A Busy Week for IWC Charitable Partner Laureus Sport For Good

Here at IWC Schaffhausen we are proud of our charitable commitments around the world, and especially endeavored towards our efforts in support of the Laureus Sport for Good program, whose global programs help children in need engage in social and athletic activities. This past week was quite newsworthy for the Laureus Foundation and we wanted to share all of the activities with you!

We’ve previously shared the news of a worldwide contest, where children could submit design entries which would be engraved on the back of a limited Portofino Chronograph Laureus edition watch.

Olympian Steve Redgrave presenting Kumara with her prize

This year the competition was won by a eight year old Sri Lankan girl – and just this week she had an unparalleled experience, when Kumara Wadu Parami Apsara was presented her winning prize by Olympian and Laureus World Sports Academy Member Steve Redgrave.

As Redgrave explained after presenting the award: “You could see the delight in her eyes and the pride in what she had achieved. It’s wonderful to think that the drawing she has made will travel around the world on the back of this watch and raise money to help other youngsters like her.”

Meanwhile on the other side of the world (and in IWC Schaffhausen’s home country), Laureus Switzerland held a fundraising auction, raising more than 350,000 EUR. This included a 140,000 CHF (116,000 EUR) IWC watch, an unique timepiece that not only embodies the craftsmanship of IWC but brings to its wearer the embodiment of philanthropy. The auction also included a trip to the Laureus World Sports Awards 2013 – to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

An amazing timepiece auctioned for an equally amazing cause, benefitting Laureus Switzerland

From honoring a young Sri Lankan girl’s artistic pursuits, to providing needed funds for children in Switzerland the Laureus Foundation is truly committed to bettering the lives of young people around the world. And we, at IWC Schaffhausen, are proud to partner with them in this quest. 

For the Sophisticated Sportsman: the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph

This past summer we brought you play-by-play updates from the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, and especially the thrilling experience of Abu Dhabi Racing’s entrant Azzam. Sailing on the open water: potentially harsh conditions, constant spray, and punishing winds – it requires a timepiece to withstand it all. We believe the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph stands up to such a test, and more, and so wanted to share some of its traits with you.

The IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chrono ready for action

While this exquisite timepiece is inspired by Yacht Club designs from the 1960’s to 1970’s there has never been a chronograph included in the lineage. Additionally, this is the only member of our IWC Portuguese watch family with a rubber strap – creating what we consider the perfect marriage of sophistication and sportsmanship.

Unique with its rubber strap, making this watch the necessary outdoor accessory

With a water resistance to six bar, the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph is ready for any nautical adventure, and the additional flange with quarter-second calibration allows for the tracking of short periods of time. Laps, heats, or speed of descent is all monitored closely.

The ability to track short or long times makes this a versatile timepiece

The 89360-calibre provides self-winding precision and boats an impressive 68 hour power reserve. Given that the chronograph feature allows you to read off especially long time measurements, the power reserve can definitely come in use!

But back to the aforementioned race. As it turns out we issued a Volvo Ocean Race Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph edition in honor of the crew of the Azzam and the other entrants in this year’s competition. Produced in titanium, with a carbon fiber dial, it represented the pinnacle of durability.

The collection of IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronos

In addition to the special edition titanium, we offer this incredible watch in stainless steel and red gold, all with the rubber band. Before your next sailing excursion or even a rambunctious day in town, be sure to discover the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph.

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. 

Reel Stories Real Lives: A Star Studded Evening

While we share with you interesting stories from around the world, we tend to stay away from the paparazzi. But this week the klieg lights were on in Hollywood, California and IWC was there to support a great cause. The occasion was the 2nd Annual Reel Stories Real Lives event, and IWC Schaffhausen was a participating sponsor.

Master of Ceremonies Russell Brand

This star studded occasion benefited the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which provides financial and other forms of support for veterans of the industry. The MPTF is a non-profit organization that relies on corporate and personal sponsorship to fund these vital programs. 

Actor Armie Hammer arriving at the event

On October 20th, this year’s 2012 Reel Stories Real Lives paid tribute to the Next Generation of Entertainment Industry Leaders and actor and comedian Russell Brand served as master of ceremonies. Hosted at Milk Studios, event attendees included Jon Favreau, Armie Hammer, Chris Pratt, Keanu Reeves, and Jon Hamm.

Jon Hamm at the 2nd Anual Reel Stories Real Lives benefit

When asked why it was important to raise money for MPTF, Hamm noted: “It takes care of the people that can’t really take care of themselves”. We are proud to partner with such an altruistic organization and worthy cause.

Image Source: Zimbio

A Re-Imagined Classic: The Vintage Collection Portofino Hand Wound

Classic and timeless designs, reinterpreted with today’s technical innovations. That was the vision behind the IWC Vintage Collection – one piece from each of our six watch families, inspired by the original facets that made it famous.

Portofino photographed in vintage black and white beauty

The Vintage Collection Portofino Hand Wound is a member of this special class, produced in limited quantities for those fascinated by the original. In fact the idea for the first Portofino Hand Wound was born at an IWC company holiday dinner in the late 1970’s, driven by the discussion that there was still and would always be a place for exquisitely crafted hand wound timepieces. As with many now renowned design ideas, this one was sketched on a scrap of paper.

The re-imagined Vintage Collection Portofino Hand Wound, in Platinum

As they discussed and sketched, similarities to a pocket watch emerged. And in the end what was drawn on that paper birthed what was known as Reference 5251, or the wrist pocket watch. Configuring a traditional pocket watch design to a wrist watch required some maneuvering – the placement of the seconds hand, and the addition of a moon phase display. The result though was innovative and breathtaking and led Portofino to become one of the most popular of the IWC watch families.

One mainstay here at IWC Schaffhausen is to respect our heritage while looking forward. So when we created the Vintage Collection Portofino Hand Wound we used advances in technology and design to make a few changes.

The updated placement of the moon phase display, with increased accuracy

To start, the placement of the second and moon phase displays were moved to the traditional 12 and 6 o’clock positions (from their original placement at 9 and 3). The movement, while based on the original Jones calibre, has also been modified (with the use of the 98000 calibre family) to improve the accuracy of the moon phase display. It now deviates just one day per 122 years from the progress of the moon: a subtle change with incredible results.

Vintage Collection Portofino Hand Wound, showing the movement and engraved family name

Offered in platinum (limited quantities), white gold, rose gold, and stainless steel, there are options for any connoisseur to join the Portofino family and pay homage to the days (and holiday dinners) that began it all.

The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph: A Tribute to Saint-Exupéry

Man’s fascination with defying gravity and exploring the skies is as long as time. There have been many pioneers and enthusiasts in the field of aviation, and one in particular that we at IWC continue to pay tribute to is French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

As an air mail pilot over the Saharan desert

It was 100 years ago that twelve year old Saint-Exupéry took his first flight, an experience that would lead him to a life of exploration and imagination as he circled the globe. After serving as a pilot in the French Army Air Force, he began conducting air mail delivery to far flung locations in the Saharan desert. Flying this service in the late 1920’s involved combating desert sandstorms, navigating unknown routes, and encountering local cultures unknown to many.

Saint-Exupéry, 1930

With a nod to the avid pursuit of his dreams and his passion for adventure, we at IWC took the anniversary of Saint-Exupéry’s first flight to release the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A limited edition red gold version was released last Spring, but the latest comes in stainless steel, serving as a nod to the glistening nose of the aircraft he flew.

The special edition Pilot’s Watch Chronograph, in stainless steel

A tobacco-colored dial and calfskin strap harken the well-known Saint-Exupéry image, for those acutely familiar with our previous tributes to the flying ace. A sun pattern finish on the dial speaks to that bright spot in the sky guiding the pilot’s way;  the anti reflective coating on the watch’s face ensures the sun will not interfere with using the instrument.

The back of the Chrono showing the engraved Lightning P-38

With a 89361-calibre movement the Chronograph can display long periods of time on one subdial, a necessity for aviators. And the back is etched with a tribue to Saint-Exupéry and the last aircraft he ever flew, the Lightning P-38. Leaving on a World War II reconnaissance mission in 1944 he never returned. It was not until 2003 that the wreckage was recovered in the waters near Marseille.

We hope you enjoy this special timepiece, as it is a showcase of our admiration for Antoine Saint-Exupéry, and for all those who have come after him in an attempt to conquer the skies.