The enduring success of Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class and IWC Schaffhausen’s Big Pilot’s Watch is attributed to their unmatched robustness, utilitarian heritage, and timeless design cues. IWC Schaffhausen, the renowned Swiss luxury watch manufacturer, is proud to unveil two exclusive Big Pilot’s Watch editions in celebration of these modern design icons. These timepieces pay homage to the G-Class’s signature design elements, such as the headlights and spare wheel cover, while featuring exceptionally durable case materials. One variant showcases an 18-carat Armor Gold® case and crown, while the other represents IWC’s first-ever timepiece with a ceramic matrix composite (CMC) case.
The shared history of the Big Pilot’s Watch and the G-Class traces back to their utilitarian origins, designed to meet functional requirements. The watch was created for easy readability and durability, while the G-Class was engineered to deliver uncompromising off-road capabilities. These utilitarian roots have evolved over time, transforming both into modern design icons. After nearly two decades of collaboration with Mercedes-AMG, IWC Schaffhausen is marking this partnership with two remarkable special editions of the Big Pilot’s Watch.
Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G 63 (Ref. IW501201)
This edition features a case and crown crafted from 18-carat Armor Gold®, paired with a black dial and a black rubber strap with a microfiber inlay. The black and gold color scheme takes inspiration from the exterior and interior finishes of the recently launched Mercedes-AMG G 63 “Grand Edition”. Armor Gold® is a groundbreaking alloy that significantly enhances the hardness of gold, making it more resistant to external factors. The watch’s sand-blasted surfaces and polished edges provide it with a contemporary and elegant character.
Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G 63 (Ref. IW506201)
IWC introduces its first-ever timepiece with a ceramic matrix composite (CMC) case. Developed in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), this material is incredibly damage-tolerant and resilient. Its resistance to thermal shocks makes it ideal for applications demanding lightweight, strength, and temperature resistance, from aerospace to high-performance car brake discs.
Manufacturing the CMC Case
Creating a CMC watch case begins with a conventional carbon-fiber reinforced polymer. Through a multi-day heat treatment process called pyrolysis, the polymer transforms into carbon, leaving a dense fiber weave embedded in a porous carbon matrix. Silicon crystals are applied to the component and heated during siliconization, creating a new silicon carbide ceramic matrix. The finished CMC cases feature a matte black finish and a unique structure, ensuring each piece is one-of-a-kind.
Signature G-Class Design Cues Revisited
Both editions of the Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G 63 incorporate design elements inspired by the G-Class. They include a power reserve display at 3 o’clock and a small seconds counter at 9 o’clock, mimicking the G-Class’s iconic headlights. The black dials feature a relief-like technical structure inspired by Mercedes-AMG performance car air intakes. Unlike the standard Big Pilot’s Watch, these special editions showcase appliques with black PVD coating and luminous filling.
High-End IWC-Made Movement Inside
Both versions are equipped with the IWC-manufactured 52010 calibre, an exceptionally robust and precise automatic movement. Key components of the winding system are constructed from virtually wear-free zirconium oxide ceramic. This ingenious self-winding mechanism, developed by IWC’s former Technical Director Albert Pellaton in the 1940s, utilizes even the smallest rotor movements in both directions to achieve a seven-day power reserve from two barrels. The movements are visible through tinted sapphire glass backs, featuring a Mercedes-Benz star reminiscent of the G-Class’s spare wheel cover.