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#DidYouKnow: The minimalist design of the manually wound watch with its two hands was as impressive as the 1.85-millimetre height of its movement. It was the slimmest #IWC movement with shock absorption we ever produced. #IWCWW

#DidYouKnow: The minimalist design of the manually wound watch with its two hands was as impressive as the 1.85-millimetre height of its movement. It was the slimmest #IWC movement with shock absorption we ever produced. #IWCWW

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton Get Unique Ingenieur Chronograph Limited Editions

The 2014 Formula 1 season has been dominated by two drivers, and one team. That team is Mercedes AMG Petronas, and the drivers are Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Between them, they’ve claimed victory in 11 of the 14 races run this season; 7 times the two drivers have finished 1 and 2. Going in to the Singapore race this weekend, each of the drivers are presenting their own, limited edition, Ingenieur Chronograph watches.


Both Nico and Lewis contributed to the design and materials used in their watches, which will be limited to 250 pieces each. Aesthetically, the two watches differ considerably. The Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Lewis Hamilton” features a carbon dial, zirconium oxide screw heads, and titanium bracelet. It is a reflection of the technology at use in his F1 W05 Hybrid car as much as it is of the man himself. Lewis is a former world champion (2008) and is currently in the points lead for the 2015 championship.


The Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Nico Rosberg” sets a formal tone. It features a titanium case and a silver plated dial with yellow and white accents. A stitched leather and calf-skin strap adds a touch of refinement to the overall look. For Nico, it was important to impart “passion and emotion” in his design. Nico Rosberg is currently in second place for the championship, just 3 points behind his teammate, Lewis.


Each of the limited edition Ingenieur Chronograph watches feature a 45mm case and the IWC manufactured caliber 89361. It’s a robust movement with a 68 hour power reserve and a track-worthy flyback chronograph complication. It’s a perfect track day companion with an easily legible dial, and useful timing functionality. You can read an in-depth review of the Ingenieur Chronograph Racer containing the same movement over at HODINKEE, right here.


A final touch is the custom caseback design found on each watch bearing the insignia of the drivers themselves. The casebacks provide the only markings of the watch’s origins, keeping the dial clean and useful throughout. Learn more about each of these special watches right here, and don’t forget to tune in this Sunday to catch both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg race head to head in Singapore.


Recalling Heritage In The IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date


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.


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.


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.


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.