IWC Collaborated With Hot Wheels (Again) and This Is the Result
Luxury watch brand IWC Schaffhausen and miniature diecast car maker Hot Wheels celebrated its return to the legendary Goodwood Motor Circuit with the unveiling of the IWC x Hot Wheels Racing Works collector’s set. IWC Racing, the brand’s motorsports team, returns to the grid for the Stirling Moss trophy with the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” race car driven by Austrian Laura Kraihamer.
The set is limited to 50 pieces, which contains the IWC 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 to give the set a motor garage theme. The first set was auctioned online by international auction house Bonhams and the proceeds would be going to the Two Bit Circus Foundation. It is a non-profit organization that creates learning experiences for children to inspire entrepreneurship, encourage young inventors and instill environmental stewardship.
IWC and Hot Wheels share a number of things in common, from meticulous attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Hot Wheels is the world’s bestselling toy brand with over 20,000 designs and eight billion cars sold. Elliot Handler, the co-founder of Mattel, which owns the Hot Wheels brand, created the first generation of Hot Wheels in Southern California back in 1968. Handler enlisted car designer from General Motors and a qualified rocket scientist to create authentic automotive styling and space-age design cues that quickly made Hot Wheels the global powerhouse of car culture globally across all ages.
Aside from its culture of product excellence, both brands have American roots. IWC’s heritage is deeply rooted in American pioneering spirit and entrepreneurship. In 1868, exactly 100 years before Elliot Handler launched Hot Wheels, American watchmaker and engineer Florentine Ariosto Jones revolutionized the watch industry of the day when he founded the International Watch Company (IWC) in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. He was able to tap highly skilled Swiss watchmakers and combine it with the latest American manufacturing technology at the time to create high-quality pocket watch movements for the US market.
In more recent years, IWC has formed partnerships with Mercedes-AMG and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, which made the watch brand highly associated with the very technical and competitive world of motorsport. Its own IWC Racing team has since competed at various classic car races, racing the legendary 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” in 2018.
“It was a chance meeting with Hot Wheels designer Manson Cheung that kick-started our partnership,” explains Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “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.”
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. “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.”
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “IWC x Hot Wheels Racing Works” ( Ref. I W377904) features a 43-millimeter case made of grade 5 titanium. The choice for this metal was obvious because it is often considered as an “engineering material,” lighter and harder than steel, highly resistant to corrosion, and often used in automotive engineering. 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 colorway 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. Both items bear the number 68; a subtle nod to 1868 and 1968 respectively when IWC and Hot Wheels were founded. The auction has ended and set number one was sold for £70,000 (link here) www.bonhams.com/auction/27446 .