Lewis Hamilton spotted at Monaco Grand Prix wearing a fully luminous ceramic IWC prototype

Lewis Hamilton spotted at Monaco Grand Prix wearing a fully luminous ceramic IWC prototype

Borna Bošnjak

IWC isn’t a brand that puts all its eggs in one basket, and despite the inherent connection with the world of aviation, the Schaffhausen watchmaker’s ceramic work is not to be disregarded. The latest development in this ceramic saga is surely going to be the most easily recognisable yet, as IWC worked with RC Tritec to imbue raw ceramic with Super-LumiNova to achieve a fully luminous case. The result is a new material that IWC is dubbing Ceralume, rendered in a Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 shape.


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And before you scoff and think that this is just another concept that will not bear fruit, think again. IWC is clearly confident enough in its XPL division that was tasked with creating the Ceralume prototype to send it out into the real world, and do so on the wrist of Sir Lewis Hamilton during the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, no less. Notably, it wasn’t the only watch the seven-time F1 World Champion wore during the weekend, also opting for the Armor Gold variant of the Big Pilot AMG G63.

iwc ceralume prototype lewis hamilton wrist 2

And what do you do with a watch that has a fully lumed case? You naturally pair it with an equally luminescent dial, and in this case, even the strap is fully lumed. The former is a simple brass blank that’s covered in Super-LumiNova and then printed, while the rubber strap is injection-moulded with a LumiNova mixture.

iwc ceralume case

While IWC hasn’t announced any production watches slated to use the new Ceralume material, I’m certain that this isn’t just a show of force, and that there are concrete plans in the works to make the most of it. After all, it’s not the first time IWC has experimented with unusual lume applications – I’m sure you’ll remember the Black Aces from last year. Now how cool would a watch like that be with a fully lumed case and strap? Admittedly, it would defeat the stealthy purpose of that exact watch, but you get what I mean.