IWC Releases Two F1 Inspired Pilot’s Performance Chronograph 41mm Watches In Titanium and Ceratanium
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IWC Releases Two F1 Inspired Pilot’s Performance Chronograph 41mm Watches In Titanium and Ceratanium

IWC Releases Two F1 Inspired Pilot’s Performance Chronograph 41mm Watches In Titanium and Ceratanium


The next Formula 1 event on our calendar is Round 23, The Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, taking place between the 24th and 26th of November 2023. Don’t you reckon you should buy a watch fit for this special occasion?

Motorsport and the horological world have been hand in hand for an incredibly long time. For example, there are acclaimed drivers like Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc who work with Richard Mille. Or Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel’s work with Girard-Perregaux. And who could forget the brilliance of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez with TAG Heuer

However, out of all of the brands who work with Formula One, the best collaboration could be defined as IWC with Mercedes, including work with incredible drivers like Lewis Hamilton. This isn’t the first time the 7 time World Driver’s Championship holder has been flexing this brand on his wrist. 

Previously, he staked his claim as the Pole Position maestro (104 to be precise at the time of writing) by wearing a beautiful IWC Portugieser Tourbillon with a teal dial inspired by the colourful scheme of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team. He has been spotted with a gorgeous Big Pilot Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert and even a piece nicknamed after the man himself…The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar “Lewis Hamilton” Edition. 

Let’s not forget, they aren't just a brand worn by one gentleman. There are a vast number of celebrity clientele that opt to wear the brand. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wears a new Ingenieur Black Dial fresh from Watches and Wonders 2023, actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has been known to sport a Portugieser IW371610 while controversial footballer, and ex Manchester City player Mario Ballotelli adorns a Big Pilot IW500417. 

This year, the brand from Schaffhausen, has continued to release as many brand spanking new novelties as the Grand Seiko conveyor belt. Right up to the minute comes the fresh F1 inspired Pilot’s Performance Chronograph 41mm. 

It’s not just us that have clocked this speed freak either. Our friends over at Watch Guild also love the iconic chronograph design from the Pilot collection, yet appreciate the brand new “subtle yet impactful design elements” in the form of the Petronas colouring and Ceratanium casing. We agree with you there!

We particularly enjoyed the innovative Markus Bühler Big Pilot's Watch with a turbine inspired tourbillon as well as The Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Lake Tahoe that was secretly released to the world via Lewis Hamilton’s wrist. And let’s not forget the legendary Mark series which we have covered, celebrating 75 years of the epic Pilot’s timepiece; The symbolic Mark XX.


Introduction To The IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41


IWC and Mercedes Benz have been speeding along since 2004, boasting one of the longest collaborations in the horological world. We must also mention for a second all the other collaborations within the racing and horological world. This includes Rolex and The Daytona Speedway, TAG Heuer and Porsche, Breitling and The Triumph brand and Chopard being lead timekeeper of the Mille Miglia

Mercedes and IWC - Source - IWC



Their symbiotic relationship strengthened in 2013 when IWC became the engineering partner for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team. It’s now ten years on and IWC have, like their aviation inspired pieces gone from strength to strength thanks to a 10th anniversary celebration in the form of an IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41. 

It’s not as if they haven't released watches for the Formula One team before. For example, last year, they unveiled The Pilot’s Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 IW388108 in grade 5 titanium, the very first official team novelty specifically created for Mercedes. Boasting the team’s “Petronas” colours on the hour markers, minute track and bracelet, this is high contrast against the black dial face and metallic, titanium case. 

Let’s take a second to reflect on the Pilot’s Watch collection that this unusually racy number originates from. 


History Of The Pilot’s Watch

The IWC Pilot’s watches stem back to the dawn of aviation


Mark XI - Source - Christie’s

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During the 1930s, planes needed a highly accurate timepiece within the cockpit in order to perform essential calculations and ensure the safety of the pilot. Monitoring flight times alongside the hours of which the engine was running, the watches were equipped with sextants to allow the user to determine their location when in flight. 

Their first venture into the Pilot’s world was the Special Pilots Edition in 1936. This piece was given an anti-magnetic movement, shatterproof front glass and the capability to deal with varying conditions of between -40 and +40 degrees. This was paramount for the cockpits that were not heated in that era. 

The Pilot’s expanded into the larger “Big Pilot’s” collection, and the Navigator Mark 11 that was based on the iconic calibre 89 in 1948. As the first to feature a soft iron inner cage to combat magnetism that impairs the rate of the watches, they were highly innovative and allowed Pilot’s to give the RAF a highly visible timepiece that can deal with magnetism from cockpit instruments. 


Further Expansion Of The Pilot Collection

Developed further in 1992, they developed into the double chronograph, allowing two short time periods to be simultaneously measured, confirming the precision and robustness of the brand. 

1992 Double Chronograph - Source - Christie’s

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They soon became the horological tapestry for fantastic new materials to be used, including ceramic in 1994. Take a look at the IW3705 which is given a black zirconium oxide ceramic case and was the first Pilot’s model to be made out of this fantastic material. 

The double chronograph and the zirconium oxide ceramic innovations would meet in 2007 within The Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition TOP GUN as inspired by the incredible Fighter Weapons School from the US Navy. I mean let’s face it. Who needs Tom Cruise when you have a Ceratanium case which was brought in 2019 astride the Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium.

As time has passed, over 85 years of Pilot watches have come to a head with the brand new IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41 Mercedes-Amg Petronas Formula One Team. However, there is a slight sting in the horological tail. This variation of the Pilot’s timepiece is designed solely for the race track, not for aviation!

Right then, let’s get into the juicy details behind the brand new, F1 Inspired Pilot’s Performance Chronograph 41mm watches In titanium and Ceratanium. 


Construction Of The IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41


The new model is highly reminiscent of the past Pilot watches, but adds a lot of motorsport spice in the form of a highly visible tachymetric scale that’s crafted from black ceramic on both the titanium and Ceratanium watches. 

Source - IWC 

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One of the models is made from grade 5 titanium which offers an outstanding resistance to corrosion and is typically seen in industrial process environments. It’s around 45% lighter than steel, yet it’s around 5 times stronger than it too. With Christmas on the horizon, may we point you to some of our fave horological stocking fillers you should buy, utilising titanium like The new Longines Spirit Flyback Chronograph and The Rolex Deepsea Challenge in their own RLX alloy.

Ceratanium is similarly a phenomenal material that’s perfect for the high speed world of Formula One. Combining titanium and ceramic, the material is made by a computer controlled, highly precise turning and milling machine. 

The subsequent material is baked in a kiln, resulting in a sheen that’s completely black. This negates the need for PVD or DLC coatings which have the potential to chip away over time. This is certainly no craft, design and technology like being back at school. This is the real deal.

Ceratanium was first seen on the Aquatimer collection in 2017 and has now become a staple of their portfolio. Featuring a large, conical crown on both models and two prominent pushers on either side where the crown is located, the 14.7mm tall piece with its 41mm diameter case is rather bulky, if we compare it to The Panerai Quantara Goldtech (40mm diameter and 10.15mm height) or the Rolex Explorer II (42mm diameter and 12.1mm height)

Nevertheless, this may be perfect for a horophile who desires legibility and a wide face. The tachymetric scale is exceptionally large and polished, promoting pristine legibility from the white markers against the black, ceramic background. Used to calculate average speed, the fixed bezel completely alters the classic build of The Pilot’s heritage, and gears (pardon the pun!) towards a motorsport inspired design. 

The styles between the titanium and the Ceratanium differ in terms of the inclusion of the Petronas colour that’s displayed throughout the Ceratanium face. Both are made up of a polished black lacquer finish that is finalised with a glossy surface. There are no more boring matte black shades for IWC, despite the Halloween type dark look that’s thrown up here.

The Arabic numeral hour markers are both raised and applied in a white sheen. The sub-counters are given the unorthodox construction of 6, 9 and 12 o’clock as opposed to the standard 3, 6 and 9 o’clock design. Both recessed and snail finished, the sub-counters are highly visible due to them being edged with superimposed rings and boasting the same Arabic numerals as the hour markers. 

There’s a date aperture located at 3 o’clock which shows both the date and the day, while the sword shaped hands run over the face with a great deal of legibility. And you know you are going to enjoy top notch visibility on these watches. The differences between the two models come in the form of using the Petronas colour on the date aperture of the Ceratanium model, the hands of the sub-counters at 6 o’clock, the edge of the second hand and around the minute track. 

The standard titanium model keeps a very clean black and white design which may not have the pop of the Ceratanium model, but still looks fantastic for those wanting to buy an IWC with understated simplicity and mounds of clarity. 


Technical Features Of The IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41


We implore you to flip this over. Trust us. You won't be disappointed! 

Source - IWC

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The sapphire crystal caseback is given a slightly grey tint, in keeping with the sporty design of the timepieces. 


The Movement

Housed inside this speed demon is the 69385 calibre, secured with a column wheel and ticks along steadily at 4 Hz. 

The watches utilise a bi-directional pawl-winding system, originally developed by Albert Pellaton and was revolutionary due to its incredible efficiency from the 1950s. Modernised into fitting the automatic wheel with a pinion into one integrated component that’s made out of black ceramic, there is almost no wear and tear, prolonging the longevity of the watches movement. 

IWC have continuously shown their technical prowess, including the fantastic perpetual complication innovation from Kurt Klaus and the phenomenal Portugieser Minute Repeater. Fitted with 33 jewels and totalling 242 components, the automatic, self-winding movement has 46 hours of power reserve. 

This isn’t quite weekend-proof like the astonishing Panerai Luminor 8 Day Power Reserve 44mm. But it’s reliable enough to cope with your horological demands in and out of the office.


What’s Our View Of The IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41?


Just how good is this new dynamo? Well, it’s definitely hot enough to celebrate the 10th anniversary of when they became the engineering partner for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team!

Source - IWC

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They have reset the guidelines for The Pilot collection by adding a new sportier edge via the black ceramic tachymetric scale that runs across the top of the timepieces. Utilising a glossy face as opposed to the standard matte black finish, and complemented with the classical large conical crown and pushers, the stylings are nothing like previous models. 

Utilising innovative materials like grade 5 titanium and IWC’s proprietary Ceratanium, the timepieces are built superbly with durability and elegance in mind. Remember, these still have fantastic pilot qualities. They are in high contrast with a daubing of Super-Luminova coated hands and Arabic numerals, promoting immense legibility when 10,000 feet in the air. The glass is also screwed in to protect the face against displacements in air pressure. 

The 41mm case may not be particularly modern in its sizing, but it’s probably spot on for a 9 inch wrist. 

It serves a purpose of being highly legible and secure as per its role as a sporty timepiece. Luxury and durability go together like Omega and Prince William. Timeless, effortless and built to last. This is clearly seen through the glossy dial and the sporty, Petrona colouring. 

The titanium infused Centanium variation with its Petronas, neon turquoise colouring is a strong ode to Mercedes AMG and the Formula One team. This means the models have the potential to jump in value due to associations with the highly well known Mercedes Benz brand. 

Each edition comes with a variety of bracelets. The grade 5 titanium pieces are fitted with a matching H-link bracelet that are brushed and polished, or a black rubber strap for a greater sporty aesthetic. For the Ceratanium model, they could also have a matte Ceratanium bracelet or a black rubber strap. All of them come with a quick-change system, meaning you can interchange between all the bracelets quickly depending on the situation. 

We believe you would look sublime if you paired this with a black leather jacket when riding around town in your new luxury sports car, or a navy suit if you want to feel a little more dressed up. 


What we like

  • Sporty heritage with the Petronas and Mercedes links
  • Innovative Centanium material straight out of their labs
  • Excellent blend of IWC styles such as classical Pawl Winding System and use of ceramic, combined with the modernised tachymetric scale on the Pilot collection. 


What we don’t like

  • Lack of COSC certification
  • Could be quite bulky to the slimmer wrist
  • Should have boasted the Mercedes AMG relationship more than just an emblem on the caseback and Petronas colour scheme on one model. 


Specs Of The IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41


If you have a lifestyle that's just as fast as the Mercedes Benz Formula 1 team, let’s get some details down which outline the important stats of this new timepiece.

Reference Numbers

Dial Colour





Titanium bracelet




Black rubber strap




Black rubber strap




Ceratanium bracelet




TH20-00 - In-House Automatic Movement


Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Day-Date And Chronograph With Central Seconds, 30-Minute And 12-Hour Totalizers

Case Back

Sapphire Case Back

Water Resistance

100 metres

Case Thickness






COSC Certified?


Power Reserve

46 hours



Bracelet/Strap Material 

Black Rubber Strap/ Titanium Bracelet, Ceratanium Bracelet

Limited Edition


Lug to Lug



Where Can You Buy An IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41


As of November 2023, you can buy an IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41 at retail under the following references and price points:

  • IW388304 - £10,400 
  • IW388305 - £8,650 
  • IW388306 - £12,100 
  • IW388307 - £17,800 




Okay then, Timelords. Are you now interested enough to get your hands on the new Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41? 

Well, in our professional opinion, we’ve looked through all the nitty gritty details and deciphered each of the references for their pros and cons. We’ve looked at the heritage and the details of all of them and come to the grand conclusion that you should definitely consider buying one!

Boasting an incredible history with the Mercedes Benz Formula 1 team and a deep ingrained pilot history that stems back to the 1930s, the brand keeps some elements of their roots as shown through The Pilot collection styling. This can be seen via the large conical crown and the secured sapphire crystal to protect against air displacements. 

However, they’ve also gone one step further by modernising the collection with Petronan jolts of colour and a fresh tachymetric scale on the bezel. What if we were to tell you that you could actually own these fantastic models quicker than Fernando Alonso taking on a chicane?

Allow us to put you in contact with Chrono Hunter here in order to buy or sell the smart way. We can provide you with multiple offers through our unique site or via our dedicated app from our established network of luxury retailers while benefiting from our highly professional and experienced team.

The incredible legacy of The Pilot collection hasn’t been negatively tainted with this fresh tachymetric scale and Petronan colour scheme. The Schaffhausen brand has shown that every collection has the capability to be modernised, all while keeping a little slither of heritage. Innovative, in-house materials, calibres that are fitted with classical pawl-winding systems and a timeless design is prime for all manner of connoisseur. 

Boasting brilliant chronograph dial stylings with a tachymetric scale on the bezel, we think this is another great addition to the Pilot collection. It may not have buckets of gold like a TAG Heuer Carrera Glassbox 39mm Chronograph, or brimming with jewels like the Daytona Rainbow reference 116595RBOW. But it still looks good enough to be worn out on the town or for that all important meeting.

This is yet another feather in their ever expanding timekeeping cap after slaying another horological challenge of blending two giant brands together. If you’ve fallen in love as much as we have… can we play matchmaker and connect you with the best horological platform on the market?

Chrono Hunter, it’s time to show us again what you’ve got!



Feeling the urge to land a brand new IWC Pilot’s Performance Chronograph 41mm? Want to be primed for the racetrack when driving to that big business meeting or standing by for takeoff? Let Chrono Hunter save you a lot of work and time by contacting us here

Featuring a lightning quick turnaround, phenomenal service and a rich portfolio of verified luxury retailers, take a moment to check out our first class Trustpilot reviews to see why we are your go-to source to buy a watch or sell a watch

Our one of a kind platform allows you to buy watches from fantastic luxury brands, ranging from Patek Philippe and Rolex to Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier and Omega. If you still aren’t sure that we are the one’s for you, we implore you to take advantage of our no obligation estimates to ascertain the true value of your timepiece. 

Utilise our app to receive offers in less than 24 hours and benefit from the most secure, hassle free purchasing and selling experience on the market. 


Further Reading: 

Hands On With The Vacheron Constantin “Panda Dial” Overseas Chronograph ref. 5500V/110A-B686


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