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IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Lewis Hamilton 3796-02 Luxury Watch Review

http:www.thewatchbox.com Two-time and reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has many talents, but luxury watch design isn’t one that fans will recognize. They should take note; Hamilton was instrumental in the planning of this gem, his signature IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Lewis Hamilton limited Edition. And each example of this coveted run features more than the champ’s blessing; a piece of an actual Mercedes-AMG F1 W05 grand prix car is embedded in the caseback of each watch. Want provenance? Each watch in this limited edition is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity attesting to IWC’s use of a true piece of the Mercedes-AMG “Silver Arrow” itself. Take the time-tested profile the Gerald Genta-designed IWC "Ingenieur SL," throw in modern proportions, add an IWC in-house automatic chronograph, and season to suit Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ F1 titleholder’ personal tastes… that's a recipe for the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Lewis Hamilton 3796-02. IWC, which is located in German-Swiss Schaffhausen, has enjoyed a longstanding association with major German automotive brands. The partnership with (semi-independent) Porsche Design endured from 1978 to 1997 and produced landmark models such as the 3500 series "Ocean 2000" dive watch and the Ref 3700 Titan chronograph. Since 2004, IWC has worked with Mercedes-Benz AMG, the automaker's performance arm, to produce a series of timepieces that pay tribute to the very best of watches and wheels. The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Lewis Hamilton 3796-02 specifically commemorates the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team of reigning F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton. The watch was released for the 2014 model year, the same season that Hamilton won his first title with Mercedes-AMG and his second overall. Hamilton, who describes himself as a devotee of technology, wanted his commemorative IWC to be built in the image of a Formula 1 machine. The choice of titanium for the case and bracelet was a natural extension of F1’s emphasis on strength and low mass. The black ceramic bezel bolts, crown, guards, and chronograph pushers are another nod to modern materials and a color complement to the carbon fiber dial. That dial - in woven carbon thread - places the defining material of modern motorsport on center stage for enthusiast admiration. Whether one is a fan of Formula 1 or not, the complex luster of the carbon fiber is hypnotic. Its complex interaction with ambient light creates the impression of three dimensions and bottomless depth. “Mesmerizing” is the word. Each Ingenieur Chronograph Lewis Hamilton sports a robust 45mm case designed as a loving reference to the IWC 1832 "Jumbo" Ingenieur SL of 1976. Part of the family of 1970s Gerald Genta sports watch classics that included the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus, the IWC Ingenieur SL is the spiritual father of all modern IWC Ingenieur models. To say the least, it's a time-tested style benchmark. Within the massive stainless steel case, IWC fits the Ingenieur Chronograph Lewis Hamilton with an in-house automatic flyback chronograph caliber 89361. As a true manufacture caliber, the 89361 was designed specifically for oversize modern watches, especially rugged sports models. A free-sprung escapement, shock-protected winding rotor, lubrication-free ceramic bearings, and 68-hour power reserve keep this one on-point even when when the owner is knocked off-balance. IWC completes the Ingenieur Chronograph Lewis Hamilton 3796-02 with a burly three-link bracelet and exquisitely-finished deployant clasp. The bracelet is supple but substantial on the wrist, and the twin-trigger clasp sits secure with a degree of certainty that no friction-fit binder can provide. Fans of high performance machinery in all of its forms will find an ideal companion in the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Lewis Hamilton 3796-02. See it in high-resolution images with all IWC factory accessories on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso