IWC races into Selfridges’ luxury Concept Store

The department store’s gallery space will be the home of a unique pop-up showcasing the brand’s remodelled Ingenieur collection.

Ever wondered how it feels to drive a Formula One car? Now you can thanks to Swiss watchmaker, IWC Schaffhausen. Head to The Concept Store in Selfridges’ Watch Gallery any time over the next three weeks to have a go on the racing simulator situated in a wind tunnel, designed to allow customers to immerse themselves in the world of racing.

The unique showcase, which will be opened this morning by brand ambassador Lewis Hamilton, is part of a pop-up exhibition created by the watchmaker to celebrate its remodelled 2013 Ingenieur watch and engineering partnership with the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One team.

The exhibition will give visitors a chance to explore the links between horology and automotive engineering, following the brand’s appointment as the official engineering partner to the team earlier on this year. It comes just days before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone officially begins.

“The engineers who work within our two companies have many things in common. They share a passion for precession technology and innovation,” says IWC chief executive George Kern. “They are the heroes behind the scenes: their craftsmanship and expertise with high technology lay the foundations for our success. Their pioneering spirit and know-how push the boundaries of mechanical engineering and continuously redefine the achievements of precision technology. The two companies have a name for this untiring quest for perfection: performance engineering.”

The Ingenieur model is special to the Swiss watchmaker. Aside from its functional and stylish exterior, it comes with impressive features including the first bidirectional automatic winding system and protection against magnetic fields.

The new exhibition marks the first time the new Ingenieur collection is available to view in its entirety in the UK and also marks the exclusive unveiling of the Ingenieur Constant Force Tourbillion timepieces.”With complications like the tourbilon, perpetual calendar, digital big date and moon phase display, the Inegineur family takes its place in the upper echelons of haute horlogerie,” says Kern.

All of the models on display have drawn inspiration from the materials typically used in motor sports, including carbon fibre, ceramic and titanium and the exhibition offers visitors a rare chance to view vintage Ingenieur timepieces from the 1950s.

Hamilton, who has his sights set on securing his second Silverstone win this week, became an official IWC ambassador in May along with fellow Formula One driver Nico Rosberg. “I love wristwatches and those made by IWC have a lot in common with Formula One drivers: they’re unique, high-performancne watches and are among the best in their field. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to my partnership with the company.”

The exhibition will run until 7 July in The Concept Store in Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1U 1AB.