Answer Eight Questions, Win A Trip To The IWC Manufacture In Schaffhausen

From time to time, we like to host a little contest, and who better to team up with than IWC. We are offering one lucky reader an all-expenses paid trip to Schaffhausen, Switzerland to get an inside look at the IWC manufacture. How cool it that?

Of course, a member of the HODINKEE team with join you on your horological adventure. To add a little challenge to the mix, we’ve created an eight-question quiz about all things IWC. If you get all eight questions correct, you’ll be entered into a random drawing for the grand prize.

Want an edge? All you have to do is follow HODINKEE and IWC across social media, where we’ll be giving out clues for the eight IWC trivia questions over the coming week.

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Enter the contest here. Good luck and see you in Schaffhausen!

-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen

Taking To The Skies With The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “JU-AIR”

It’s no secret that IWC has been active in the field of aviation for nearly a century. The earliest Fleiger watches from IWC date to 1936 and they can sell for big money on the vintage market. But it’s not just a vague historical connection here. IWC continues to work in the field, as today’s special edition watch shows. Here we have the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “JU-AIR” to celebrate two decades of preservation.

The Junkers JU-52 is a legendary plane and there are only eight still flying today. One of those has had the IWC logo emblazoned on it since 1994 to show IWC’s support for JU-AIR, the private airline that keeps these aircraft in service. To launch the partnership, three of the JU-52s flew to Venegono, Italy for a ceremony, and in 2000 the IWC plane began a circumnavigational tour to show off the new pilot’s watch line-up.

The watch here commemorates all this in a modified “Spitfire” chronograph – the Spitfire pilot’s watches have bright silver dials instead of the usual black. The JU-AIR is almost entirely monochromatic, save the red seconds hand and arrow for the date display, giving is a really dramatic look. It’s bright and easy to read on the wrist, despite the lack of contrast.

The 43mm stainless steel case has a JU-52 engraved on the back and inside you’ll find the caliber 89365 movement. This movement is a flyback chronograph with 68 hours of power reserve. It’s automatic and has hacking seconds as well.

The Edition JU-AIR is limited to only 500 pieces worldwide. 

-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen

A More Complicated Portofino

The Portofino is known for its simplicity. The family of watches is all about pure lines, legibility, and letting what’s not there speak louder than what is. These are all great traits, but it doesn’t mean you can’t add some complexity to the mix once in a while. The Portofino Chronograph does just that, adding functionality and a little extra style to the otherwise reserved archetype.

The time-only Portofino is about as simple as a watch can get. The Portofino Chronograph carries the same thin baton markers (with lanky Roman numerals at 12 and 6), a cleanly printed minutes/seconds track at the very edge of the dial, and a slim bezel that gives priority to the dial itself. 

What’s new is the chronograph complication. At 12 o’clock you have a 30 minute totalizer with the 12 hour totalizer down at 6 o’clock. A running seconds register at 9 and day and date windows at 3 balance things out. All are cleanly executed.

Looking closely at the dial, you can really see the level of detail IWC has worked into what looks simple at first glance. There are a variety of grained textures as well as the printing and the sunburst finish, giving the dial a great depth. Both dial colors are nice and look good with the red gold case, but the ardoise is especially handsome here. 

As usual there is the Portofino engraving on the caseback, along with the IWC and Portofino signatures. It’s a simple, straightforward way to finish of a watch that balances cleanliness and complexity.

-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen

Laureus Sport For Good Helps Out In Russia With A Portuguese Chronograph Classic

IWC has had a long standing partnership with the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation, hosting events and creating limited edition timepieces that celebrate the foundation’s work and give a little back. Well, today we’ve got news on both fronts for you, with a new Portuguese Chronograph Classic launched after a day of sport in Russia.

The latest Laureus event with IWC was hosted last week in Moscow at a boarding school for intellectually disabled students. The students had the opportunity to play table tennis and basketball with top Russian athletes including gymnast Alexei Nemov and synchronized swimmer Angelika Timanina. After, the new Portuguese Chronograph Classic was revealed, with a case back featuring a drawing from 16-year-old student Masha Nikulina. 

The Portuguese Chronograph Classic “Laureus Sport For Good Foundation” is a limited edition of 1,000 stainless steel watches. Mechanically, they are identical to the previous versions of the Portuguese Chronograph Classic, featuring the caliber 89361, an in-house chronograph movement that uses the nested chronograph totalizers at 12 o’clock. It’s a serious chrono with classic Portuguese styling.

The biggest update here is the rich blue dial that the Laureus watches are known for. It looks particularly striking here, with the silver applied numerals and white printing standing out nicely and the red tip of the chronograph seconds hand adding a little extra contrast.

Finally there is the caseback engraving, a nice reminder that this is a watch doing some good beyond your wrist. 

-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen