IWC Schaffhausen premieres own racing team at Goodwood members meeting

By Rose Adams | 20 Mar 2018 | Move

IWC Schaffhausen dominated the exciting launches at the 76th edition of the famous motoring event

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* David Coulthard and IWC Schaffhausen CEO, Christoph Grainger-Herr lead the announcement of the watch manufacturer's own racing team

Tempus headed to the 76th Goodwood Members’ Meeting on 17 March, an historic event in the motor racing calendar marking the start of the motor racing season. Accompanying the renowned Goodwood Festival of Speed in July and the Revival Meeting in September, the event presented a host of exciting motor launches among a backdrop of snow, speed and tweed.

Luxury watch brand IWC Schaffhausen led the pack in the way of new launches, premiering the IWC Racing Team, securing the Swiss maison as the first watch brand to compete in the classic car races with its own team and car. The team made its first appearance in the Salvadori Cup, as former-champion Formula 1 driver David Coulthard got behind the wheel of the iconic Mercedes-Benz SL 300 “Gullwing”. 

The sports car was manufactured by Daimler-Benz between 1954 and 1957 as a road-ready version of the 300 SL race car – dating back to when IWC’s watchmakers built the first Ingenieur watch– and will be driven by the IWC Racing Team as they compete in selected classic car races. Taking the wheel alternately will be F1 stars David Coulthard, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, former racing driver Jochen Mass, Mercedes-AMG works driver Maro Engel, and Carmen Jordá.

Related: McLaren takes on F1 with its new Hyper-GT supercar

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* The Mercedes-Benz SL 300 “Gullwing” which will be driven by the IWC Racing Team

Celebrating the new team, IWC Schaffhausen introduced a new model to its Ingenieur range, the Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition. Powered by the IWC-manufactured 69380 caliber, it features a pawl-winding system, silver-plated dial and blue chronograph hands to create a striking contrasting dial. The lower part of the cage is inspired by a brake disk and imprinted with “76”, commemorating this year’s edition of the Goodwood Members’ Meeting. Limited to 176 numbered watches, the attractive timepiece comes in a titanium case and features protection against magnetic fields designed in the style of a brake disk. The watch is priced at £7,590. 

The brand has been involved in motorsport for many years and has been the Official Timing Partner of the Goodwood Members’ Meeting since 2015. IWC Schaffhausen CEO, Christoph Grainger-Herr, said: “With the foundation of the IWC Racing team, we are now extending the storytelling universe that we build around our high-quality mechanical watches with an additional, highly attractive dimension. With this step, we once again underscore our role as a pioneer in the luxury watch industry.”

Speaking exclusively to Tempus at the 76th Goodwood Members’ Meeting, former racing driver Jochen Mass said: "It’s been a very exiting day! Early on I got the chance to race three different ones and that was great fun. I love to change cars, this is very typical of Goodwood. When it snows here in the UK, it really snows, which can make the track slippery and therefore it can become very difficult to keep the car straight." He also shared his throughts on IWC Schaffhausen's new watch showcased at the event: "The members meeting watch is very nice. A friend of mine called me up and said 'I need one, can you get me one?' So I did. It's a beautiful design – you can't beat a good watch. I’ve also got a diving watch as I scubadive."

Related: Column: Why these electric car brands are finally giving Tesla a run for its money

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* IWC Schaffhausen showcased the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Edition ‘Le Petit Prince'

Earlier this month the brand announced their newest campaign showcasing the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Edition ‘Le Petit Prince’, starring global ambassador and four-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper. Shot by Swiss photographer Marco Grob, it marks the first time IWC has produced such an ambitious omnichannel campaign with one brand ambassador.

Cooper said of the campaign: “I have been wearing IWC watches for the past 15 years. When this collaboration was proposed and the idea of the campaign came up, it made sense and I was excited by the creative. I was happy to help bring Christoph’s vision to life.”

Elsewhere at Goodwood, a poignant tribute was held on behalf of the festival's beloved and long-serving Formula 1 presenter Henry Hope-Frost who died in a motorcycling accident last year on 8 March. Known by many in the motoring community as the ‘Voice of Goodwood’ a fitting tribute to the presenter followed the Formula 5000 High-Speed Demonstration, with engines carrying out a ‘Minute of Fever’, in ode to Hope-Frost’s passion for the industry.