IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis HamiltonBorna Bošnjak
- The seven-time F1 world champion is honoured with a third collaborative special edition from IWC, following a 2014 Ingenieur and 2019 Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar
- Known for being the go-to fashionista on the grid, the Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph is outfitted in a bold teal colour
- It’s powered by a flying one-minute tourbillon with chronograph calibre, with the 89900 calibre being the first gold-plated IWC movement in three decades
I’ll say it. Lewis Hamilton is just about the best brand ambassador you could wish for. And if you know me, you’ll know I’m an oft-disappointed Ferrari fan, so you know I mean it. You don’t have to be an F1 fan to appreciate Lewis’ escapades in the horological world though, with the seven-time world champ sporting piece unique and unreleased IWC pieces on the regular. The brand-new IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton is the third special edition the pilot has collaborated on with the brand. The relationship that started after his move to Mercedes was first marked with a 2014 Ingenieur Chronograph, evolved into a red-dialled Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar, and has now reached its peak with this tourbillon-and-chronograph teal beauty.
I was surprised by the choice of a Portugieser, as the Pilot’s Watch or Ingenieur lines seem ripe for a sporty collaboration. Having said that, this move kind of makes sense when you consider where Hamilton is in his career. He’s achieved everything there was to achieve, and is arguably the greatest the sport has ever seen. The Ingenieur was the perfect first step into an unknown team, the brazen BP Perpetual was a show of strength at the peak of his powers, and this, dare I say dressy, Portugieser, is the subtle powerhouse that everyone respects.
Christian Knoop, IWC’s Chief Design Officer explains some of the process in bringing this piece to life. “It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with Lewis on this project. His passion for IWC and comprehensive knowledge of mechanical watches were palpable at every stage of the two-year development process. Lewis knew exactly what he wanted and brought excellent ideas to the table.”
So, let’s get into some details. The case shape and details are reminiscent of the rest of the Portugieser line, but there is more to it than the 43.5mm x 15.9mm dimensions suggest. Hewn of platinum, the Lewis Hamilton Portugieser is an effortless stealth flex. While LH is known for his affinity for purple and fluoro yellow, the teal colourway of this new release has to be a subtle nod to the Petronas blue that the Mercedes F1 team popularised over the years. Rendered in a sunburst effect, the dial is surprisingly uncluttered considering the complications it houses. You’ve got the classic Portugieser feuille hands and Arabic indices, with a retrograde date display wonderfully integrated to the left of the centre pinion. The hour and minute counters are combined into a single totaliser at 12 o’clock, while the one-minute flying tourbillon occupies most of the real estate at 6. Again clearly going for that stealth wealth vibe, the round hour markers are actually diamonds, which makes sense considering Hamilton is no stranger to a bit of bling. Finally, the collaboration is signed off with his panther logo below the IWC script at 3 o’clock.
Even though the screw-on caseback only guarantees 3 bar of water resistance, the Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph is paired with a teal textile strap that further reinforces its sporty intentions.
Finally, it’d be remiss of me not to mention that pretty, gold-plated thing peering through the caseback. As I mentioned previously, it’s the first time IWC has gold-plated a movement since the 1993 Il Destriero Scafusia, a grand complication celebrating the brand’s 125th anniversary. While that piece featured a rattrapante chronograph, flying tourbillon, four-digit year display with perpetual calendar, and a minute repeater, the calibre 89900 in the LH Portugieser is a tad less complicated. Having said that, a chronograph, retrograde date, and flying tourbillon are hardly features to scoff at. Furthermore, it houses a silicon escapement with IWC’s Diamond Shell technology, reducing friction and improving energy flow.
IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton pricing and availability
The IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton is a limited edition of 44 pieces. Price: A$292,000
|Model||Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton|
|Case Dimensions||43.5mm (D) x 15.9mm (T)|
|Water Resistance||3 bar|
|Crystal(s)||Box-domed, AR-coated sapphire|
|Dial||Teal, diamond indices|
|Movement||Calibre 89900, IWC-manufactured, automatic, Diamond Shell escapement|
|Power Reserve||68 hours|
|Functions||Hours; minutes; flying, hacking, 60-second tourbillon; retrograde date; flyback chronograph|
|Availability||Limited edition of 44 pieces|