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IWC Schaffhausen

The Journal

WHIRLWIND IN TEAL

WHIRLWIND IN TEAL
Read Time: 4 min

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INTRODUCING THE IWC PORTUGIESER TOURBILLON RÉTROGRADE CHRONOGRAPH LEWIS HAMILTON (REF. IW394008). FIND OUT MORE AS CHIEF DESIGN OFFICER CHRISTIAN KNOOP SHARES SOME RARE INSIGHTS IN THE COLLABORATIVE DESIGN PROCESS.

IWC is releasing an haute horlogerie special edition in collaboration with one of the most successful F1 drivers of all time. Limited to just 44 pieces – reflecting Lewis’ number since the beginning of his incredible career- the 43.5-mm Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton (Ref. IW394008) boasts a refined platinum case, flying hacking minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock, a teal dial with 12 diamonds and matching textile strap. Powered by the exquisite IWC-manufactured calibre 89900, this is the third special edition timepiece designed in partnership with the seven-time Formula One™ world champion and IWC brand ambassador.

 

The JOURNAL spoke with CDO Christian Knoop, who led the collaborative design process. 

    

What was it like working with Lewis Hamilton?

Our design team started gathering a broad array of creative, exquisite and extraordinary ideas. Then we started talking to Lewis. As someone with a strong opinion on design and creativity, he appreciated what we did and, taking our ideas to the next level, he said: “Why don’t we take a completely different, unexpected direction?

    

I really love your complications, so why not create a special edition tourbillon?”

He particularly looked at the Portugieser tourbillon chronograph, which is renowned for its remarkable movement. We were thrilled as his choice perfectly matches IWC’s chronograph-focused tradition with intricate complications. And so, we started considering a variety of bold colors, including burgundy, champagne, deep magenta, rich purple, and also teal, which was Lewis’ final choice. 

Lewis Halmilton wearing Ref. IW394008 - Picture by Chris Coe
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PORTUGIESER TOURBILLON RÉTROGRADE CHRONOGRAPH LEWIS HAMILTON

IW394008

Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton

Platinum case, Automatic, self-winding. Green textile strap, Strap width 22.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— Lewis Halmilton wearing Ref. IW394008 - Picture by Chris Coe

 

Ref IW394008 featuring a stunning Tourbillon complication.

— Ref. IW394008 featuring a stunning Tourbillon complication

 

    

What elements of the watch hold a special place in your heart as a designer?

For me, the gold-plated movement, the high gloss finish on the sunburst teal dial, and the diamond markers are the most striking elements. Furthermore, incorporating the Lewis Hamilton logo on the dial is something we have never done before.

 

The remarkable impact of the color treatment on the dial and strap is truly noteworthy, especially considering its origins in an extremely classic collection rooted in haute horlogerie. This combination works incredibly well as it elevates the timeless nature of the piece and propels it onto a completely new level. 

    

Please tell me more about the logo on the dial.

The logo holds significant importance to Lewis: It is a winged “V” figure, resembles a panther’s eyes and represents speed, freedom and the pursuit of victory. We have showcased this logo on the watch cases of previous special editions. This time, he said it would be great to have it on the watch dial itself. So, we found a place that would work well with the overall aesthetic of the product.

 

 

Lewis actively engages in the design process. It is an honor for us as creators to see someone who is not just choosing something from the options we put in front of him, but who really gets involved in the creative process

    

The color of the dial is quite outstanding…

Our decade-long partnership with the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team goes beyond sponsorship and logo placement. There is a profound understanding between the team’s corporate design and our approach to watchmaking.

 

One of their defining colors is PETRONAS GREEN, a color that has been present since the team’s inception.

 

Last year in Miami, we introduced it to the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, featuring a rubber strap and bold dial print.

 

Lewis decided to go ahead with a teal color. Over the past decade, we have used this color in various editions, but never with such impact and elegance as with this Lewis Hamilton Edition. 

    

Lewis has a unique fashion sense. How did you notice this while designing?

The collaboration was a real delight. We have previously worked on two editions together which have all turned out very different. Lewis actively engages in the design process. It is an honor for us as creators to see someone who is not just choosing something from the options we put in front of him, but who really gets involved in the creative process.

 

Lewis is so interested in art and fashion. Time and time again he has demonstrated his genuine enjoyment in creating beautiful timepieces. He is very clear in what he envisions but at the same time a very, very humble personality. He is just a fantastic person to work with.

    

Lewis Hamilton sporting Ref IW394008 – Picture by Chris Coe
Close

PORTUGIESER TOURBILLON RÉTROGRADE CHRONOGRAPH LEWIS HAMILTON

IW394008

Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton

Platinum case, Automatic, self-winding. Green textile strap, Strap width 22.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— Lewis Hamilton sporting Ref IW394008 – Picture by Chris Coe

Ref. IW394008 powered by the calibre 89900.

— Ref. IW394008 powered by the calibre 89900

 

    

In just a few words, how would you describe Lewis’ style?

If I had to choose just one word, it would be “unique” – in the very best sense of the word. He loves to experiment. He is constantly evolving, much like many individuals who have a creative mind. Lewis doesn’t confine himself to one style. He likes to experiment, to reinvent himself, while remaining incredibly disciplined, focused, and present at all times.

 

This spirit can also be felt in our previous limited editions with Lewis: The Ingenieur Chronograph (Ref. IW379602) crafted from titanium with a carbon dial, for example, or the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar (Ref. IW503002) in burgundy. All of these are very individual watches from different collections and with different faces and features. This illustrates what type of person he is – always thinking outside the box and constantly observing. 

Lewis Hamilton color-matching his new limited edition timepiece.

— Lewis Hamilton color-matching his new limited edition timepiece

Let’s conclude with a philosophical touch. What do Lewis Hamilton and this Portugieser Tourbillon have in common?

The tourbillon manages and balances energy. Similarly, Lewis possesses a lot of energy. While he is a very passionate and emotional person, he also has the ability to channel his energy in various ways. Many people are either super disciplined or boast boundless amounts of creativity. But there are only a few people who can channel and focus their energy in the way Lewis does.

     

IWC Schaffhausen