IWC SIGNATURE TALK “THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY” WITH AIRSPEEDER AND BOOM SUPERSONIC
Schaffhausen/Geneva, 31st March 2022 – Throughout this week’s Watches and Wonders exhibition in Geneva, IWC Schaffhausen is welcoming a selection of partners for a series of three Signature Talks. Thursday’s opening event was titled ‘The Future of Mobility’ and brought together two of the Swiss luxury watchmaker’s most recent partners: Airspeeder, the first racing series for electric flying cars, and Boom Supersonic, currently developing the world’s fastest and most sustainable commercial airliner. At the close of the talk, IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr announced IWC’s new collaboration with the Polaris space program.
At the event, which was also streamed worldwide live on YouTube, IWC welcomed Airspeeder CEO and founder Matt Pearson, and Brian Durrence, Chief Technology Officer at Boom Supersonic. Airspeeder uses the power of a sporting competition to drive innovation and turbocharge a new era of sustainable urban mobility. Boom has assembled a unique team of engineers to bring their vision of mainstream supersonic flight to life. As they are working towards the future of mobility, both partners are supported by IWC with best practices from its Manufakturzentrum.
The conversation between Durrence and Pearson centered first on the Mojave Desert, an iconic location for aviators. Airspeeder plans to hold US races there, while Boom Supersonic chose the Mojave Desert to test-fly their supersonic demonstrator XB-1. The dry and barren landscape of China Lake in the Western Mojave Desert has also inspired the unique sand-colored ceramic IWC uses for the “Mojave Desert” editions in the TOP GUN collection.
ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AND SUSTAINABLE PRACTICE
Next, Pearson and Durrence discussed the importance of innovation and advanced materials in pushing technological boundaries. The pair also spoke about how their engineering journey has led to machines with beautiful silhouettes. The most important common thread between the partners and IWC, however, is sustainability. Both Boom and Airspeeder are redefining the future of mobility in a sustainable way, and both are currently ramping up their production facilities. In this process, they are supported by IWC with best practices in sustainable manufacturing. IWC’s new Manufakturzentrum is an award-winning production facility that integrates many elements for responsible production. Durrence described how Boom’s approach to sustainability extend beyond running Overture on up to 100% SAF (sustainable aviation fuels) and to how they design and test their aircraft to how they operate their production facility to aircraft recycling. Pearson detailed his hopes that EXA racing would accelerate the acceptance of eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) technology to promote a more sustainable form of mobility, transporting people and goods across short distances in dense urban environments.
IWC ANNOUNCING PARTNERSHIP WITH POLARIS DAWN
At the end of the signature talk, the participants on stage were joined by IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr and John “Slick” Baum, Philanthropy Director of the Polaris Space Program. Following IWC’s successful participation in last year’s Inspiration4 mission, Grainger-Herr and Baum announced a partnership of IWC with the Polaris Dawn mission. Commanded by entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, the Polaris Dawn mission will conduct scientific research to improve life on Earth and continue to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.
The video of the talk is available on https://www.iwc.com/ch/en/specials/videos-2022.html
Airspeeder is the world’s first racing series for electric flying cars. Our mission will accelerate eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) advanced aviation technology through intense sporting competition. This mobility revolution, underpinned by future tech, will transform urban air mobility (UAM), global logistics and even medical applications with a clean-air electric vehicle (EV) solution. Our racing multicopters are developed at our advanced aerospace engineering hub in Adelaide, South Australia by engineers drawn from elite motorsports, automotive, aviation and even FPV drone, electric plane, electric vehicle,s and passenger drone backgrounds. Airspeeder’s vision will deliver the most exciting and future-focused motorsport on the planet. Following an inaugural unmanned season, elite pilots will take to the skies to race prop-to-prop while navigating electronically governed racetracks in the skies above some of the most visually arresting scenery in the world. For more information, visit https://airspeeder.com/partners.
Boom Supersonic is redefining commercial air travel by bringing sustainable, supersonic flight to the skies. Boom’s historic commercial airliner, Overture, is designed and committed to industry-leading standards of speed, safety, and sustainability. Overture will be net-zero carbon, capable of flying on 100% sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) at twice the speed of today’s fastest passenger jets. Overture’s order book, including purchases and options, stands at 70 aircraft, and Boom is working with the United States Air Force for government applications of Overture. The company is backed by world-class investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Prime Movers Lab, Emerson Collective and American Express Ventures. For more information, visit https://boomsupersonic.com.
The Polaris Program is a first-of-its-kind effort to further humanity’s exploration of space and to help solve the most challenging issues on Earth. The program will consist of up to three human spaceflight missions.
The first mission, Polaris Dawn, is targeted for no earlier than the fourth quarter of this year and will be commanded by Isaacman, an accomplished pilot and astronaut who commanded Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to orbit that helped raise more than $240 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“The Polaris Program is an exciting next step in space missions to advance human space exploration while helping to solve problems through the use of innovative technology here on Earth,” said Isaacman. “On Polaris Dawn, we endeavor to achieve the highest Earth orbit ever flown in addition to conducting the world’s first commercial spacewalk. Alongside these important objectives, we will be supporting scientific research to advance both human health on Earth and our understanding of human health during future long-duration spaceflights.” Building upon the Inspiration4 mission, Polaris Dawn will continue to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In 1868, the American watchmaker and entrepreneur Florentine Ariosto Jones travelled from Boston to Switzerland and founded the ‘International Watch Company’ in Schaffhausen. His visionary dream was to combine advanced American manufacturing methods with the craftsmanship of Swiss watchmakers to make the best pocket watches of his time. In doing so, he not only laid the foundation for IWC’s unique engineering approach but also established the centralised production of mechanical watches in Switzerland.
Over its 150 year history, IWC Schaffhausen has developed a reputation for creating 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 technical watch cases manufactured from advanced materials, such as titanium aluminide and Ceratanium®. Preferring the principle of “form follows function” over decoration, the Swiss watch manufacturer’s timeless creations embody their owners’ dreams and ambitions as they journey through life.
IWC sources materials responsibly and takes action to minimise its impact on the environment, creating intrinsically sustainable timepieces that are built to last for generations. The company prides itself in training its own future watchmakers and engineers, as well as offering an excellent working environment for all employees. IWC also partners with organisations that work globally to support children and young people.