#DidyouKnow: This year, #IWC presented a high-tech model with a carbon-fibre case and – for the first time ever – a mirror-polished ceramic bezel: the Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance Ceramic.

#DidyouKnow: This year, #IWC presented a high-tech model with a carbon-fibre case and – for the first time ever – a mirror-polished ceramic bezel: the Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance Ceramic.

IWC Celebrates The Charles Darwin Foundation In New York City

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We’ve told you before about IWC’s support of the Galapagos Islands and the Charles Darwin Foundation, as well as the special edition Aquatimer to celebrate the Foundation’s 50th anniversary, but today we have another part of this story for you. Not only does IWC directly support the Charles Darwin Foundation, but it also empowers its fans to do so too.

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Last week IWC hosted a dinner in New York City (and two in the Los Angeles area) to connect collectors and media with the mission in the Galapagos. Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation, Swen Lorenz, was present and our associate editor, Stephen Pulvirent, moderated a short discussion with Lorenz about the goals of the CDF, how to responsibly visit the Galapagos, and how to get involved in other ways.

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Lorenz shared an important message, asking guests to please visit, but to visit responsibly. Without tourism and without spreading the love of the Galapagos Islands, conservation would be missing out on many opportunities to engage in important projects, such as the shark tagging supported by IWC.

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Also launched last week was a series of membership programs that allow anyone, anywhere in the world, to support the Galapagos from a distance. The membership levels begin at $20 to Adopt a Species and go up to the $1,000 Benefactor level, which includes VIP access if you do make your way to the Islands. 

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You can learn more on IWC’s Facebook page and you can sign up for the various membership programs here.

-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen

Deep Dive with an IWC Collector: Paul Miles

In May, IWC launched the four week series Deep Dive with an IWC Collector, with the title serving as an homage to the Year of the Aquatimer. 

Over the last three weeks we’ve met serious IWC timepiece aficionados. From Adam Craniotes' love for his Top Gun Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar, Jemuel Ripley’s fascination with the history of the Ingenieur and Dr. Jay Kerner’s passion for diving and the watches he associates with this hobby, we’ve met three individuals that each bring a unique perspective to the world of watch collecting.

In the fourth and final week of the series, Paul Miles is our featured collector. Originally from London but calling Brooklyn home since 2008, Paul spends his days working on Wall Street. However, his evenings are spent curating an extensive watch collection and finding comfort in the fact that he’s not the only guy who spends his days thinking of calibres, case backs and the perfect strap. 
 
Q. What first sparked your interest with timepieces? 

I can’t believe I’m going to admit to this, but it was a fake watch that started it all. I was around 11 years old, when I saw a sporty looking timepiece on my cousin’s wrist at a family event. At the time, obviously, I had no idea what it was. All I knew, was that it was one of the coolest things I had ever seen, and I was obsessed by it. Pretty soon after that, I had saved enough of my allowance to purchase a watch, which was followed a couple of years later by a bright colored Swatch. Things only got more serious from there. Watches have been a major passion of mine for 20 years now, which makes me feel both proud, and old.

Q. Which IWC timepiece is your favorite? Why? 

I wear my Big Pilot 5004 nearly every day, but I’d have to say the Pilot’s Chronograph was the first answer which sprang to mind. The 3717-01 was my first ‘real’ mechanical watch, so there is undoubtedly a sentimental aspect to my answer, but aside from that, it’s just a fantastically well designed watch which really captures the spirit of the Pilot’s collection, at an accessible price point. The thin bezel makes for a dial that is so clean, classic, and legible, yet with design flourishes to make it interesting to look at. On the current model, the 3777, I particularly love the expansion of the date window, which is a brilliant way of furthering the aeronautical aspect of the design, by capturing one of the defining features of an Altimeter. A simple change, which says so much. Aside from the aesthetics of the piece, I also love the rotor ‘wobble’ of the movement - a gentle reminder of the mechanical ‘heart’ powering the watch.
 
Q. What do you think makes a timeless watch, in terms of design and appeal? 

Put simply, I believe that a timeless a watch is one which maintains the DNA of the brand, yet can be constantly pushed forward, whether in terms of the design, the materials used, or the complications of the piece. I believe that IWC really understand this and are one of the best in the business at pushing the boundaries whilst still creating watches which maintain the heritage of the brand, making them easily recognizable as coming from Schaffhausen. If I could jump into my DeLorean, rev it to 88mph and head 100 years into the future, I know I would have no trouble recognizing an IWC watch from the crowd. There are not many brands I could say that about. It is no coincidence that despite being primarily a vintage collector, I am equally enthused by both modern and vintage IWC.

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

I’ve always enjoyed IWC’s boldness in terms of the materials they use, so I’d start with a case made of an exotic material, such as Ceramic or Titanium. For the dial, I’d include the clean design and legibility which I mentioned as being a key part of my devotion to the Pilot’s collection. I’d borrow the all-encompassing display back from the Portuguese Automatic, so I could watch the Pellaton winding system in action. Finally, I’d include a functional, yet interesting complication, such as a rattrapante chronograph. In other words, it would be a perfect blend of everything I love about IWC: functionality, style, and heritage.

The Portofino Chronograph Gets A Tan Just In Time For Summer

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The Portofino Chronograph has been a classic part of the IWC line-up for some time now. And while there have been a few dial and strap choices, the Portofino chrono has only been available in stainless steel. Not any more. Just in time for summer, the Portofino Chronograph is now available in a rich red gold case that goes great with a tan.

The Portofino Chronograph serves as the entry-level, all-purpose chronograph in IWC’s collection. The case design combines a dressier aesthetic with a sporty 42mm size that make the Portofino appropriate in almost all circumstances – an alligator strap makes it perfect for a night out, while a nylon NATO can take it to the beach.

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This combination of formal and casual looks carries over to the dial as well. The three-register chronograph has a 12-6-9 layout, with the 30-minute totalizer up top, the 12-hour totalizer at the bottom, and a small running seconds register at 9 o’clock. Balancing things out are two windows for the day and the date at 3 o’clock. The dial shows a lot of information while retaining a legible and even look.

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The new red gold Portofino Chronograph is definitely a bit more refined than its stainless steel counterparts (especially with the dark ardoise dial). It’s more sporty dress watch than dress sport watch, but it will make a great companion for that long summer holiday.

-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen

Deep Dive with an IWC Collector: Dr. Jay Kerner


Two weeks ago, IWC launched a 4 part series entitled Deep Dive with an IWC Collector, where each week the IWC Blog introduces a U.S.-based collector to our online audience.

In its first week, collector Adam Craniotes was featured, and last week, 
Jemuel Ripley was introduced. For week 3, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Jay Kerner to the series. 

Considering that 2014/2015 is the Year of the Aquatimer, Dr. Kerner is a perfect IWC collector to highlight, as his main interests include the ocean and dive watches, as well as tiki bars, though not necessarily in that order.

Q. What first sparked your interest with timepieces? 

As a beach lifeguard in my youth, a ‘waterproof’ dive watch was de riguer.  They were about twelve dollars and lasted nearly the whole summer, so I was rarely without one on my wrist.  Many years later, at a jewelry flea market in Florida, I spotted an inexpensive diver, which brought back those memories, and here I am today with more watches than any sane man requires. 

Q. 
Which IWC timepiece is your favorite? Why?
 

While I’m a huge fan of IWC in general, there are two pieces that I’m particularly fond of: the Aquatimer GST ref. 3536 in titanium and the Fleigerchrono ref. 3705 in ceramic.  Why? I think it’s the combination of vintage vibes and the nod to modernity that they embody; the 3536 and 3705 hark back to the early days of divers and Fleigers, both in design and function, and yet also point the way to the future.


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

IWC, in an excellent example of forward thinking, was an early adopter of titanium as a material for use in watch cases and bracelets, which debuted with their Porsche Design collaborations in the late 70s and early 80s, and was further refined in the ref. 3536 Aquatimer; the latter’s innovative push-to-turn bezel alone was worth the price of admission. And speaking of casework, the ceramic cased 3705 was near futuristic. Sure, ceramic cases are approaching the mainstream now, but in the mid-90’s they were quite exotic. Talk about anticipating the market! 

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

My design preferences would include clarity, robustness, an interesting case design and an interesting movement.  Ideally, it would blend together elements from the past and the present, which is a hallmark of IWC’s timeless designs. Clearly it would be a watch for a man!