22 May, 2018

Top 10 Watches which Changed IWC

In our countdown article, we pick out the 10 watches which helped IWC become one of the finest luxury watchmakers in the world.

Now part of the Richemont group who also own Panerai, Cartier, Montblanc and more, IWC has reaffirmed their place at the pinnacle of Haute Horlogerie.

Their ascension to this status has involved numerous successes. Here we outline some of their ground-breaking timepieces.

If you want a quick recap of IWC then take a look at our article 'Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: IWC?' here 

1 - Jones Calibre – 1872 

Experiencing early success with their first offering the Jones Calibre pocket watch, around 26,000 were made.

Trivia - They were based on a platform structure and assigned to a specific “pattern”, the highest quality level represented by “Pattern H”.

2 – Pallweber Pocket Watch 1884

Developed by Josef Pallweber, the Pallweber Pocket Watch was first launched in 1884, a revolution at the time, it was able to digitally display the time and had no hour hands.

Trivia – How it achieved this was by using large numerals on rotating discs.

3 - Big Pilot's 1936

The clear design from the Big Pilot has become a hallmark for all future models.

Trivia -  they were made to be resistant to temperatures ranging from -40 to +40 degrees Celsius.

4 – Portugieser 1939

The story behind this watch model starts with two businessmen from Portugal who, in 1939, placed an order with IWC for large wristwatches which had the precision of pocket watches.

5 - The 85 Calibre and Ingenieur 1950

This was a milestone year for IWC as they launched their first automatic movement. Known for being highly efficient, it was well received by the customers and the industry and was a credit to IWC’s ingenuity.

6 – Aquatimer 1967

During the 1960’s a change in habits saw the emergence of scuba diving. IWC released the Aquatimer in response during the 1967 Basel Watch Show. What made the watch unique was the fact that the bezel was inside the watch and thus had no contact with water.

Trivia – Water-resistant up to 200m.

7 - Porsche Design Titanium Chronograph 1980

In 1980, IWC succeeded in creating a Titanium case. Previously thought to be inappropriate for a watch case, it’s around a third lighter than steel but still highly-durable.

This created a new form of watchmaking for IWC who repeated this on their Ocean 2000 timepiece.

8 – Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar 1985

Taking simplicity to a new level, the Da Vinci Calendar timepiece was made of 82 unique components and included a chronograph complication.

The calendar will recognise the different months, leap years and requires no adjustment to be made until 2100!

9 – Big Pilot’s 2002

Launched in 2002 with a massive 46mm dial, IWC sought inspiration from the original with hallmarks from the previous iterations of Big Pilot’s.

Trivia – The wearer can always see the power reserve as it’s located by the 3-hour marker.

10 – Portugieser Sidéral Scafusia

Boasting the most complications IWC have ever made for a wristwatch, this Portugieser required 10 years of design and planning before the engineers of IWC made it a reality.

Trivia - this watch can also operate in sidereal time which is 4 minutes shorter than normal time.

Final Words

IWC have a rich history when it comes to watchmaking. Their triumphs and successes are an illustration of adhering to their values and philosophy behind watchmaking and how it should be performed. 

IWC have been operating for over 150 years and show no signs of slowing down. As IWC continue to strive forward without forgetting their heritage and tradition, we look forward to writing about their next timepiece.

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The 10 Watches which Changed IWC
The 10 Watches which Changed IWC
The 10 Watches which Changed IWC
The 10 Watches which Changed IWC
The 10 Watches which Changed IWC
The 10 Watches which Changed IWC
The 10 Watches which Changed IWC
The 10 Watches which Changed IWC
The 10 Watches which Changed IWC
The 10 Watches which Changed IWC