Schaffhausen/Las Vegas, 14th November 2023: To kick off the upcoming Las Vegas Grand PrixTM, IWC Schaffhausen celebrated its long-standing partnerships with Mercedes-AMG and the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula OneTM Team with a spectacular event. For this special occasion, IWC and Mercedes-AMG have created “Speed City”, an outdoor pop-up venue in the Las Vegas desert. In a celebration of their shared passion for performance and design, Mercedes-AMG showcased the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé, while IWC presented the new Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41 collection. A particular highlight was the performance driving show of the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell behind the wheel, accompanied by a spectacular drone-supported light show.


IWC Schaffhausen and Mercedes-AMG have been partners since 2004, making their collaboration one of the longest running between a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer and an automotive engineering company. Ahead of the upcoming F1TM race in Las Vegas, the partners joined forces to organise an exclusive event in the Las Vegas desert. To mark the occasion, they took over the famous Speedvegas racetrack and built a pop-up “Speed City”, a desert camp and entertainment venue. In the presence of dozens of guests, they celebrated their long-standing collaboration and shared passion for performance and design.


The similarities and differences in the design processes for cars and watches were key topics in a panel discussion with Christian Knoop, Chief Design Officer at IWC Schaffhausen, and Robert Lešnik, Head of Exterior Design Department at Mercedes-Benz and responsible for the design of the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé. Interviewed by technology journalist and BBC presenter Lucy Hedges, the two professionals revealed stunning facts about what it is like to work as designers in their respective industries. Robert Lešnik detailed how design can be used to accentuate technical features of a car and which considerations went into the sporty-emotional look of the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé. Christian Knoop shared an in-depth look at IWC’s chronograph and materials expertise and explained how these competences came together for the development of the Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41. IWC officially launched the new collection with four performance chronographs in titanium and Ceratanium® the day prior.


Following the design talk, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1TM Team drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell delivered a fantastic driving performance in the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé. The action on the track was accompanied by a spectacular drone show supported by lights, illuminating the night sky above the Las Vegas desert and giving a glimpse of the upcoming night race in the “City of Lights”. Both drivers then joined Lucy Hedges and former F1TM driver and IWC brand ambassador David Coulthard for an entertaining conversation, reflecting on the performance and giving an outlook to the upcoming night race.


To close off the event, Chris Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, Michael Schiebe, CEO of MercedesAMG, and Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1TM Team joined the stage. They looked back on the successful and longstanding collaboration between the companies, and shared memories.




During the entire evening, the guests were invited to explore the many attractions at the “Speed City” venue in the Las Vegas desert. Among other things, they could visit an exhibition from Mercedes-AMG and learn more about the company’s range of performance cars. In addition, IWC set up a pop-up watch boutique with a curated selection of some of the most iconic watches from Schaffhausen.