Two legendary brands, both of which I own several of their products, are teaming up for something magical. IWC, the haute watchmaker, along with Mattel’s Hot Wheels brand have been under the radar with a collaboration. However, today that all ends. Storming out of the El Segundo base of Hot Wheels is the global release of the Hot Wheels IWC Racing Team Transport, which happens to coincide with IWC’s new immersive flagship store in Zurich, Switzerland opening! So what in the world do these two brands have to do with one another?
IWC, or International Watch Company, was founded by Boston-based engineer and watchmaker F.A. Jones. He set out to make the best damn watches he could. By seeing what was on offer and improving upon design, manufacturing and technology, IWC soon became the world leader for time keeping. From flying, racing, navigation and exploring, IWC made headway in every conceivable facet of life. It would be 100 years later, when Elliot Handler, who happens to be the husband of Ruth Handler (she invented Barbie dolls), set upon his own journey to improve the way children play. in 1968, Hot Wheels was founded and it transformed toy cars from boring and boxy designs, to realistic and fast cars. The diminutive autos were an instant hit and Hot Wheels was on its way to becoming a success, much like IWC.
With both brands having products that rely heavily on innovation and precision, a partnership was the natural evolution for these two brands. “We want to bring our brand to much younger consumers and seed the interest for mechanical watches and the world of IWC. Our classic racing team, with its striking silver 300SL Gullwing, turns heads wherever we go, so creating a Hot Wheels Premium Team Transport set made perfect sense,” comments Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC.
The designers at Hot Wheels in El Segundo created an astonishing 1:64 scale replica of IWC’s 300SL driven by F1 legend David Coulthard – faithful in every detail – all the way to the bucket seat interior and racing rims! Meanwhile, IWC’s lead graphics designer Nik Schmidt worked closely with Hot Wheels’ graphics team to create a striking livery reminiscent of the heyday of the “Silver Arrows”. Racing number 68 was the logical choice alluding to both brand’s founding year, 1868 and 1968. Even the packaging art contains a subtle nudge to the Goodwood Motor Circuit, the iconic UK racetrack where David Coulthard won the Tony Gaze trophy in 2019 piloting the IWC Racing 300SL. “IWC Schaffhausen and Hot Wheels have become industry leaders through generations of craftsmanship and design to create a premium product for our fans,” said Richard Dickson, President and COO of Mattel. “This partnership celebrates the merging of these two beloved brands by highlighting the detail and performance of both Swiss luxury and American automotive excellence, all in the palm of your hand.”
Now if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite for watches and cars, then heed this…
The “TIME WELL SHARED” initiative, which IWC announced recently, encompasses online lectures, speeches and webinars that will feature on digital channels during the following weeks. The aim is to entertain and support people in these challenging times. The initiative includes contributions from IWC brand ambassadors and partners like, for example, Tom Brady, Mercedes- AMG Petronas Motorsport, Mercedes-AMG, Tottenham Hotspur, Laureus Sport for Good, Solaris Yachts and Orlebar Brown. All contributions are accompanied by a link to make voluntary donations, with IWC making the first donation. With the funds raised, IWC will support Save the Children, which aims to strengthen its programs that protect children and families in countries that are hit by the virus, increase support for national health systems, and raise awareness among parents and caregivers on how to provide psychosocial support to children. Another crucial pillar of “TIME WELL SHARED” is a personal volunteering program on ‘Good Tutors Finder’ to support schoolchildren and their parents. In their own free time, and on an individual voluntary basis, IWC employees are encouraged to offer online tutoring support for schoolchildren in basic subjects.
For the latest information on “TIME WELL SHARED”, and to access exclusive content, please visit https://www.iwc.com/en/articles/journal/iwc-news-events.html and http://www.savethechildren.ch/timewellshared.
For more information on the personal volunteering program of IWC employees involving online tutoring support for schoolchildren, please visit http://www.goodtutorsfinder.ch/iwc-time-well-shared.