Over at IWC Schaffhausen, the mood was celebratory.
This year marks the brand’s 150th anniversary, which it is honouring with a special Jubilee collection.
The collection is made up of 27 new limited-edition timepieces, 24 of which are from the Portugieser, Portofino, Pilot’s Watch and Da Vinci families. On offer is a diverse range of timepieces, from the technically-advanced to the simple but elegant – giving a note of truth to the old saying, “there’s something for everyone”.
A few strategic design codes are used to unify the watches under one collection. Each features a 12-layered lacquer dial in either white or blue, paired with contrasting blued or rhodium-coated hands, as well as the insignia “150 Years”. Each comes paired with a black Santoni alligator leather strap.
“I would say that the biggest selling point is it’s a completely new aesthetic,” says Christian Knoop, creative director of IWC Schaffhausen. “It’s a capsule collection [with] an aesthetic that we don’t have in standard watches. It’s a unique opportunity to buy something which will then not be
available any more.”
The highlight of the Jubilee collection is the timepiece directly inspired by an archive piece: the Pallweber pocket watches from 1884.
The watch is named after Austrian watchmaker Josef Pallweber, who came up with the highly unusual pocket watch with digital hour and minute display. While initially a commercial success, its popularity waned after a few years – but now it’s back as the IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years”.
The new timepiece comes in wristwatch form and marks the first time IWC has featured a jumping numeral module on a wristwatch. Aesthetics-wise, it remains faithful to the original. Nestled inside the case is a new 94200 calibre, the result of five years of research and development.
“This is not a normal movement – it’s a very special movement [with] three patents pending for different construction details,” Knoop says.
“Energy management was one of the key challenges,” he continues. “We resolved this with three independent gear trains and three independent main springs with a mechanism to really regulate this and to bring it together.”
The 45mm timepiece has a 60-hour power reserve. There are three versions: platinum with a white dial (limited to 25 pieces); red gold with a white dial (limited to 250 pieces), and stainless steel with a blue dial (limited to 500 pieces).
Advancements in IWC’s technical prowess are also evident in its offerings from its Portugieser family, which produced five new models.
One of the highlights is the Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillion Edition “150 Years”, which for the first time, combines the patented constant-force tourbillon with a moon phase display. It comes in two versions – platinum with a white dial, and platinum with a blue dial – both limited to just 15 pieces each. The 46mm timepiece is driven by the new manufacture hand-wound 94805 calibre, which has a 96-hour power reserve.
Another first is the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition “150 Years”: a pairing of a perpetual calendar with a tourbillon. The 45mm red gold automatic timepiece is powered by the new manufacture 51950 calibre with a seven-day power reserve. It is limited to 50 pieces.
Portugieser Chronograph Edition “150 Years” features a manufacture 69335 calibre that stems from the 69000 calibre family, a first for the brand. The other two members of the family – the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Edition “150 Years”, and the Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “150 Years” are interpreted using the Jubilee design codes.
From the Portofino family are three new models. The 45mm Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase Edition “150 Years” comes in three versions (red gold with a blue dial, and stainless steel with blue and white dials) and has an eight-day power reserve. Inside ticks the manufacture 59800 calibre. Both the 42mm Portofino Chronograph Edition “150 Years” and the 40mm Portofino Automatic Edition “150 Years” now come dressed in the Jubilee collection’s blue and white colours.
Three new interpretations of the Big Pilot’s Watches are also among the offerings: the Annual Calendar Edition “150 Years”, the Big Date Edition “150 Years”, and the Chronograph Edition “150 Years”.
The Da Vinci family presents two models, one of which is dedicated to women. The Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 Edition “150 Years” is the smallest size available from the collection. Two versions are available: white dials housed inside red gold or white gold cases paved with white diamonds. They are limited to 50 pieces each.
The 40.4mm Da Vinci Automatic Edition “150 Years” houses a new manufacture 82200 calibre, and is
presented in three versions: red gold with a white dial, and stainless steel with white, and blue dials.