London, 8th December 2022 – To celebrate the opening of its new boutique at the Battersea Power Station in London, IWC Schaffhausen has organised an exclusive esports event together with its partners, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ team and the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team. Consisting of two teams racing each other virtually on the Silverstone racetrack, the “iRacing Esports Sim Challenge” was live streamed from the boutique on Twitch and followed by a global audience. Victory went to the team coached by Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ driver George Russell.

IWC Schaffhausen has a long-standing passion for motorsport and racing – and that passion extends even beyond the physical racetrack. When announcing a multi-year extension of its partnership with the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ team earlier this year, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer also became a sponsor of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team. The partners have since joined forces to organise the virtual “iRacing Esports Sim Challenge,” marking the opening of IWC’s new boutique in London.

The challenge consisted of two teams racing each other virtually on the Silverstone racetrack. One team was coached prior to the event by Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ team driver George Russell, the other one by Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team driver Jarno Opmeer. Preceding the event was an extensive qualifying session, during which interested motorsport fans could win a place on one of the two teams. During the first phase in October, gaming enthusiasts from around the United Kingdom competed in two online events to secure their position on the virtual grid. The last phase of qualifying then took place from December 5th to 7th at the Battersea Power Station boutique, where gamers could test their driving skills in an official Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports simulator.


Among the guests attending the event were motorsport presenter and content creator Emma Walsh, presenter and content creator Harry Pinero, poet and BBC Radio London presenter LionHeart, IWC-CEO Chris Grainger-Herr and Grant Wilson, IWC’s Brand Director for the United Kingdom. Jarno Opmeer, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team driver and two-time F1™ Esports Pro Series Drivers’ Champion was also present to cheer for the participants. A global audience followed the virtual racing action on the interactive live-streaming platform Twitch. The members of the winning team will be invited to a Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ factory tour and simulator experience in Brackley. In addition, the player with the fastest recorded lap received a Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team,” the first official team watch IWC developed for its partner.


The challenge marked the official opening of IWC’s new boutique at the Battersea Power Station, one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Inspired by the IWC Big Pilot, the boutique highlights key aspects such as IWC’s unique engineering approach or comprehensive expertise in advanced materials like ceramics or Ceratanium®. Visitors can discover IWC’s main collections, such as the Pilot’s Watches, the Portugieser, and the Portofino. As a particular highlight, they can put their watchmaking skills to the test assembling an original IWC-manufactured 69000 chronograph movement. Via live stream, a watchmaker from IWC’s headquarters in Schaffhausen, will guide those at the boutique through every step of the complex assembly process.


Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team is the works team of Mercedes-Benz, competing at the pinnacle of motorsport – the FIA Formula One™ World Championship. Formula One™ is like nothing else in the sporting sphere. It’s a demanding technical and human challenge, combining cutting-edge technologies and innovation, high-performance management and elite teamwork. At Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, a group of passionate and determined people work to design, develop, manufacture and race the cars driven by seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton and young star George Russell. The team has set a new benchmark for F1™ success during the sport’s current Hybrid era, winning consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, and the Constructors’ Championship in 2021. During those title-winning seasons, the team has scored 111 wins, 232 podium finishes, 118 pole positions, 81 fastest laps and 53 one-two finishes from 160 race starts.


The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports Team is the esports team of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula 1™ Team. Based on the premises of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, Brackley, a purpose-built esports training centre provides the team’s gamers with world class facilities and state-of-the- art equipment from our Esports partners, to develop their skills, train and compete.


IWC Schaffhausen is a leading Swiss luxury watch manufacturer based in Schaffhausen in the north-eastern part of Switzerland. With collections like the Portugieser and the Pilot’s Watches, the brand covers the whole spectrum from elegant to sports watches. Founded in 1868 by the American watchmaker and engineer Florentine Ariosto Jones, IWC is known for its unique engineering approach to watchmaking, combining the best of human craftsmanship and creativity with cutting-edge technology and processes. 

Over its more than 150-year history, IWC has earned a reputation for creating professional instrument watches and functional complications, especially chronographs and calendars, which are ingenious, robust, and easy for customers to use. A pioneer in the use of titanium and ceramics, IWC today specialises in highly engineered watch cases manufactured from advanced materials, such as coloured ceramics, Ceratanium®, and titanium aluminide. 

A leader in sustainable luxury watchmaking, IWC sources materials responsibly and takes action to minimise its impact on the environment. Along the pillars of transparency, circularity, and responsibility, the brand crafts timepieces built to last for generations and continuously improves every element of how it manufactures, distributes, and services its products in the most responsible way. IWC also partners with organisations that work globally to support children and young people.