When IWC debuted a redesigned Portugieser Chronograph Classic in 2013 with Ref. 3904, it did so well after SIHH that year, when the brand focused attention on its much broader Ingenieur re-launch. Four years later, IWC has again tweaked the storied Portugieser Chronograph Classic with Ref. 3903, with what it calls an ‘updated’ design, an attribute that at first glance seems like a strange direction for a watch named Classic.
Local fans and Boston watch enthusiasts joined them to view the newest collection at the store right in the heart of the city located on 39 Newbury Street. Boston’s Premier retailer, Shreve, Crump & Low celebrated the launch of the 2016 IWC Pilot’s Collection.
IWC Schaffhausen Collection
“Man is free at the instant he wants to be,” wrote Voltaire, the eighteenth century philosopher and founder of Manufacture Royale in 1770. The Manufacture Royale 1770 Haute Voltige is designed as an aspiration to freedom, with an easy-to-set independent second time zone and a raised balance wheel atop the dial.
When other teams field superior chassis, engine, and aerodynamic packages, a Formula One driver always can blame his inferior equipment for a bad result. But what of that guy in the same pit stall driving an identical car? No excuses.
In auto racing, your teammate is your first and fiercest rival. He’s the one you must beat at all costs.
While it seems like there’s no way that would ever happen, I did get my paws on the MBII White they launched this year to see what it was like for a week-long adventure. The destination was Puerto Rico and the end game was a mix of beachside relaxation and some overdue time back on a surfboard. How would it fare?
Arranged in a semi-circle at the top of the dial are the month, date and day of the week. Inside this 46mm red gold watch is the IWC Caliber 52850 with twin barrels strong enough to deliver the higher torque needed to drive the annual calendar’s three display discs. In addition, when fully wound, the two barrels supply enough energy for a full week’s power reserve. The watch’s gold rotor pays homage to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Little Prince by engraving his likeness as if standing on his tiny asteroid (the rotor) and staring at the heavens. The first such calendar within any of IWC’s pilots collections, the Big Pilot Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Let Petit Prince” features the three-window annual calendar that made waves when it debuted last year on the Portugieser collection.
Directly inspired from the 1948 Mark 11 watch, the new entry level IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII is a watch that the brand says is “reduced to essentials.” A simple three hand watch designed for maximum legibility, the piece is a welcome addition to the Pilot Watch line. It’s simple, still a handsome base IWC designed for maximum legibility is my idea of simplicity at its best.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the IWC Pilot’s Watch as well as the line’s revamping for SIHH 2016, and the brand seems intent on tapping into its quite illustrious history. And the new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch is not getting any major redesign, however there are several aesthetic changes that general work well and succeed in tapping into said history. Also, you’ve got the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph, which has some design changes of its own being made to “freshen” up the look by, somewhat ironically, looking to the past for visual cues.
At the IWC watches booth at SIHH 2016, the theme will be all about pilot watches with two of the flagship limited edition models being the new IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage 55 and the related IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage 48. Each of these watches is directly inspired by the 55mm-wide IWC Big Pilot’s Watch the company produced in 1940 for military purposes.