Any observer of Formula 1™ might have noticed the IWC Schaffhausen logos on the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team cars. IWC has been an official engineering partner since 2013 for the team. Indeed, you can see both Sir Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas sporting various IWC Pilot wristwatches at Formula 1™ races. IWC Schaffhausen is also involved with other motorsport activities including the annual Goodwood Members’ Meeting for which it has been the official timing partner since 2015.
In 2018 IWC went racing itself, creating the IWC Racing Team complete with a stunning classic 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ sports car. The car has raced at historic motorsports events and has been piloted by drivers such as David Coulthard.
This year the 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting was held in October at the Goodwood Motor Circuit. For the ‘Stirling Moss Trophy’ race the classic ‘Gullwing’ was driven by Austrian racing driver Laura Kraihamer.
At the event, attended by IWC, CEO Chris Grainger, IWC Schaffhausen and Hot Wheels™ launched the ‘IWC x Hot Wheels™ Racing Works’ collector’s set, limited to 50 pieces. The set contains an IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph, Edition ‘IWC x Hot Wheels™ Racing Works’, (Ref. IW377904). The wristwatch features a 43-millimetre case made of grade 5 titanium. The case includes an engraving of the Hot Wheels flame logo on its side at 9 o’clock. The black dial is decorated with a subtle chequered racing flag pattern around the chronograph totalizers. Powering the chronograph is the IWC-manufactured 69385 calibre movement, which is visible through the smoked glass case back. The timepiece is fitted on a silver and black 1-piece textile strap, which picks up the colour scheme of the IWC Racing Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’.
Also included in the set is a Mattel, Hot Wheels™ scale model car of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Racing Works Edition’. This exclusive Hot Wheels™ model was created by the Hot Wheels design team, sculpted, and detailed by Manson Cheung with graphics by Steve Vandervate and IWC designer Nicholas Schmidt. Accordingly, it is one of the most detailed 1:64th Hot Wheels™ scale models ever created. Only 50 models have been manufactured exclusively in Hot Wheels™’ prototyping workshop.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition ‘IWC x Hot Wheels™ Racing Works’ and the Hot Wheels™ Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Racing Works Edition’ model car both carry the number 68. A subtle nod to 1868 and 1968 respectively when IWC and Hot Wheels™ were founded. In addition, the chronograph watch and the model car are presented in a bespoke metal toolbox in silver and black. The toolbox also contains the international guarantee and instruction manual for the watch, a booklet about the project and a presentation plate noting the individual corresponding set number.
Charity auction of ‘01/50’, the first issue of the Limited-Edition collector’s set, achieves £70,000.
Both IWC Schaffhausen and Hot Wheels™ offered the first in the collector’s set ‘01/50’ at a charity auction, conducted by Bonhams, with all proceeds going to the Two Bit Circus Foundation. The online auction closed on 22 October 2021 with the ‘01/50’ set selling for £70,000. The auction estimate was £9,000 to £50,000, (£9,000 being the retail price of a Limited-Edition collector’s set).
Two Bit Circus Foundation is a non-profit organisation that creates learning experiences for children to inspire entrepreneurship, encourage young inventors and instil environmental stewardship. It does so, for example, with its Makerspaces that inspires integrative learning in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).
“Our foundation looks back on a long-standing relationship with Mattel – from the design team to the warehouse. The auction with Hot Wheels and IWC Schaffhausen offers another exciting addition to that relationship. The funds raised will help us continue our work to make learning more enjoyable for students and teachers and cultivate the next generations of inventors and entrepreneurs”.Dr. Leah Hanes, CEO, Two Bit Circus Foundation
In addition, the auctioned ‘01/50’ set included for the winning bidder a virtual tour of the IWC manufacture centre, and a set of signed racing gloves as worn by Laura Kraihamer during her race at the 78th Goodwood Members Meeting.
Commenting on the online auction Bonhams noted that ‘01/50’ was the subject of a flurry of late bids in the last eight minutes of the sale, which accordingly saw the bid figures rapidly rise from £42,000 to £70,000, when the digital hammer fell.
“We are absolutely thrilled with this result, with the final figure achieved being way above the ambitious estimate, and are pleased that Bonhams has played a part in this special auction by IWC and Mattel, supporting this worthy cause.”Penny Andrews, Head of Department, Bonhams Watches Knightsbridge
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Note: If you are planning on buying a watch at auction from a location outside the UK always check first what the situation is with regard any duties and VAT liabilities should you import the watch into the UK. As with all auctions ask about fees and view condition reports in advance of the auction.