Celebrating its 150th Anniversary, IWC will be unveiling 27 new timepieces during the SIHH —Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie— in January 2018. With new watches within the Portugieser, Portofino, Pilot's and Da Vinci collections, IWC marks this occasion, also launching its first-ever wristwatch to feature the original digital hours and minute display as it appeared on the Pallweber pocket watches back in 1884. Founded in 1868 by American watchmaking pioneer Florentine Ariosto Jones, the International Watch Company in Schaffhausen was established with the aim of combining skilled Swiss craftsmanship with American manufacturing technology to create the best pocket watches money could buy back then.
One aesthetic element all these timepieces share is their imprinted dial in white or blue, an effect that is achieved by a process of applying several layers of lacquer, reminiscent of heritage enameled finishes. “In a long and complex process, these dials are coated with up to 12 layers of high-quality lacquer, flat-polished, brushed and then imprinted several times. We drew our inspiration from the unusual aesthetic appeal of the enameled dials used for the historic Pallweber watches,” explains Christian Knoop, Creative Director at IWC Schaffhausen.
The watches with a white dial have blued hands, while those with a blue dial have rhodium-plated hands. Further inspiration for the imprinted dials and blue hands came from the first Portugieser models, Reference IW325, from 1939. All the watches in the collection are fitted with black alligator leather straps. Each model also bears the Anniversary medallion “150 Years”, either as a medallion or as an engraving.
But IWC’s first-ever watch to feature jumping numerals in a digital display are one of the special highlights of the Jubilee collection. Showing the hours and minutes in large numerals on rotating discs. IWC was already using this form of time display in pocket watches back in 1884; the display was a revolutionary development in its time. The IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition
“150 Years” ref. IW505002 comes in an 18K red gold case, a white dial with a lacquered finish, white display discs, and a blued seconds hand and available in a limited edition of 250 pieces. As a reference to the design of the historic Pallweber watches and a tribute to F. A. Jones, the apertures of the digital display are labelled as “Hours” and “Minutes”.
Additionally, there are a few other remarkable watches that are being launched as part of this jubilee collection of pieces that include the Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “150 Years” ref. IW590202 —first picture— and the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition “150 Years” ref. IW504501 combining a perpetual calendar with a tourbillon on the dial for the first time, amongst others.
Full hands-on reviews, pricing and live pictures coming up in January 2018 as we report live from the SIHH 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Sticker Price $13,200 USD. For more info on IWC click here.