A unique C2 symmetric azine bridged bi-ferrocenyl receptor (4) has been modelled and synthesized. In this work, we are able to synthetically regulate conjugation of the dibenzylidenehydrazine fluorophore unit to unexpectedly reveal metal-coordination driven intramolecular twisting. The present probe shows a dramatic turn-on fluorescence response with 91 fold increment of quantum yield along with 17 nm blue shift upon binding with Hg2+ ions selectively with a limit of detection as low as 15 nM. Upon Hg2+ recognition, the ferrocene/ferrocinium redox peak was anodically shifted by ΔE1/2 = 78 mV, indicating the formation of a new complex species. A plausible binding mode of Hg2+ ions with compound 4 has been proposed based on 1H NMR titration, a high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) study and a density functional theory (DFT) study along with the Job's plot analysis. Interestingly, DFT calculations have revealed that the reason for fluorescence enhancement after coordination to Hg2+ ions is not due to conventional restricted CN isomerization or interrupted N-N single bond rotation rather it is due to the increase of the π ← π∗ transition at the expense of the n → π∗ (aromatic) transition of the free ligand. Furthermore, TD-DFT calculations of the first excited singlet state of 4 and [4·Hg2+] revealed the involvement of the aromatic π electrons with the vacant site of Hg2+ ions which may be further attributed to the fluorescence enhancement phenomenon. In addition, receptor 4 was successfully applied for the detection of Hg2+ ions in real samples. © 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.