The IWC gala evening to celebrate the year of the Ingenieur watche
At the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, IWC Schaffhausen hosted around 800 international guests and media representatives from around the globe for the launch of its new Ingenieur watches. The latest collection aptly expresses the spirit of the new partnership between the Schaffhausen watchmaker and the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team. Together with IWC CEO Georges Kern, Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey compèred the IWC Race Night, while Nico Rosberg and his sleek Formula One™ racing car galvanized the atmosphere. Also present at this incredible event were celebrities Ewan McGregor, Zinédine Zidane, Karolina Kurkova, Ross Brawn, Eric Dane, Adriana Lima, Luís Figo and Matthew Fox. The British band Jamiroquai supplied the musical highlights.
“IWC’s passion for engineering excellence, for the highest technical performance and for precision has earned it a high profile over the years. We associate these attributes with motor racing in general, but with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team in particular,” explains Georges Kern, CEO of IWC. He is clear about the motives for his company’s new commitment. “As their Official Engineering Partner for the next 3 years, we have forged a cohesive link between our Ingenieur line of watches and the thrills and heritage of Formula One™. Our latest innovations are dedicated to this partnership. This evening marks the start of the relaunch of this traditionsteeped watch family from the House of IWC,” adds Kern.
Around one hundred international journalists lined the red carpet as a throng of friends and guests of IWC made their appearance: Jean Reno, Peter Lindbergh and Oliver Bierhoff were followed by Roberto Di Matteo, Marc Forster, Nico Rosberg and Boris Becker. Tim Jefferies and John Helliwell also graced the IWC Race Night with their presence, while Richard Krajicek, Ferzan Ozpetek and Aloe Blacc were captivated by the world of technology and Ingenieur watches and relished the racing atmosphere.
FASCINATION ALL ROUND
Geneva’s Palexpo Hall 1 was proud to showcase the exciting world of motor racing to around 800 international guests and provided an authentic impression of the sport from a behindthescenes perspective. Three genuine MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS race trucks, parked at the red carpet, ensured a Grand Prix ambience before the guests were welcomed in the garage area. There they had the oppor tunity to view replicas of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ racing cars at close quarters. Meanwhile adrenaline levels soared, as visitors to the VIP cocktail lounge vied for pole position with remotecontrolled racing cars.
PIT STOP AT IWC EXHIBITION STAND
Before the guests settled into the gala evening, Georges Kern gave tours of the IWC exhibition stand during the afternoon. Just under 1,000 square metres offer a fitting space for motorsport, its innovation and development, and the Silver Arrows legend. Between the wind tunnel, home straights, pit lane and the original MercedesBenz 300 SLR Silver Arrow from 1955, there is room for authentic motor sport exhibits, a dismantled Formula One™ racing car from the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team and an SLS AMG Race Engineering Car. Amid this breath taking atmosphere, ambassadors such as Ewan McGregor, Karolina Kurkova, Zinédine Zidane and Luís Figo enjoyed handson contact with the new watch collection from IWC.
The Schaffhausen manufacturer displays its historic Ingenieur watches from the 1950s in mechanical showcases, in the style of moving pistons. The latest models in this extremely masculine collection are also present. The partnership with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team is again underpinned by the fact that some watchmaking innovations use the same hightech materials as automotive engineering. For the first time in the history of IWC, a time piece makes a proud appearance in an attractive carbon case. Titanium, titanium aluminide, ceramic and platinum provide other eyecatching features within the collection. “Motorsport means perfection, technology, action and emotion. We celebrate and display all these characteristics at our stand, so our guests can savour the world of performance engineering,” concludes Georges Kern.
TYRE CHANGE WITH NICO ROSBERG AND PRIVATE CONCERT WITH JAMIROQUAI
Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey and Georges Kern proved supremely competent compères for the glamorous IWC Race Night. The longstanding Friend of the Brand explains his appearance in Geneva: “I’ve been associated with the IWC brand for many years. As a fan of both watches and cars, it gave me immense pleasure to chair the IWC Race Night.” In front of the stage, the roar of a Formula One™ racing car piloted by MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS driver Nico Rosberg heralded the next highlight. Deep in conversation with Georges Kern, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Team Principal Ross Brawn and CEO Nick Fry as well as Nico Rosberg, Kevin Spacey explored the challenges of modern motorsport and its common ground with watchmaking technology. A spectacular competition between some prominent guests ensued when Nico Rosberg invited them to change the tyres on his Formula One™ car. In a simulated pit stop, top model Adriana Lima, Russian gymnast Alexei Nemov, film stars Matthew Fox, Jean Reno and Eric Dane, as well as Asian actors Francis Ng and Kiichi Nakai tried to get the sleekbodied vehicle back on the track in the 3 seconds that were given to them.
After Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay arrived in an SLS AMG specially designed for the IWC Race Night, Georges Kern finally turned the stage over to him and his band. With their unique blend of funk, electro, pop and soul, the British musicians lured the IWC gala guests on to the dance floor in droves and instilled a relaxed mood with their energy charged private concert.