IWC Schaffhausen Blog

Sep 18

Recalling Heritage In The IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date

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Large date complications are in vogue with contemporary design trends, but they are far from a new feature on an IWC. The tradition of including a large, easy to read date aperture is one that dates back to 1885 for IWC Schaffhausen, and it again appears on the Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date, as introduced at the 2013 Watches&Wonders fair in Hong Kong. The inclusion of a large date aperture compliments the already impressive dial landscape, which is derived from the IWC manufactured 59230.

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Equally as useful as the big date, is the incredible 8-days of power reserve that the calibre 59230 provides. The Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date will run continuously for 8-days, or 192 hours, at peak accuracy. To prevent and compromises to accuracy, the watch will stop running once the reserve is spent, ensuring you’ll never never need to stress about the current state of your wind. The hand winding element of the movement creates an intimate connection between wearer and watch, bridging the gap between practicality, and interaction.

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The dial layout of the newest Portofino is clean and modern, with classical inspiration. The date aperture placed under the Roman twelve creates a symmetry with the running seconds hand at 6 o’clock on the dial. The power reserve complication is displayed discreetly, yet usefully at the 9 o’clock position. The small accents of red in the power reserve and running seconds hand display are a subtle detail to be discovered.

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The IWC manufacture movement, calibre 59230, features large bridges and plates classically decorated in “Côtes de Genève”. The movement fills the entirety of the sapphire exhibition caseback, and its small recesses (along with its 30 jewels) elude to the underpinnings of an impressive spring barrel feeding a robust gear train. Of course, the balance wheel is in full view, spinning away at 28,800 bph.

Overall the IWC Hand-Wound Big Date is a beautifully engineered timepiece that balances classical good looks with technologically advanced execution. Never do the complications feel forced or in the way, they merely accentuate the already handsome Portofino Hand-Wound line with another layer of practicality. For more details about the IWC Hand-Wound Big Date, click here.

 - HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen

Deep Dive with an IWC Collector: Terry Russell

This summer, IWC launched the Deep Dive with an IWC Collector blog series that sought to uncover the stories from our vast collector community. We never imagined the gems we would uncover - from proposal stories to young boys realizing their passion for timepieces at the age of nine -  the blog series has morphed into a historical log of just how our collectors embed IWC timepieces into their personal histories. 

In our latest segment, collector Terry Russell shares his story of becoming and IWC collector, beginning in the 1960s when he first heard the ‘tick-tock’ and dissected a timepiece, igniting a life-long hobby. 

Q. What first sparked your interest with timepieces?
 

When I was a young kid back in the ’60s, all watches were still mechanical, so once I opened my first watch, I was immediately fascinated by the tiny little gears and shiny little plates and delighted by discovering first-hand the mysterious source of the tick-tock and watching the balance spring breath as if it had a life of its own, which it certainly did, I decided right then and there. 
 

So, as all normal people do when they discover something of interest, I took the watch apart so I could see how it worked. It never worked again, you can be sure of that, nor did any of the other watches I would disassemble over the next four or five years - mostly cheap watches that would be received at Christmas or for a birthday along with the socks and the underwear; mostly cheap pin-set watches I know now, but not back then. These were mostly watches that would eventually chew themselves up anyway through shear friction, with only enough jewels and adjustments to get them out the door, but they still deserved, I realized later, a fate better than me.         

Fast forward to 1985 and I’m on a flight home from Chicago and discover the original ad for the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph and was mesmerized by the minimalist copy and the photo of the little century slide encased in its own glass vial and sealed with what just had to be the wax of a King. I was certain it must be the finest watch on earth. Years later I would learn that it was indeed a very important and defining piece - not only for horology, but also for the company that produced it. Little did I know then that I would one day sit and have a beer on the streets of Geneva with its creator, and have the honor of counting him among my many watch friends.

Thirteen years after discovering that Da Vinci ad, I would buy my first fine watch to celebrate the arrival of my son. For me, he was the opportunity to translate my passion and fascination for the art and craft of watchmaking into a tangible reality. I have always believed that truly special things deserve a chance to develop their own stories, and through my son Michael, they will at least remain as markers for some pretty special years in the life of a pretty special family.

Q. Which IWC timepiece is your favorite? Why?  

As for my most favorite IWC, it would be the Jubilee Portuguese. So absolutely pure of design and so beautifully executed, it is for me the defining piece of IWC, holding a special and singular place in the Swiss watch industry.
   

Q. What do you think makes a timeless watch, in terms of design and appeal?
 

For me, the elements of a timeless watch are coupled closely with the elements used to understand time itself.  Like the orbiting celestial orbs our ancestors used to discover and determine the exactness of our universe, a watch for me should be round and it should perform a singular function - the communication of the information we need to navigate our lives. Perhaps for some this is time only, for others the addition of a date, or a chronograph, or a second time zone, but in the end, for me, less really is more. Don’t misunderstand, I love the skills involved in the complicated arts and the beauty of the craft that often follows, but for me many of the grand complications carry with them an attendant burden that subdues the joy of unfettered use. Beyond the many possible design ques, a watch becomes timeless also because it becomes a useful companion.  

Q. If you could design an IWC timepiece, which fine watchmaking elements would you include?  

If I could design a watch for IWC, it would definitely be a new minute repeater, using the case and dauphine hand design of the original ref 666 Ingenieur and giving proper visibility to the hammer works and regulating mechanism that such a complication deserves. It would be 42mm, available initially only in an acoustical stainless steel, and it might even introduce an entirely new family of watch for the first time in over 30-years. For certain it could not be an Ingenieur unless it could be made truly anti-magnetic without compromising its melodious announcement of the time.  

I would choose a repeater because for me it is hands-down the greatest of all complications simply because it’s the only complication that must know the actual time and monitor it mechanically. That it can also chime that information makes it all the more special.

Sep 15

Classic elegance and technological development are the hallmarks of the new IWC Spitfire Chronograph.

Classic elegance and technological development are the hallmarks of the new IWC Spitfire Chronograph.

Aug 27

Perfect for the ascent: IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month

Perfect for the ascent: IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month

Aug 21

#ThrowbackThursday:
75 years ago, the Swiss Grand Prix at the Bremgarten circuit near Bern ended with a triple triumph for @MercedesBenz Hermann Lang wins, followed by Rudolf Caracciola. With the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil, #IWC has breathed fresh life into the legend of these historic Mercedes-Benz racing cars.

#ThrowbackThursday:
75 years ago, the Swiss Grand Prix at the Bremgarten circuit near Bern ended with a triple triumph for @MercedesBenz Hermann Lang wins, followed by Rudolf Caracciola. With the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil, #IWC has breathed fresh life into the legend of these historic Mercedes-Benz racing cars.

Aug 19

IWC Da Vinci Chronograph, featuring the 89361 Calibre.

IWC Da Vinci Chronograph, featuring the 89361 Calibre.

Aug 18

Tradition still sails: Navigation with the sextante

Tradition still sails: Navigation with the sextante

Aug 13

#DidYouKnow: “The small pocket inside of the larger pocket of your jeans was originally designed to carry pocket watches.”

#DidYouKnow: “The small pocket inside of the larger pocket of your jeans was originally designed to carry pocket watches.”

Aug 08

Homage To The Man Behind The Theory Of Evolution: The #IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin”

Homage To The Man Behind The Theory Of Evolution: The #IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin”

Aug 06

A Double Champion In Titanium: The #IWC Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium

A Double Champion In Titanium: The #IWC Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium