Cover Maro Engel wears the Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium by IWC Schaffhausen (Photo: IWC Schaffhausen)

The German racing driver on IWC Schaffhausen’s partnership with Mercedes-AMG and the resulting Pilot’s Watch

Tell us about the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition AMG.

This watch looks fantastic. I’m really excited about all the materials that have been used. Coming from racing, these are materials that I’m really familiar with. The titanium case is especially great. In the racing world weight is time, you know? It’s extremely hard but also very lightweight and scratch resistant.

Why is it important to you that this watch is scratch resistant?

Being in a racing environment, I don’t always protect my watches the way I’d like to. In a second life I could probably apply to be a watch tester. In the cockpit, it gets very hot and you experience high G-forces. Every time you go over a bump, for example, the suspension of the car is designed for performance and not for comfort so when you hit a curb, you’re airborne, which happens three or four times a lap. I bang my watch more often than I’d like to.

When did you first become interested in watches?

I was about 15. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not when I started to own watches but that’s when I started to try to understand and learn more about them.

Have you visited IWC’s manufacture in Schaffhausen?

I was fortunate to tour the centre with IWC CEO Chris Grainger-Herr and it was amazing. I was very impressed and discovered that there are a lot of similarities between watchmaking and racing. Both are about being as efficient as possible and there are definitely similarities between Mercedes-AMG and IWC Schaffhausen when it comes to mindset.

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Other than the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition AMG, which watch do you wear?

I love my IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun, which I got in 2019.

Who has inspired you in your life?

Growing up, Michael Schumacher was a huge inspiration. Not only is he German like me, but I was fortunate to get to know him very well. Another German racing driver legend, Bernd Schneider, who is also close to the IWC family, was very inspirational to me. He actually set up the cones for me on the karting racetrack when I was five years old.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Winners never quit; quitters never win. Part of my mentality is to never give up and keep fighting for what you want and what you believe in. It’s never going to be easy when you’re competing at the top. Sometimes things don’t go straightforwardly, and other times something comes in and you feel it’s undeserved, but that’s life.

What’s key to being successful as a racing driver?

Obviously what happens in the car is important but there’s so much more that goes on to prepare beforehand. It’s about your personal fitness, it’s about being well rested, it’s about your relationship with your engineers who have to set the car up the right way so you have the tools you need to deliver. Ultimately yes, it’s you in your car. You need to be the one who gets it right. But in reality, it’s a big team effort.

How do you deal with stress?

It’s part of the game. You get used to it and, in some ways, you need that stress to perform. That being said, getting away from the everyday stress and spending time with friends and family is very important. Personally, I’m very much into sports as well as keeping fit and healthy. You need to find a good balance.

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