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203 posts tagged IWC

HODINKEE’s Pick: The Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin”


Live from SIHH 2014 we gave you a first look at the entire new Aquatimer collection, including everything from the basic automatic to the digital perpetual calendar. Now we’ve had some time to dig a little deeper and we’d like to give you a closer look at one of our favorite Aquatimer watch, the Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin.”

The guts of the Expedition Charles Darwin are mostly the same as those of the three other special edition chronographs in the collection. The in-house calibre 89365 movement combines an automatic winding system with a 68-hour power reserve and a two-register chronograph. The top register displays the running seconds while the lower register counts up to 60 minutes of elapsed time. The shapes of the hands differ between the two functions, making it easy to differentiate the chronograph from the main time keeping parts of the watch.


What’s most special about the Expedition Charles Darwin is the case. This is the first time IWC has made a watch with a bronze case, chosen here for its connection with 19th century shipbuilding – bronze was a crucial component in ships such as Darwin’s HMS Beagle. It’s 44mm across and the bronze makes the case extremely robust and resistant to corrosion. That said, it will develop a unique patina as the metal is exposed to the elements.


The little details are executed really well here. The rubber strap can be swapped out through the quick-change system, the luminescent material on the hands and markers matches the bronze case, and the pushers and crown have a nice rubber coating. The caseback features a portrait of Charles Darwin too.


Overall, the Expedition Charles Darwin brings something new to the Aquatimer collection without going overboard, keeping the watch extremely wearable. Over time the patina will become personal, meaning it only gets better with age.

-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen

An IWC Love Story in New York

We all know that a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates are the standard, go-to gift for Valentine’s Day. But what happens when a couple can be described as IWC watch enthusiasts? Forget the flowers and candies – for one couple in New York City, Valentine’s Day shopping (really any shopping when gifts are involved) simply involves a trip to the IWC Schaffhausen boutique on Madison Avenue.

Meet Brooklyn-based Peter and Elyssa. Both share a passion for the craftsmanship imparted on IWC watches and know that nothing says “I love you” quite like bringing home that black IWC box.

As a couple, how do you share your passion for watches?
As appreciators and admirers of elegant, classic design, we try to surround ourselves with this concept in every facet of our lives. IWC obviously fits the bill on this front. From a professional perspective, we are both immersed in culture and design, and we can appreciate the value of the stories that surround each watch collection from IWC. From a more practical point of view, both of us are always running late, so it helps that we know that the other one can at least attempt to stay on schedule thanks to IWC.    

What first drew you both to the IWC brand?

Peter: My brother first introduced me to IWC many years ago when he purchased a Big Pilot’s Watch, and I’ve been infatuated ever since. I find that each IWC timepiece is unique and makes for a great conversation starter, especially when the other person knows a thing or two about watches. More importantly, everyone seems to have an emotional tie to their IWC – why they bought it, who gave it to them, and so on. It’s a very personal item to everyone I’ve met.

Elyssa: Peter is responsible for my IWC infatuation. When we started dating, he was sporting the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” piece, and it’s one of the first things I noticed literally on our first date – you can’t miss that blue dial. A fine timepiece really helps pull a look together from a fashion perspective, and I think this applies to my perception of Peter and for watches in general.

Elyssa, although positioned as “Engineered for Men,” what attracts you to IWC watches?
I love when I go into an important meeting or dinner and a man notices my watch. It gives me a little edge, something different. It’s my way of saying “Don’t mess with me! I know my stuff!” For those days, I definitely pull out my Pilot’s Watch Mark XV11. But if I’m heading to a nice dinner or the ballet, you’ll find my Portofino Automatic on my wrist – I have the one with the Milanese Mesh Bracelet, which I find to be very elegant.

How do you both like to style your IWC watches?

Peter: My Portuguese Automatic doesn’t need any help in the styling department. I wear it with everything. My new Portuguese Minute Repeater is something I plan on breaking out for special occasions, with Valentine’s Day being its first official unveiling.

Elyssa: Style for me is about the unique statement that an outfit or accessory can make. It’s about how you mix up different pieces. A timeless watch is the punctuation mark on a great outfit. It tells people right away that you appreciate the details. So in a nutshell, you can say that my IWC strap collection is a little insane. It’s all about color.

Why do you think an IWC watch makes a great gift for Valentine’s Day?
Peter: Gifting an IWC shows you have a deeper understanding and appreciation for watches beyond what’s mainstream. It shows you have taste. In our case, I have the added bonus of knowing that Elyssa loves the brand.

Elyssa: I would respond with “Who wouldn’t think one of these watches would make a great gift?” Forget Valentine’s Day – I encourage Peter to buy me one just because it’s Tuesday.

A Watch For (And With) A Big Date

Friday is a pretty big date – Valentine’s Day. So, to get ready, we’re going to take a last minute look at the Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date. Whether you need the complication to make sure you don’t miss the holiday or you just like it, the Big Date is a modern classic in the making.

Sure, the Portofino Big Date debuted less than a year ago at Watches&Wonders in Hong Kong, but it already feels like a core part of the Portofino collection. It combines the simple case shape with gently curved lugs, classic dial with baton markers, and beautiful leaf shaped hands that tie the entire family together.

It is though the most complicated member of the Portofino family. At 12 o’clock, just below the lone Roman numeral, is the big date complication, which uses two disks to display the two numerals. To the left, just around 9 o’clock is the power reserve indicator for the hand-wound 8-day movement. Down at 6 o’clcok a large sub-seconds register finishes things off. Because of the large dial in the 45mm case, none of this looks crowded or cluttered.

Turning the case over, you’ll find the in-house calibre 59230 movement. The movement is hand-wound, meaning there is no rotor to get in the way of admiring the rest of the mechanics. The large bridges are just short of looking austere, giving little looks at components like the large barrel at 12 o’clock and the balance down at 5 o’clock. When you pull the crown, you’ll see the balance stop along with the small seconds hand on the dial.

Sure, the 45mm size is substantially larger than what you might expect from a relatively dressy watch like the Portofino Big Date, but it does make the watch seem a little more casual. Santoni alligator straps finish off both the red gold and white gold versions of the Big Date, making it perfect for, well, that big date.

-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen