IWC Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition
Novelties

SIHH 2018: The Jubilee Collection celebrating 150 years of IWC

In advance of next year’s SIHH fair. IWC has released a taste of what’s to come for the brand. This collection of timepieces was made to celebrate the brand’s 150th Anniversary. Here’s our hands-on scoop.

By Josh Shanks
Managing Editor US

Founded in 1868 by American Florentine Ariosto Jones, IWC Schaffhausen is an established leader in watchmaking. Producing a wide range of products from their iconic pilot’s watches – to highly complicated pieces celebrating the finest in Swiss watchmaking. The brand is also using this moment to release a new dial technique which incorporates rich lacquered finishes reminiscent of enamel dials of yesteryear, without the price tag.

IWC’s CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr remarked:“Our founder’s entrepreneurial spirit and his untiring quest for engineering excellence have left a lasting impression on IWC. To this day, our watches combine precision engineering with design that is as unusual as it is timeless. Our Jubilee collection revisits icons from the past years of IWC and unifies them through a timeless design code to form a single striking collection,” explains Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen .

These releases are a small sampling of what’s to come at 2018’s SIHH fair. Recently, Watchonista had the opportunity to go hands-on with a selection of the novelties. Please note, all pricing is tentative and subject to change based upon currency fluctuations.

IWC Tribute to Pallweber

For me, the standout addition to the Jubilee Collection is the Tribute to Pallweber. A 43mm timepiece inspired by a little-known pocket watch from 1884. This watch features a digital hour/minute display complemented by a striking white lacquer dial. While inspired by the past, this watch represents a significant departure for the brand. I for one, love the Pallweber.

Savonette Pocket Watch Pallweber 1886

Limited to just 15 pieces, the new Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition (first picture) may be the crown jewel of the Jubilee collection. Featuring a 46mm platinum case and quite possibly the largest tourbillon you’ll see come out of Richemont.

IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition "150 years"

The 43mm red gold case is fitted on a brown alligator leather strap. This piece wore nicely on my smallish wrists with a commanding presence under a cuff.

From a technicity standpoint, the watch is powered by IWC’s 94200 movement, with a 60-hour power reserve. The piece is decidedly un-IWC and a refreshing addition to IWC’s heritage line. Pricing is $36,600 and the watch is limited to 250 pieces worldwide.

Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon

IWC-Portugieser-Constant-Force-Tourbillon

Like the Pallweber, the Constant Force Tourbillon features a white lacquered dial with blued hands. A perpetual moon phase is also present on the dial. Most notable of the hand-wound 94805 movement is the fact that the moon phase only needs to be re-adjusted every 577.5 years. A godsend for those of us that are probably wearing their moon phases wrong at this very moment.

Word on the street is that this watch will set you back more than $250,000 USD.

Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon

For the first time, IWC has produced a perpetual calendar with a tourbillon. The piece features a beautifully finished tourbillon set at 12 o’clock. Blued hands display the perpetual calendar and moon phase indications against, you guessed it, a white lacquered dial. The 45mm red gold case is accentuated by a black Santoni strap.

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition "150 years"

Mechanically speaking, IWC modified their base 51900 caliber with a perpetual calendar complication, making the finished movement a 51950 automatic caliber with an impressive 7-day power reserve. Limited to just 50 pieces, and priced at $110,000USD this watch is sure to be a mainstay for a privileged few collectors.

Additions to the Da Vinci collection

Finally, IWC has released two additions to the Da Vinci collection. The “Automatic Moon Phase 36 Edition” and “Da Vinci Automatic 150 Years Edition”.

IWC Da Vinci Automatic Edition "150 years"

The pieces supplement the ever-popular Da Vinci collection, and at 36mm boast a unisex vibe. While both pieces are automatic, each has a distinctly different approach. The Moon Phase 36 features 206 brilliant diamonds with a white lacquered dial set in an 18-carat red gold case. With the base model Da Vinci Automatic setting a humbler example in a stainless-steel case with blue lacquered dial. Each watch will come on a black alligator strap.

IWC Da Vinci Automatic Edition "150 years"

Pricing details are $29,900 for the Moon Phase 36, and $9,550 for the Automatic in Stainless.

Summary

We’ll say it again; these new novelties represent a departure for the brand. They also serve as an example of what we might see from a Post-George Kern IWC era. Under new management led by CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr, IWC is re-positioning itself amongst collectors and enthusiasts. I think they’ll find success in this endeavor and can personally attest that the brand has a few more surprises up their sleeve for next year.

Stay tuned to Watchonista for more news from SIHH 2018!