The Man’s Guide to Buying a Watch: Episode 1

When you are thinking of purchasing a handcrafted timepiece, what questions do you ask yourself: what functions am I looking for, what are the main differences between designs, or how does it fit with my lifestyle? Deciding on a watch can be difficult, and knowing that the IWC man always strives to be well informed, we wanted to help.

This week we launch the first episode in a series entitled The Man’s Guide to Buying a Watch. With these episodes we will introduce you to the key characteristics around the IWC family of timepieces, and discuss a few of the considerations one should make when reviewing the options.

To help explain and provide insight we will also use IWC team members involved in the design and production of our products, as well as bloggers and other watch aficionados. It is a top notch roster delivering top notch advice. The inaugural episode delves into the technical intricacies of an IWC watch – the movement.

The inner workings of each timepiece, and what maintains its precision, is the movement or calibre. As Michael Friedberg, moderator of the IWC Collector’s Forum, explains: “there are between 175 to 500 little pieces” each of them having to work in complete harmony. We are also fortunate to have Ben Clymer executive editor of watch blog Hodinkee (and IWC Globetrotter) host each episode, lending his authoritative voice to the topic.

In Episode 1 he starts by sharing his idea that “a mechanical watch is the perfect balance of art, style, and engineering.” Taking this idea further Friedberg noted that while there may often be a focus on the visible design: “watches can be beautiful – but they are also beautiful inside”.

Watch, learn and enjoy this first part of the series, and be sure to return for more details, stories, and tips from watch experts here in Schaffhausen and beyond. 

A Report from the Goodwood Revival: Vintage Cars, Watches, and More

This week,  we catch up with IWC friend Ben Clymer of watch blog Hodinkee, as he reports from the annual Goodwood Revival Festival- known to be the “largest assembling of fine vintage automobiles on planet Earth”.

Held 60 miles outside of London in a town called Chichester, Goodwood Revival is an immense showcase of finely crafted and exquisitely maintained vintage automobiles, and,  as organizers put it, is the place to “revel in the glamour and allure of motor racing”. The event focused this year on the peak of racing, between the years 1948 – 1966.

Ferrari GTO’s, Rolls Royce, and even Mercedes Benz iconic Silver Arrows participated and were featured in the event’s circuit. Adrenaline ran through the air, as the sound of mighty motors roared during the Festival’s three days.

Cars on display at the 2012 Goodwood Revival (image courtesy Goodwood Revival)

In addition to the cars on display, festival participants were encouraged to dress the part and “leave the modern world behind”- with the style suggested called “Fancy Dress”. Event goers gladly acquiesced, and as a result,  there was a good deal of tweed, racing caps, fur, and hats about. 

Traditional tweed on display at the event (photo courtesy Hodinkee)

In addition to motor-ready attire, attendees brought out their finest timepieces, including a number of beautifully maintained IWC watches. As Ben Clymer documented in Hodinkee, this made for “absolutely epic watch spotting”.

A vintage IWC timepiece photographed by Ben Clymer (photo courtesy Hodinkee)

The same thread runs through the admiration for a well-crafted automobile and a well-crafted watch: both are a sophisticated pursuit for those who seek authenticity, innovation, and respect for tradition.

Another fantastic vintage IWC spotted at the Revival (photo courtesy Hodinkee)

We look forward to more reports from Ben Clymer, as he seeks out interesting and rare timepieces, and stay tuned as we continue to report on more global IWC journeys.

An Evening with IWC’s New York City Globetrotters

With the opening of the IWC Flagship Boutique in New York City last month, we at IWC wanted to be a part of the city: to learn about the community, its neighborhoods, and inhabitants. To get the insider’s view, we partnered with local Globetrotters: IWC men, who seek out the world’s most unique experiences and attractions. Before the boutique (our largest worldwide) even opened, we asked these Globetrotters about their favorite parts of the city, where they liked to go, and where they found inspiration.

The exterior of the NYC Flagship boutique

Their responses definitely provided a journey through the city, now housed proudly on iwc.com in a dedicated page called MY NEW YORK. Evan Orensten of Cool Hunting suggested we try burgers at Shake Shack.  We looked at the handmade razors at Min Apothecary after Hodinkee’s Ben Clymer recommendation. And we checked out some new specs with Warby Parker founder Neil Blumenthal. But one thing we know is that the IWC man never rests, and so that was only the beginning.

NYC Globetrotters Josh Spear, Evan Orensten, Neil Blumenthal

On June 13 our NYC Globetrotters and honored guests converged on the Madison Avenue boutique for an evening of conversation, story swapping, and more. Displayed in the store’s second floor was a visual tribute to the great boxer Muhammad Ali. Photos taken by his friend (and personal photographer) Howard Bingham were on display for the Globetrotters and guests to see. They showed an intimate portrait of a true sporting legend.

<!—[if !supportEmptyParas]—>Kevin Ryan (Gilt Groupe CEO) and Ben Clymer of Hodinkee, at the event

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IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar Timepieces on display in the NYC Flagship

Just as Muhammad Ali’s passion was boxing, and Howard Bingham’s was photography, we enjoy learning about the passions of IWC customers and fans around the world, and about how they feel about the Big Apple. As Surface Magazine Editor-In-Chief (and NYC Globetrotter) Dan Rubinstein put it: “People move here (New York City) from all over the country—and the world—to follow their dreams. It sounds cliché, I know, but it’s really true.”

NYC Globetrotter Dan Rubinstein at the Globetrotter Event

We can’t wait to hear more from our men about town (and the world), as we take the IWC Globetrotter series to new IWC cities to come.


IWC NYC Flagship: A Blog Review & Roundup

The IWC Flagship Boutique in New York City has now been open for two weeks, and so far it has been an exciting run. We took you behind the scenes of the grand opening, but thought you might like to see our newest store through some other eyes. Here we’ve brought you recaps from a few of our favorite blogs & media, bringing their perspective on our Madison Avenue location.

Exterior boutique shot (source: A Continuous Lean)

Swipelife starts off with a bold declaration: “New Yorkers no longer have an excuse not to tell time in style…”. They go on to describes how the store offers opportunities to keep time and to forget about it with “a space for browsing what could be (and probably should be) passed as fine art.” Definitely not something you find in most retailers!

IWC friend Ben Clymer (and IWC NYC Globetrotter) at Hodinkee expands on this idea, that there are “types of boutiques that are cramped and cluttered with nothing but rows of watches and uninspired ‘brand extension’ accessories…The new IWC boutique in NYC is anything but this.” His coverage also describes how entering the NYC store is like “you’ve entered someone’s home (someone’s really nice, nautical-theme home).” Clymer comments on the accessories that accompany each of the themed areas of the store, including chess sets (for the Da Vinci collection), flight jackets (a natural nod to the Top Gun series), and as NY Mag noted “a remote-controlled airplane” which they describe as “fancy dude toys”. 

Some of the accessories accompanying the Da Vinci Collection (source: Hodinkee)

Another incredible item on offer — a carbon fiber road bike (source: A Continuous Lean)

What these descriptions help to convey is the idea that this flagship boutique is just like entering a home — our home, and that we want to ensure you find items to complement every part of your global lifestyle: bicycles, books, luggage, and more. And in addition to finding exquisite and unique items for purchase, the boutique also offers that “Anyone needing service on their watch can easily drop by the new shop to be tuned, inspected or repaired, a convenience not overlooked.” 

The store entrance & first collection area (source: Hodinkee)

That observation, from Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean (also featured as an IWC NYC Globetrotter), is an important distinction in the level of service offered to IWC customers. Williams goes on to note that the store is “a welcome addition for IWC owners, non-owners and obsessives alike.” We open the doors any and all of these distinctions and offer them the Swiss hospitality and service one has come to expect from IWC Schafhaussen.

Stay tuned for more stories and insights from the New York store, and follow us in the near future as we travel to new global destinations that will soon host an IWC boutique of their own!

SIHH 2012: A Blogger Recap

It was a fair to remember. SIHH (Salon International d’Haute Horlogerie) 2012 saw IWC’s full release of the brand new Pilot’s Collection, a show booth built like an aircraft carrier, celebrities and global watch aficiandos. For those of you who couldn’t be there, we wanted to share a few of the kind words bloggers, journalists, and editors from around the world had to say about IWC’s presence at this historic show.

Even before SIHH, Gear Patrol commended the new Top Gun Miramar as a highlight of our aviation theme for the year. Picking up on this early, Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean kicked off his coverage of SIHH by sharing that the first “serious” watch he ever bought was an IWC Portuguese Automatic, and he went on to divulge that the Top Gun Miramar has been added to his list of desired timepieces. Mr Porter chimed in on their Journal about the Miramar, calling in their “pick of the bunch” amongst our new releases.

The Top Gun also received accolades from Classic Driver, which named it one of the best at SIHH. Esquire Magazine reported their excitement on the fighter jet and military drumline IWC used to launch the High Flyers theme, and they found the Top Gun Chronograph to be their favored timepiece of the show. Other watches were commended. For example, to our delight, Monochrome captured the Marc XVII, Hypebeast touted the whole pilot’s range overall, and Ariel Adams’ A Blog To Read and captured all major novelties in a spectacular post.

Another new release at SIHH was the Pilot’s Watch Worldtime, which Por Homme noted offers a display of 24 time zones simultaneously and a 42 hour power reserve. Impressive credentials from another member of the Pilot’s collection! Sharing SIHH updates with watch enthusiasts across the globe, Philippine Watch Club captured some great photos of the IWC Big Pilot and Pilot’s Chronograph.

Big Pilot and Pilot Chronograph courtesy Philippine Watch Club

Ben Clymer of renowned watch site Hodinkee was also in attendance and described the show’s ability to “distort your horological reality”. This was said as he held two IWC Portuguese Siderale’s in his hand; watches of such exquisite craftmanship, that the photo must have induced jealousy in many of his readers.

Ben Clymer holding two IWC Portuguese Siderale’s

As mentioned above, the watches weren’t the only highlight of the show. The setting they were displayed in got some top billing as well. Breitling Source Blog's description of it as an “incredible looking display” was backed up with images and video of the booth's construction (no easy feat). Creating a miniature aircraft carrier in Geneva was only the first part — an air control tower and a military drumline (as tweeted by Eugene Tong of Details Magazine) were also on hand to round out the Top Gun setting. The settings were appreciated by blogger Fashion Estasi in Italy, and our star-studded Top Gun gala event blogged about in popular European blog Sandra’s Closet.

The making of the IWC booth at SIHH 2012

We were thrilled to launch this exciting new collection in IWC’s storied stable of timepieces, and even more excited to play host to so many brand fans from far and wide. But even though SIHH 2012 has closed, there are many more exciting events coming… be sure to stay tuned here.

Best wishes from Schaffhausen.