One brand makes diecast cars with a typical price of £1.99. The other produces watches that sell for £8,000+.
It’s an unlikely collaboration but Hot Wheels and IWC have come together to produce a new limited edition watch.
The £9,350 IWC x Hot Wheels Racing Works Pilot’s Chronograph features an engraving of the Hot Wheels flame logo. The timepiece comes with a diecast model of the Mercedes 300 SL that’s raced by the Swiss watch company.
All but one of the 50 limited edition sets had been sold already by the time they were unveiled at this weekend’s Goodwood Members’ Meeting.
The remaining one is being auctioned online by Bonhams, with proceeds going to the Two Bit Circus Foundation, which supports young inventors.
Designed to appeal to the child in every racing fan, the set is packaged inside a metal toolbox, which opens to reveal the watch on one side and the 24-part model car on the other — the most detailed and rarest 1:64 scale car ever made by Hot Wheels.
Although the two brands may seem mismatched, IWC’s CEO, Cristoph Grainger-Herr, said that they had more in common than might appear.
“The set is playful and collectors appreciate that,” he said. “We’re making 50 sets for people who are through and through car people.
“Some of the early associations we have with iconic racing liveries came from the stuff we played with, and which created awareness for this world of mechanical engineering from an early age.
“That’s really where the starting point for this set was. Hot Wheels has always been so linked in to the car and design culture of the moment. Since 1968 it’s been such a snapshot of what is cool at any moment in time.
“It’s not about faithfully just replicating the car. The brief was always that they need to go fast. And they need to look fast. There has always been this focus on creating something that also tells a story and it’s engaging in the world of a 3-4-5 year old.
“And then obviously, you know, tastes develop a bit. It really made sense for us to start working with that.
“It was a chance meeting that kick-started our partnership. Our shared passion for automotive design and mechanical watches led to a meeting between the design teams of both brands and we instantly connected, speaking the same language of design, art and engineering.”
The watch is made of titanium and has the Hot Wheels logo engraved on its side, as well as a chequered flag pattern on its dial.
The accompanying Mercedes 300SL is assembled by hand and features 3D-printed tyre treads, red sills, opening gullwing doors and a roll cage, recreating IWC’s full-size version, which competes in this weekend’s Stirling Moss Trophy at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting.
Grainger-Herr said that racing and watches were inseparable for most of his European and US male customers. “80 plus per cent of our customers are into cars and planes or either or both,” he said, saying that buyers of the Hot Wheels set came squarely from this group.