It was merely a matter of time before Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, both from the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, were to become ambassadors for IWC.
Well, this is simply because one year earlier, on 8 May 2012, the announcement of the partnership agreement between IWC and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team was made.
A year later on 25 May 2013, a day before the final race of the Formula One Grand Prix de Monaco, IWC officially appointed Hamilton and Rosberg as the new ambassadors or “friends of the brand.”
A day later on Sunday, Rosberg, starting from pole position, sped to secure the team’s first victory of the season at the Monaco Grand Prix in a race described as “chaotic” due to the activation of the safety car twice and a red flag.
Could the victory in Monaco be an omen of a strong winning formula developing between IWC and the new friends of the brand?
Both Hamilton and Rosberg were presented with IWC’s iconic Pilot’s watches by Goris Verburg, Director Marketing and Communication at IWC. It was also a great moment for Verburg as he had only recently assumed his new position.
Verburg was moved up to IWC headquarters in Schaffhausen and had formerly been responsible for the Southeast Asian markets. He was the former Managing Director of Southeast Asia for IWC and was based in Singapore. IWC’s new Managing Director for Southeast Asia is Edouard D’Arbaumont.
What is interesting is that the drivers were issued with Big Pilot’s watches rather than the timepieces from the Ingenieur collection, a line more in tune with motor sport racing as opposed to aviation.
Can this be taken to mean that there could possibly be special editions of the Ingenieur dedicated to racing or named in honour of Hamilton and Rosberg in the future?
Or maybe even a special “Ingenieur Watch for Father and Son”?
What is worth noting is that Rosberg’s father, Keke (Keijo Erik Rosberg), is a former Formula One race driver. He was crowned Formula One World Champion in 1982. It was Keke who first mentored his son.
What is fascinating is the fact that Keke, when driving for the Williams F1 team, had secured a win at the same venue exactly three decades ago – at the Monaco Grand Prix held in May 1983.
Nico Rosberg’s recent win in Monaco is a fitting 30th anniversary celebratory gift for his father who was present at the race.
Speaking of which, there is also an existing paired IWC “Big Pilot’s Watch for Father and Son”.
Even more intriguing is the revelation by Nico Rosberg that his first watch was an IWC which was a gift from his father. Such a long-standing relationship with IWC takes on a deeper emotive meaning not only for both father and son but for fans of the Rosbergs, the watch brand and the Formula One motoring sport.