The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S I had recently was a truly great car. It was fast, powerful, capable and technologically advanced. In fact, I had no real qualms with it—except for one bit of tomfoolery I noticed while sitting in it a few weeks ago.
As you might know, luxury Swiss watch brand IWC Schaffhausen and AMG signed a long-term partnership agreement in 2004. This is why you sometimes see IWC dashboard clocks in certain Mercedes models and how occasionally there are special-edition AMG IWC watches.
As the GT 63 S has a vastly screen-heavy dashboard, there didn’t appear to be any room for an analog dash clock, so I assumed there wasn’t one.
I was wrong. Well, sort of.
The GT 63 S does, in fact, have a dash clock. It’s digital and appears, from what I could tell, front and center on the dashboard when the car is off. But the most hilarious part of it is that it isn’t just any old digital image of a clock. It’s a goddamn digital image of an IWC!!!
Look at this lunacy. Look. At. It. It is a digital image of an analog clock, brand and all. What the hell! What is this? Why is this? “It’s a phony!” Holden Caulfield would surely shriek.
The designers could have gone with anything here. Literally anything! A regular clock, some kind of digital clock display or even a little Pac-Man graphic. Any of those would have been a better choice than a digital image of a virtual IWC that’s pretending to be a real, analog clock. That is the equivalent of getting a skin for your Apple Watch, at Matt Farah pointed out.
Following that logic, then, this is totally acceptable for me to do:
The special IWC you see here is paper-thin and weighs virtually nothing. The band is made from the finest Scotch and 3M have to offer. There is no movement to speak of, but if you look closely, you’ll see IWC printed clearly on the black-and-white face with the laser-precision of a Brother laser printer.
Does the AMG and IWC partnership include digital clocks? What about this digital clock makes it uniquely IWC, if at all? Does this even count as an IWC? It’s unclear if still costs money to include a digital image of an IWC in the GT 63 S’s dash, as opposed to embedding it with the actual, physical timepiece itself. (In all fairness, IWC likely does charge for the use of its name and product imagery.)
Jalopnik has emailed both Mercedes-AMG and IWC with requests for comment and will update if we hear back.
In the meantime, I’ll include some photos of IWCs below that I encourage you to print out and tape to your wrists at home. It’s so much better than buying the real thing. So much kinder on your wallet!
Update Jan. 29, 5:08 p.m. EST: An IWC spokesperson didn’t immediately clarify anything about the digital image, but instead wrote,
“To answer your question. The dashboard clocks in the cockpits of selected Mercedes-AMG cars are designed and branded by IWC to highlight the partnership between the two companies. This successful collaboration began in 2004. Since then IWC has created several AMG special editions, including models with cases made of materials such as black zirconium oxide ceramic that were inspired by high-performance race cars.”