October 19, 2021    |    

IWC And Hot Wheels™ Launch Limited Edition “Racing Works” Set As Motorsport Team IWC Racing Returns To Goodwood

On the occasion of the 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting, IWC Schaffhausen and Hot Wheels™ celebrate the return to Goodwood with the unveiling of the “IWC x Hot Wheels™ Racing Works” collector’s set. Simultaneously, the brand’s motorsport team, IWC Racing, is set to line up on the grid for tomorrow’s Stirling Moss trophy. At the wheel of the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” will be Austrian racing driver Laura Kraihamer. Limited to 50 pieces, the IWC x Hot Wheels™ “Racing Works” collector’s set contains the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “IWC x Hot Wheels™ Racing Works” and the Hot Wheels Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Racing Works Edition”, presented in a metal toolbox. The first set will be auctioned online by international auction house Bonhams with the proceeds going to the Two Bit Circus Foundation. This non-profit organization creates learning experiences for children to inspire entrepreneurship, encourage young inventors and instill environmental stewardship.

Meticulous attention to detail, an unwavering commitment to excellence and a willingness to surpass boundaries and expectations: These shared values unite IWC Schaffhausen and Hot Wheels, two brands famous for testing the limits of performance and design. Both are legends in their fields.

Before achieving the status of a legend in the automotive and toy industries (the world’s bestselling toy with 20,000 designs and over 8 billion cars sold), Hot Wheels began with a dream. When Elliot Handler, co-founder of Mattel, created the first generation of Hot Wheels in Southern California in 1968, he wanted to make a toy car that looked cooler and performed better than model cars of that time. To fulfil his vision, he enlisted a GM car designer and a qualified rocket scientist. Together, they combined Detroit auto styling and space-age design cues with striking Spectraflame™ paint finishes and fast “redline” wheels to create the original Hot Wheels “Original 16”. Today, Hot Wheels is the global powerhouse of vehicle culture, uniting car enthusiasts, racers, builders and designers of every age across the globe.

Much like Hot Wheels, IWC’s heritage is deeply rooted in American pioneering spirit and entrepreneurship. In 1868, 100 years before Elliot Handler launched Hot Wheels, the American watchmaker and engineer Florentine Ariosto Jones revolutionized the watch industry of the day when he founded the International Watch Company in Schaffhausen. Combining the superior skill of Swiss watchmakers with the latest American manufacturing technology, Jones created high-quality pocket watch movements for the US market. Based on the brand’s heritage of manufacturing robust and reliable instrument watches for aviation and navigation, the world of automotive design and motor racing has long been a key association for IWC. From partnerships with MercedesAMG and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team to sponsoring GT and classic car races, IWC is closely involved with many facets of motorsport. In 2018, the Swiss luxury watchmaker founded its own racing team, IWC Racing, which has since competed at various classic car races, racing the legendary 1955 MercedesBenz 300 SL “Gullwing”.

“It was a chance meeting with Hot Wheels designer Manson Cheung that kick-started our partnership. Our shared passion for automotive design and mechanical watches led to a meeting between the design teams of both brands at the Mattel Design Center in El Segundo. We instantly connected, speaking the same language of design, art and engineering. I am proud of our collaboration and the unique projects we have brought to life so far.”

— explains Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen

The first joint project was the release of a premium Hot Wheels Team Transport set in 2020, combining the IWC Racing 300 SL with its racing team transporter. The second release was an IWC-exclusive version of the Hot Wheels Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, which was made available recently. Now, IWC and Hot Wheels are combining two highly unique gems from Schaffhausen and El Segundo in the exclusive “IWC x Hot Wheels™ Racing Works” collector set, which will be made in a strictly limited edition of 50 pieces.

“IWC Schaffhausen and Hot Wheels share a rich and timeless history, each creating iconic products through an unrivalled emphasis on attention to detail and craftsmanship on the smallest scale,” says Chris Down, Chief Design Officer at Mattel. “This partnership is a reflection of the creativity and collaborative spirit our teams share, and the result is an exceptional package that truly discerning enthusiasts of luxury timepieces, racing and car culture will appreciate.”

At the Members’ Meeting, the iconic Goodwood Motor Circuit plays host to incredible grids of racing machines ranging from classic tin-tops and GTs, to motorcycles and open wheeled Formula 3™ and F1™ machines. The 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting, taking place this weekend in the South of England, is sure to deliver on this promise with two adrenaline-filled days of qualifying, racing, high-speed demonstrations and fabulous festivities. After what seems like a small eternity, the IWC Racing Team is now making its comeback on the legendary Goodwood Motor Circuit. It was back in April 2019 – a full 20 months ago – when the team last appeared at Goodwood and living Formula One™ legend David Coulthard took first place in the Tony Gaze Trophy. This year, Austrian racing driver Laura Kraihamer will take her seat in the cockpit of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing”. The new member of the IWC Racing family is set to compete in the Stirling Moss Trophy tomorrow, Sunday.

The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “IWC x Hot Wheels™ Racing Works” (Ref. IW377904) features a 43-millimeter case made of grade 5 titanium. This metal was chosen as an “engineering material” favored by the Hot Wheels and IWC design teams. It is lighter and harder than steel, highly resistant to corrosion, and often used in automotive engineering. The dark grey matte color results from an elaborate surface treatment in which the case components are first polished and then blasted. The case features a stunning 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. Depending on the incidence of light, the laser-engraved squares alternate between a lighter and darker shade, giving the dial visual depth and a textured appearance. 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 color scheme of the IWC Racing Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.

The set also includes the Hot Wheels 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. It’s one of the most detailed 1:64th Hot Wheels model ever created. Only 50 models have been manufactured exclusively in Hot Wheels’ prototyping workshop. This version features opening gullwing doors, a faithfully reproduced interior complete with bucket seats, roll cage and red sill trims, full external detailing including clear headlights with the MB Star braces and racing graphics. As this set will be a limited run of only 50 pieces, the car will take its place as one of the rarest official Hot Wheels models ever released.

The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “IWC x Hot Wheels™ Racing Works” and the Hot Wheels Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Racing Works Edition” both bear the number 68 – a subtle nod to 1868 and 1968 respectively when IWC and Hot Wheels were founded. In addition, bespoke packaging makes the set even more exclusive: The chronograph and the model car are presented in a metal toolbox in silver and black. The case also contains the instruction manual for the watch, a booklet about the project and a limitation plate with the individual corresponding set number.