I will admit it right off the bat: I don’t really know anything about Formula 1. Occasionally I’ll catch a glimpse on TV of the cutting-edge cars racing through the streets of Monaco or on the iconic track at Silverstone, but that’s about where my knowledge of the sport stops. That said, I know who Lewis Hamilton is. The four-time F1 champion transcends the sport he leads, with his sense of style and big personality pushing him beyond the traditional boundaries. I was fortunate enough to be in Austin, Texas, last week ahead of the U.S. Grand Prix and had a chance to chat briefly with Hamilton on the eve of race weekend. Of course I had to ask to see what was on his wrist.
The watch he chose to wear out for a pre-race dinner in Austin was the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Boutique Edition (ref. IW5029-03, specifically). The watch has the usual 48mm Big Pilot QP case, rendered in a matte black ceramic with an oversized crown in stainless steel. The dial is also matte black, with bright red luminous markings and hands, making for a really high-contrast look. Even when the watch isn’t actually glowing, it kind of looks like it is. The package is finished off with a tactical black fabric strap and a steel deployant buckle. This watch was produced back in 2013 as a limited edition of 250 pieces exclusively available through IWC boutiques (though as a brand ambassador, I’m sure Hamilton has no problem getting his hands on such limited pieces).
“Watches are the perfect accessory to really pop off your look,” said Hamilton. “I love mixing and matching – I always carry, like, five watches with me. If the color isn’t right, it doesn’t go with the outfit. It’s the cherry on top of your look. I like to wear a lot of black – black and red are my colors – so that’s why I’ve got this one. I feel kind of naked without a good watch on – it’s a great talking point.”