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229 posts tagged IWC

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. 

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!

Deep Dive with an IWC Collector: Jemuel Ripley

Beginning last week, IWC kicked off a four week blog series which highlights a U.S. collector. As an homage to the Year of the Aquatimer, we’re calling it Deep Dive with an IWC Collector. 

For the second post in the series, we sat down with Jemuel Ripley, a member of New York City’s watch club known as the Red Bar Crew.

Q. What first sparked your interest with watches?

In the mid 90’s, I was walking through a department store where I noticed a watch display - the sheer size and weight of the pieces, along with their seemingly huge design features, caught my eye. At the time, I could never imagine spending that much money on a watch or having a watch that large. Almost two decades later, I finally made the leap and purchased my first luxury watch. That’s really where it all began.

Q. Which IWC timepiece is your favorite? Why?

A tough question for sure. I only buy watches that I truly love and intend to keep as long as I can. I’m not the type to flip watches and get pretty attached to them.  If I had to choose one IWC as favorite it would have to be my 3227-01. The Ingenieur is a perfect balance of design and engineering that looks incredible on its robust, yet refined, steel bracelet. It also looks great on a custom strap. I can wear it for a business meeting or a weekend out and about and never have to think about it fitting in contextually. I also just love the weight of the piece - a massive beast.

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

Great design is timeless - it just works. IWC is one of those brands that understands that and isn’t afraid to push the envelope and experiment. So many pieces in the IWC stable are based on great design and evoke a timeless quality, which is a major reason why I love the brand and my collection. I plan to wear them forever and hand them over to my son so that he can continue to wear them, knowing that their timeless quality will endure.

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

One of the things that I have always loved is a really well done chronograph - not too flashy but with an engineering flair that just looks technical. The 3714-01 is a great example of this and one of the reasons I love the piece. Another great technical feature is the internal rotating bezel of the 3538 with it’s decoupling feature at 10M.  I also love AR coatings and the way it changes the perceived color of the face depending on the angle and the light. There are so many more features to consider but these are just a few that come to mind. 

Deep Dive with an IWC Collector: Adam Craniotes

For the next four weeks, IWC will highlight a U.S. collector in an ongoing series – as an homage to the Year of the Aquatimer – known as Deep Dive with an IWC Collector.

The inaugural Q&A features Adam Craniotes, a New York City-based IWC collector and self-described “gentleman journalist” for the watch industry. He also hosts a weekly gathering for collectors in the tri-state area. Most importantly, Mr. Craniotes can say that since he was 8 years old, he has never gone a single day without a timepiece on his left wrist.  

Q. What first sparked your interest with timepieces?

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a special place in my heart for watches, but this yen didn’t metastasize into full-blown obsession until I was 8 years old, when my grandfather bought me my first timepiece, a Casio F-7.  That watch was the first of many Casios that I would own throughout grade school, middle school and high school, and while I have since “graduated” to higher end mechanical pieces, I still have a soft spot for Casio digital watches.  In fact, I found another F-7 on eBay several years back and gave it to my son on his third birthday.  Now my first watch is his first watch (he’s going to have to wait a bit for that Father & Son Pilot’s watch set, though).  

Q. Which IWC timepiece is your favorite? Why?

From IWC’s contemporary lineup, my flat-out favorite piece is the Top Gun Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar.  For me, it represents everything that I love about IWC – innovation, heritage, design – all wrapped up in a single package.  Innovation?  IWC pioneered the use of both ceramic and titanium in watches, and both materials are present in this watch.  Heritage?  Mention “pilot’s watch” to any collector or watch fanatic, and the Big Pilot is the first watch that springs to mind.  Design?  Kurt Klaus, one of the most famous watchmakers of our age, a living legend, and a man whose name is all but synonymous with IWC, was the driving mind behind the 7-day c.5000 series movement and the pre-programmed perpetual calendar complication that powers this watch.  This watch, in a nutshell, is IWC.

Another piece that moves me is the now-classic ref. 3227-01 Ingenieur, which was released in 2005.  This watch took the iconic Gerald Genta-designed Ingenieur SL “Jumbo”, and modernized it with a larger, more robust case and a new, CAD-designed shock-resistant movement (another industry first), the c.80110.  Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of watches would instantly recognize it as having come from Schaffhausen.  I’ve owned mine for years, and I love it as much today as when I first put it on my wrist.   

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

A lot of what makes a watch timeless depends on the intent and purpose of the watch to begin with.  The aforementioned Big Pilot works at 48mm, because that’s what it is – namely, a “big” pilot’s watch.  However, 48mm won’t cut it on a proper dress watch, now will it?  Of course not. Ultimately form has to follow function, and with IWC, this has always been the case.  An Ingenieur for engineers, a Big Pilot for airmen, an Aquatimer for divers, etc; each of these lines was designed to fill a need, and by following this lead, the end result has been a series of iconic watches that accurately reflect their purpose without shouting.

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

In many ways, the TGBPPC is the watch that I would design for “my” IWC.  It has all the elements that make this manufacture so special, and frankly, it never fails to put a smile on my face when I glance at my wrist.  Again, what are these elements?  Innovation, heritage and design.  As a manufacture, IWC doesn’t create watches for sake of creating watches; there’s a harmony of purpose and design at work that few other brands have mastered to quite this degree, and it’s what keeps me coming back year after year.