IWC Spotlight: A Look At The Brand Steeped In History And Refinement
IWC are world renowned for producing exceptional watches that are both reliable and elegant in design. With an extensive collection of models available, IWC pride themselves on creating timepieces that carry their own philosophy, influence and story.
Established in 1868 by American watchmaker, Florentine Ariosto Jones, he aimed to bring American production techniques, along with highly skilled watchmaking to create excellent contemporary pocket watches for the American market.
Florentine started production in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, in Schaffhausen. It was here that he introduced a modern factory and contemporary watchmaking practices, whilst surrounding himself with deep watchmaking tradition and artisanal methods.
Fast-forward to today, and in keeping in line with IWC tradition, IWC have recently unveiled a new modern factory in Zurich that effectively mirrors the brand itself. Both innovative yet rooted with deep watchmaking tradition.
The Zurich factory, is partnered with the IWC museum that highlights advancements in both the brand and their models.
The factory and museum are open to member of the public, and approximately 7,000 people visit the museum and factory each year. As you would expect, the tour includes viewing production of watches from the watchmakers, however each tour might vary as to not disturb watchmakers during the working day.
The IWC factory has approximately 500 employees in Zurich, 120 of which are IWC certified watchmakers who actively produce nearly 70,000 watches per year.
Given the quality of the watchmaking present at IWC, it is no surprise to know that each watchcase is hand finished, hand cleaned internally, and the movement is hand assembled by each watchmaker.
The quality and tradition of this brand is clearly on show with their current collection of watches. Here are just a few collectors’ favourites to explore.
IWC Pilot Collection
Arguably the most iconic of the IWC collection, this particular model was introduced in the 1930s especially designed for aviators and featured one of the first antimagnetic mechanisms to improve reliability for in-flight pilots.
Today, there are a few different variations which are all exceptional in their quality and functionality. One timepiece that I think is worth mentioning is the IWC Pilot TImezoner Chronograph IW395001.
The watch features an innovative world time complication based on the rotating bezel, a second time zone hand, chronograph and a day/night indicator. The watch case measures in a 45mm and features on a black leather classic strap.
IWC Portugieser Collection
The Portugieser collection by IWC represents the classic traditional side of IWC, whilst also celebrating the refinement and craftsmanship of each individual timepiece. On first glance, the IWC Portugieser is in every sense a dress watch, however in recent years, many collectors have looked to the stainless steel example and a comfortable day-to-day example.
The Portugieser Annual Calendar IW503501 showcases the very best of the Portugieser collection. The watch features an annual calendar (day, date and month), a power reserve indicator and a second hand sub-dial, along with time display. The watch is finished with a 44mm stainless steel case, white dial and black alligator leather strap.
IWC Da Vinci Collection
The IWC Da Vinci collection generally polarizes many IWC collectors, in that they either love the collection or hate it. Nonetheless, there is certainly a lot to admire when it comes to the Da Vinci collection.
For all intents and purposes, the watch measures in at the much smaller 40mm, meaning that the watch is an instance appeal for both men and women as a timepiece. The rounded bezel and distinct lugs also add to the overall design appeal for this watch. The new 2018 release of the Da Vinci timepieces sees a crisper sunburst dial, which in effect changes colour as it reflects in the sun. The hands are a lot sharper also, giving a more refined feel to the whole collection.
The IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph IW392101 is certainly an example of the sheer quality employed at IWC. The watch features a perpetual calendar which displays the date, day, month and year in four digits, a perpetual moon phase display, a flyback chronograph function with hour, minutes and seconds and a hour and minute counters combined in a totalizer at 12 o’clock.
The watch is cased an 18k rose gold case and features a classic silver-plated dial that compliments the function display so well. The watch is finished smartly with a dark brown alligator strap that once again compliments the 18k rose gold case.