150 Years in the Making: Five IWC Signature Watches

Founded by an American and based in eastern Switzerland,  IWC Schaffhausen celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. While we expect a slew of commemorative watches to be released at the upcoming SIHH 2018, we take a look back at some IWC signature watches.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Miramar

IWC is particularly famous for their range of Pilot Watches and within that collection are special Top Gun Miramar aviation watches named after the United States Navy Fighter school in California.

IWC Signature Watches: Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Miramar

IWC Signature Watches: Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Miramar

This particular IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Miramar ref. IW388002 sports a large black ceramic and titanium 46mm case presented on a green khaki canvas bracelet. The anthracite dial pops with a plethora of information including chronograph functionality and an open-wheel date window. On the dial are signature aviation markings inspired by earlier military watches such as the red inner circle, the triangle at 12 o’clock, and minute markers rather than hour markers.

IWC Signature Watches: Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Miramar

IWC Signature Watches: Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Miramar

Powered by an automatic chronograph movement and engraved with the famed TopGun logo on the caseback, this is one high-flying IWC aviation timepiece.

 

IWC Portugieser Chronograph

In the 1930s, two Portuguese businessmen commissioned IWC to produce wristwatches with the precision of a marine chronometer. To achieve this, IWC used a pocket watch movement and the large Portugieser watch with a simple and expansive dial was born. While the company continued to manufacture the Portugieser in the next following decades, the model did quietly fell into the background until the 1990s when the company revived the Portugieser as one of IWC signature watches.

IWC Signature Watches: Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante

IWC Signature Watches: Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante

The IWC Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante ref. IW371205 is an especially noteworthy piece boasting a precious platinum case sized at a very wearable 40.9mm. The crisp white dial sets the background for the characteristic Arabic numerals as well as the blue hands. Another distinct feature of the IWC Portugieser Chronograph that we see on this ref. IW371205 are the placements of the two subdials at 12 and 6 o’clock.

IWC Signature Watches: Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante

IWC Signature Watches: Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante

The Rattrapante, or split-seconds chronograph watch, is powered by a hand-wound movement and thereby features a slim profile. Finishing off this elegant IWC timepiece is a classic alligator strap with a platinum tang buckle.

IWC Portofino

A classic dress watch, the IWC Portofino exudes timeless elegance. Portofino timepieces have been IWC signature watches for decades. Also inspired by pocketwatch styling, the Portofino draws design cues from Lepine pocketwatches.

IWC Signature Watches: Portofino

IWC Signature Watches: Portofino

The IWC Portofino ref. IW356305 stands out for its minimal approach to a luxury dress watch. The stainless steel 38mm round case is home to a simple black dial with straightforward stick hour markers and slim feuille hands. There’s also a discreet date window at 3 o’clock. Accompanying the steel IWC Portofino is a matching black leather strap outfitted with a steel deployant buckle.

IWC Signature Watches: Portofino

IWC Signature Watches: Portofino

Running on an automatic movement, the IWC Portofino ref. IW356305 is an ideal everyday luxury watch for those who stand by the belief that less is more.

IWC Big Ingenieur Chronograph

Since 1955, the Ingenieur collection has undergone the most changes among the IWC signature watches. When it was first introduced the Ingenieur was positioned as a go-to watch for engineers and scientists to wear without worrying about exposure to magnetic fields. After two decades enjoying success as an anti-magnetic watch, the Ingenieur underwent a revamp in the late 1970s thanks to legendary designer, Gerald Genta. IWC overhauled the Ingenieur collection yet again in the 2000s. Today, IWC emphasizes the Ingenieur watch’s sportiness and associates it with motorsports–particularly with its famous brand ambassador, Lewis Hamilton.

IWC Signature Watches; Big Ingenieur Chronograph

IWC Signature Watches; Big Ingenieur Chronograph

As its name implies, the IWC Big Ingenieur Chronograph ref. IW378401 is a hefty timepiece equipped with an oversized 45.5mm stainless steel case. The sporty black dial of the racing-inspired chronograph includes two white subdials along with a large date window at 6 o’clock. The tachymeter scale runs around the periphery of the bezel while the black leather strap is integrated into the case.

IWC Signature Watches; Big Ingenieur Chronograph

IWC Signature Watches; Big Ingenieur Chronograph

Flip the watch around and you’ll get a clear view of the automatic movement driving the watch with 68 hours of power reserve.

IWC Da Vinci Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar

Named after history’s most famous renaissance man, the Da Vinci collection is where IWC flaunts its technical mastery with highly complicated timepieces. A mainstay of the IWC lineup since the 1980s, Da Vinci watches are some of the best IWC has to offer.

IWC Signature Watches: Da Vinci Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar

IWC Signature Watches: Da Vinci Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar

This particular IWC Da Vinci ref. IW3751 is both precious due to its solid 18k yellow gold construction and technically impressive owing to its combinations of the rattrapante and the perpetual calendar functions. On the 18k yellow gold 41mm case sits the duo of chronograph pushers flanking the winding crown along with the split seconds pusher on the other side of the case. The dial is simply grand, displaying a plethora of information. Since it’s a perpetual calendar, there’s the moonphase at 12 o’clock, the date at 3 o’clock, the month at 6 o’clock, the year in between 7 and 8 o’clock, and the day of the week at 9 o’clock. IWC has cleverly managed to also incorporate the chronograph displays within some of those subdials too. Furthermore, everything is set via the winding crown, which is truly a feat of mechanical engineering.

IWC Signature Watches: Da Vinci Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar

IWC Signature Watches: Da Vinci Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar

A timepiece that will impress even the most fervent haute horology enthusiasts, the IWC Da Vinci Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar is well deserving of its iconic status.

 

Whether you prefer the aviation-focused Pilot’s Watches, the vintage-inspired Portugieser watches, the dressy Portofino timepieces, or the sporty Ingenieur, or the complex Da Vinci pieces, IWC has a little something for everyone.  So, browse our collection of pre-owned IWC watches to find the right one just for you.

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