IWC is a genuine manufacture, making some pretty serious timepieces. So when we say that this watch is the most complicated piece to come out of the Schaffhausen watchmaker, you know it isn’t messing around. Enter the Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia.
It would be tempting to start with the basics here, but we’ll jump right into the deep end: every single Sidérale Scafusia is customized for the owner. On the back of the watch you’ll find a star chart packed with information that is specific to a location designated by the customer. This information includes sunrise and sunset times, local and sidereal time on a 24-hour scale, a red circle to indicate the apparent orbit of the sun on the ecliptic, and a yellow ellipse to show the currently visible stars on the chart. There is also a unique perpetual calendar mechanism that displays the exact day of the year and what year in the leap-year cycle the wearer is in. Like we said, this is really serious stuff.
Turn back to the dial side and you’ll find a few more indicators and a prominently displayed tourbillon at 9 o’clock (which also tracks the running seconds). And, as if this wasn’t enough, the tourbillon features a constant force mechanism as well. The main set of hands tracks local solar time, while the 24-hour register at 12 o’clock keeps you up to date on the sidereal time (also known as star time). The 96-hours of power reserve in the manually-wound movement are tracked by a retrograde indicator at 4/5 o’clock.
As you can tell, this is a really complex little machine built for the distinct purpose of astronomical measurements. It is housed in a platinum, red gold, or white gold case that comes in at 46mm. This isn’t small by any means, but there is a lot going on.
Last week’s episode of The Man’s Guide to Haute Horlogerie is all about the Constant-Force Tourbillon, and features this amazing watch. Check out the video here.
You can find all the details on this amazing watch here.
-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen
#WednesdayWatchRiddle: Which #IWC watch is this?
#CasebackThursday: #IWC Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde
This week IWC launched it’s latest video series, “The Man’s Guide To Haute Horlogerie.” The first episode, which you can see here, is all about the tourbillon. The tourbillon is one of the best known high complications and it traces its roots back to the eighteenth century. That’s not to say though that watchmakers aren’t still pushing the tourbillon forward into the 21st century.
A great example of this is the Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon. This combines the increased accuracy of the tourbillon with another function-driven complication, the constant-force mechanism. Reference 5900, this watch is impressive on the surface with its 46mm-wide platinum and ceramic construction, but it’s what’s inside that is really the star here.
While many constant-force mechanisms employ an external system to create even power distribution to the escapement, the calibre 94800 movement has the constant-force integrated into the tourbillon itself. Two barrels supply the power for this 96-hour movement that also has a beautiful moonphase complication in addition to the constant-force tourbillon. This is a power-hungry movement, so managing those barrels is a top priority.
The dial has three main features, the tourbillon at 9 o’clock, which rotates once per minute and functions as the seconds hand, the double-moon indicator at 1 o’clock, and the retrograde power reserve down around 4 o’clock. Turning the case over, you can see the manually wound movement, which is one of the most modern looking tourbillons out there.
This is one of those watches that is as impressive visually as it is technically and you should definitely check out all the details here.
-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen
#WednesdayWatchRiddle: How long does it take for the tourbillon in the #IWC Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde to spin around its own axe?
Gianfranco D’Attis, President IWC North America, and Olivier D’Agay, grandnephew of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, then welcomed guests into the pilot’s lounge at the back of the boutique for a special presentation. D’Agay even treated guests to a short reading from the beginning of Le Petit Prince, complete with him showing off the illustrations, before the official unveiling of the two watches, the Mark XVII and the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince,” both of which feature nods to the novella on front and back. The Mark XVII bears a small shooting star on the seconds hand’s counterweight and has the Little Prince himself engraved on the caseback, while the Perpetual Calendar has a special moonphase indicator with the Little Prince as well as the same motif adorning the movement’s winding rotor.
"I love these watches because they really succeed in capturing the spirt of The Little Prince," says D’Agay. "I don’t know how they did this, but we are happy to share the 70 years of Le Petit Prince with everyone here in New York."
Finally, as the presentation closed, guests were invited to join D’Agay and D’Attis for a dinner at Le Grenouille to finish the celebration of the Little Prince’s birth some 70 years ago.
IWC has been partnering with the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation for the better part of a decade. This partnership extends beyond watches to sporting events like the Tortour and others. That’s not to say though that the special editions watches celebrating the partnership aren’t worth closer inspection. Enter the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport For Good Foundation.”
This is the 2013 limited edition produced in partnership with Laureus in only 1000 examples. It has the same in-house calibre 89361 movement inside, which is an automatic chronograph movement with 68-hour power reserve, as the other Yacht Club Chronographs. The chronograph’s counters for hours and minutes are housed in one register at 12 o’clock, meaning you read elapsed time like any other clock or watch dial.
There are some special touches here though. The deep blue dial, red seconds hand, and specially engraved caseback set this apart from the other Yacht Club Chronographs. The engraving is based on a drawing done by a 12 year old from Sri Lanka who won the special contest hosted by the Laureus Foundation just for this purpsoe.
Also, just last week, Laureus Foundation Switzerland hosted a charity auction which raised over 595,000 CHF for children in Switzerland. One of the lots sold that evening was a unique platinum IWC Portuguese minute repeater, further reinforcing this partnership.
You can learn more about the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport For Good Foundation” here.
-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen
#CasebackThursday: #IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”
#IWC Friend of the Brand #KevinSpacey celebrated the 70th anniversary of “The Little Prince” with us at @Harrods giving a reading of the world known novella.
#WednesdayWatchRiddle: Where can you find the Little Prince on this #IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”?