To celebrate its 150th year, 28 watches from IWC’s signature families were reimagined for the 21st-century customer, thematically linked by stunning white and blue lacquered dials.
IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years”
Based on a pocket watch from the IWC archives, the timepiece features a digital display of jumping hours and minutes. Named after its inventor, Austrian watchmaker Josef Pallweber, IWC produced around 20,000 pieces between 1885 and 1887.
Calling on all the advancements of modern watchmaking, the watch houses the new in-house Calibre 94200 which offers a new solution to the way that the digital jumping hour and minutes work. Whereas in the original Pallweber watches, the discs were moved by toothed cogs, the 21st-century version has a separate barrel and wheel train for the minute disc, connected to the main wheel train via a release-mechanism that moves the minute digit every 60 seconds before locking it again. Every 60th minute, the hour ring also jumps. The dual wheel trains allow for an impressive 60 hours of power reserve.
The IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 years” is available in either pocket watch or wristwatch form. The former is limited to 50 pieces in a 52mm red-gold case, while the latter is available in a 45mm platinum case (25 pieces) or red-gold case (250 pieces) both with white dial, or steel case with blue dial (500 pieces).
IWC’s first pilot’s watch dates back to 1936 and, setting the standard for all aviation timepieces, featured an antimagnetic escapement, rotating bezel, contrasting numerals and hands against a black dial and a shatterproof crystal. Since then, the brand has become almost synonymous with the genre, and it is easily the most popular among all the collections of the brand.
The Jubilee Collection includes three versions ranging from simple to highly complicated. The Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Edition “150 Years” is the first time a “big date” has been used and the first time the date has been positioned below 12 o’clock thanks to the new Calibre 59235. The watch is available with blue or white dial, in a 46.2mm stainless-steel case (150 pieces each).
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “150 Years” presents one of the most popular Pilot’s models as a special edition, limited to 1,000 pieces. The watch has a 43mm stainless-steel case and white lacquered dial with blued hands and is powered by the automatic Calibre 79320.
Finally, for the complications lover, there is the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “150 Years”, with calendar function that only requires adjustment once a year to account for the leap year. The 150-piece watch has a blue lacquered dial and a 46.2mm stainless-steel case that houses the automatic Calibre 52850, with impressive 168-hour power reserve.
The first IWC Portugieser was created in 1939 at the request of two Portuguese merchants who wanted a large wristwatch with the precision of a pocket watch. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Portugieser collection is where the most outstanding technical achievements of the brand have been showcased, such as in the super-complicated Portugieser Sidérale Scafusia of 2011. The Jubilee Collection sees the Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “150 years”, which differs from last year’s Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon by having a moonphase display that only needs to be adjusted every 577 years.
The constant-force tourbillon of the new Calibre 94805 features a tiny spring mounted under the escape wheel, which accumulates and releases power from the main spring, ensuring that the escapement is supplied with small and steady bursts of energy. This, in turn, ensures that the balance wheel is kept at constant amplitude for outstanding precision. The watch is available with either a white or blue dial, in a 46mm platinum case, limited to only 15 watches.
The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition “150 years” is the first time that IWC has combined a perpetual calendar with a tourbillon on the dial and comes in a 45mm red-gold case with white dial; it is limited to 50 pieces.
The final high-complication watch is the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Edition “150 Years” (limited to 250 pieces) with a white dial and a 44.2mm red-gold case housing the Calibre 52616 featuring an automatic Pellaton winding system with solid-gold rotor and two barrels, that build up a power reserve of seven days. The perpetual calendar needs no manual adjustment until 2100.
The piece closest to the original 1939 Portugieser – the Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “150 Years” – comes in two variations, both with white dials: one with a 43mm red-gold case, limited to 250 pieces; the other with a similarly-sized stainless-steel case, limited to 1,000 pieces. Both models are powered by the IWC-manufactured 59215 hand-wound calibre, which needs winding only once a week.
Finally, in the Portugieser line-up is the Portugieser Chronograph Edition “150 Years”, a more accessible piece available with both white and blue dial variations in a 41mm stainless-steel case, each limited to 2,000 pieces.
Last year the Da Vinci collection – originally seen in 1969 as a member of the exclusive Beta 21 project, and later the home to Kurt Klaus’s ground-breaking Perpetual Calendar Chronograph of 1985 – underwent a huge redesign and refresh.
The highlight of the Da Vinci collection within the Jubilee line-up, is arguably the Da Vinci Automatic Edition “150 Years”, a watch that comes with a brand-new movement, Calibre 82200 featuring a useful 60-hour power reserve and certain components, such as the pawls and cams, made out of wear-resistant ceramic. There are three variations of the watch all in 40.4mm cases, one in red gold with white dial (250 pieces) plus a stainless-steel model with either blue or white dial (500 pieces each). All versions have a small-seconds at 6 o’clock.
Bringing the glamour to the family is the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 Edition “150 Years” with a 36mm red- or white-gold case encrusted with 206 diamonds and a white dial with moonphase display at 12 o’clock.
Perhaps IWC’s most classical family, the Portofino, was introduced in 1984, a dress watch with round case, thin bezel, short lugs and alligator-leather strap. The new Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase Edition “150 Years”, pays tribute to the Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase of 2017, which in turn was an homage to the first Portofino of 1984.
Both a date function and moonphase indicator make this the ultimate expression of the elegant Portofino. Three models are available: stainless steel with either a blue or white lacquered dial (350 pieces each) or red gold with blue lacquered dial (150 pieces) – the only model in the Jubilee Collection where this metal/colour combination is available.
The remaining Portofinos within the collection are the more accessible pieces, including the Portofino Chronograph Edition “150 Years” in stainless steel with blue or white dial (2,000 pieces each), as well as the simpler time-only Portofino Automatic Edition “150 Years”, similarly available in a stainless-steel case with blue- or white-lacquered dial, limited to 2,000 pieces each.