IWC pick the biggest AMG for the Big Pilot’s Watch Armor Gold IWC pick the biggest AMG for the Big Pilot’s Watch Armor Gold

IWC pick the biggest AMG for the Big Pilot’s Watch Armor Gold

Borna Bošnjak

The partnership between Mercedes and IWC has basically become fact, with the Schaffhausen brand seemingly the perfect partner for the German automotive powerhouse. Whether it’s their on-track cameos on the wrists of Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes pit crew or special editions celebrating their (barely) road-legal hypercars, the collaborations do not seem to be slowing down. This year, IWC chose to honour an unlikely Mercedes, however, choosing the Big Pilot’s Watch as the canvas. The G-Wagen certainly has cult classic status, though it’s a departure from the usual motorsport-oriented themes IWC strives for.

Aside from the new look, the most interesting novelty is by far the ceramic matrix composite case – a first for the IWC brand – with the addition of Ceratanium for the crown and caseback. IWC’s Department Manager for Research and Innovation, Lorenz Brunner, says: “The manufacturing process for this lightweight and strong material is extremely complex. To achieve perfect quality, we had to overcome countless challenges – from selecting the right raw materials for the fibres and the matrix to defining the exact parameters for the different steps of the process.”

The paragraph-long summary of the manufacturing process includes starting with a conventional carbon fibre polymer, adding silicon crystals and the formation of silicon carbide ceramic. The result is a composite material matrix with superior damage and heat-resistance to regular carbon, akin to that in AMG’s brake discs. To sum it up – it’s carbon on steroids.

iwc big pilots watch amg g63 armor gold wrist

The CMC case isn’t the only material novelty, as the other Big Pilot AMG G63 features a case made of IWC’s patented Armor Gold. Usually known as quite a malleable and scratch-prone material, IWC sought to imbue the 18k alloy with extra hardness. The brand is understandably sparse on details about this proprietary tech, merely stating that it has improved microstructure, resulting in a significantly harder material.

To no one’s surprise, the Big Pilot AMG G63 is big. They both measure over 46mm in diameter and 14mm in thickness, though, what is a surprise, the case sizes aren’t identical. The Armor Gold variant comes in at 46.2mm x 14.4mm, while the CMC/Ceratanium one is slightly larger, at 46.5mm x 14.6mm. Regardless of size, both models are water-resistant to 100 metres and feature convex, AR-coated sapphire crystals and sapphire display backs with Mercedes-Benz insignia inspired by the spare wheel cover of the G-Class.

iwc big pilots watch amg g63 armor gold dial

There’s a fair deal of similarity in the dials, too, with the only difference being the highlight of the hands and indices chosen to better match the case colour. As is expected from any IWC Pilot’s Watch, the handset is of a simple sword variety, with the flieger triangle replacing the 12 o’clock index. The two sub-dials representing the running seconds and seven-day power reserve are set against what appears to be a tight mesh backdrop. This is yet another nod to the G-Class, meant to represent its signature upright grille.

iwc big pilots watch amg g63 armor gold movement caseback

Peering through the smoked sapphire casebacks, IWC displays the impressive calibre 52010. This movement and its variations are used across the Big Pilot and Portugieser ranges, sporting dual barrels delivering the aforementioned seven-day power reserve, topped up by the Pellaton winding system. I’ve often complained about how I hate seeing display casebacks with movements that look like they’re way too small for the case. Despite the hulking size of the Big Pilot, that’s thankfully not an issue here.

While a Mercedes x IWC collaboration is nothing new, one inspired by the G-Class is certainly surprising, I’ll be the first one to admit. Having said that, it makes so much sense considering the watches that were chosen. The Big Pilot has become a luxury status symbol much like the G-Class, despite both having humble, utilitarian beginnings.

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G63 pricing and availability

The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G63 are IWC boutique and online store exclusives. Price: A$51,500, US$33,400 (Armor Gold), A$68,100, US$42,400 (CMC and Ceratanium)

Brand IWC
Model Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G63
Reference Number IW501201
Case Dimensions 46.2mm (D) x 14.4mm (T) (Armor Gold)
46.5mm (D) x 14.6mm (T) (CMC)
Case Material Armor Gold
Ceramic matrix composite and Ceratanium
Water Resistance 100 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Dial Black grid pattern with case-matching index colour
Strap Black rubber with microfibre inlay
Movement IWC 52010, automatic Pellaton winding, two barrels
Power Reserve 168 hours (7 days)
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, power reserve
Availability Now
Price A$51,500, US$33,400 (Armor Gold)
A$68,100, US$42,400 (CMC and Ceratanium)