance, are made a year in advance. Although the drivers and their physiotherapists travel independently, France and his team still give them all the support they may need.“Whether it’s Lewis Hamilton’s new dog or the glass trophy Michael Schumacher left behind at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa, which we then had to bring back to Brackley and deliver to Michael in Switzerland – we’ve always got something to do,” chuckles David France.

Explore More Articles
IWC Oils
Time That Runs Like Clockwork

Depending on the stresses and strains to which they are exposed, around 50 points in the movement are treated with oils and greases developed especially for use in wristwatches.

Test Lab

At IWC Schaffhausen, new watch models are put through a gruelling test program involving up to 50 separate stages that include long-term immersion in warm salt water and being locked away in an environmental chamber. All this guarantees that they will be equipped for everyday use – and much more – when they finally reach their future owners.

Sound_check_engine_AMG_972x426
Sound Check

How the engineers at Mercedes AMG in Affalterbach, southern Germany, create the right engine sound.

Grande Complication Dial Explained
Small World

Time moves the world. The IWC Portuguese Grande Complication is an understated, beautifully designed way of summarizing time as the motor of all change: a time machine that shows a tilted globe on the dial.

89800 Calibre Movement
Eternity in Digits

The IWC-manufactured 89800 caliber, which made its debut in 2009, redefined the digital date display. The triple-disc mechanism in the perpetual calendar features large-format displays for the date and month and, slightly more discreetly, the leap year cycle. All are ingeniously synchronized.

Top Secret

In a small town in central England, over 500 specialists spend their time developing and building silver arrows for the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team. Almost every one of the 3,200 parts in each car is custom-made.

Ingenieur: the story of a legend

When the Ingenieur from Schaffhausen was launched in 1955 it created a storm. But its actual history goes back much further: to 1888.

Movements Come to Life

All mechanical watches can be fascinating because of their intricate movements. Even simple watches, ones that only tell time, are extraordinarily complex mechanisms that have hundreds of miniscule parts that work harmoniously together. A complicated watch, one that performs additional functions, is by definition even more complicated.