From straightforward pilot watches to intricate complications, the IWC watches lineup is a diverse one. This storied Swiss watchmaking brand, which has been around since 1868, is renowned for appealing designs and easy-to-use functions. We’ve handpicked some of our favorite pre-owned IWC watches available for sale right now here at Gray & Sons.
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar
The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch is one of the brand’s most famous watch models, with a history that stretches back to 1940. However, it wasn’t until 2002 when the brand re-released this historical piece and the Big Pilot’s Watch took off as one of IWC’s most popular modern watch models–and varied collections.
The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar IW502618 is a limited edition model of only 250 examples made, which debuted in 2010. It features the familiar 46mm case silhouette of the Big Pilot’s Watch, complete with the oversized onion-style winding crown. What is fascinating, however, is that the one single winding crown serves to adjust all the displays of the perpetual calendar mechanism–making this one of the simplest perpetual calendar watches to operate.
The black dial, which comes alive with a generous amount of orange accents, is home to date, day, month, year, moon phase display (both northern and southern hemisphere), time, and power reserve indicator. All displays advance automatically and account for every leap day in the Gregorian calendar until 2100.
Flip the watch around and you’ll spot the in-house IWC Caliber 51614 automatic movement powering the watch, boasting a seven-day power reserve and an “LTD EDITION 2010” engraving on the rotor.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Doppelchronograph
The split-seconds chronograph, also known as a rattrapante chronograph, was once only reserved for watch fans with very deep pockets. This is because split-seconds chronograph mechanisms–which allows the wearer to time different events that start at the same time but do not end together–are exceedingly difficult to build.
However, in 1993, IWC launched the Doppelchronograph (German for “double chronograph”), designed by Richard Habring using a Valjoux 7750 base movement. By heavily modifying the Valjoux 7750 movement, IWC was able to produce a split-seconds chronograph for a larger audience to enjoy.
This IWC Pilot’s Watch Doppelchronograph IW3713-02 is the second-generation model, produced from 1996 to 2005. The watch sports a 42mm steel case topped with a double-bezel that pairs both satin and polished finishing. The black military aviation-style dial with the triangle at 12 o’clock and large Arabic numerals characteristic of IWC Pilot’s Watch models features three subdials at 6, 9, and 12, along with date and day windows at 3.
IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
Launched in 2015, the Portugieser Annual Calendar pairs the famed IWC Portugieser pocket watch-inspired case and dial design with the fantastic annual calendar complication. The IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar IW503502 is a stainless steel version with a striking blue dial and classic black strap.
The 44mm stainless steel case houses a beautifully balanced dial with three windows up top to indicate the month, day, and date, in addition to a pair of registers at 3 and 9 o’clock for the power reserve indicator and running seconds, respectively.
The 2015 release of the IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar also debuted the new IWC in-house made Caliber 52850 automatic movement with a seven-day power reserve and redesigned rotor. This can of course be viewed through the sapphire caseback–the same material used for the crystal above the dial.
IWC Big Ingenieur Chronograph
A modern interpretation of Gerald Genta’s famed IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo of the 1970s, IWC introduced the Big Ingenieur Chronograph in 2009 featuring a sizable 45.5mm case, a distinct dial, and an in-house flyback chronograph movement.
The Big Ingenieur Chronograph “DFB” IW378404 was a limited edition release (250 pieces) that came out in 2010 in honor of IWC’s partnership with the Deutscher Fussball Bund (the German Football Association.) While the watch includes the same case shape with rectangular chronograph pushers and dial layout with subdials at 6 and 12, there are a few details that make this limited edition stand out.
A feature of all Big Ingenieur Chronograph models is the register at 12 o’clock that combines both the chronograph hours and chronograph minutes counters. However, on the “DFB” version, football (aka soccer) fans will immediately recognize the red markings for 45 minutes (one half of a game), +5 minutes (for stoppage), and +15 minutes (for the half-time interval.) Also, the sapphire caseback is emblazoned with the official DFB logo.
IWC Portugieser Chronograph
Finally, we’ve saved the best for last. Arguably one of IWC’s most popular models, the Portugieser Chronograph is one of the most elegant chronographs ever made. The first-generation Portugieser Chronograph came out in 1998 in the form of the ref. 3714 and it was met with immediate success thanks to its clean lines and appealing symmetrical dial. As such, it remained virtually unchanged for the next two decades. However, in recent years, fans of this iconic IWC chronograph were treated to a major upgrade.
The new-generation Portugieser Chronograph IW3716 is now fitted with an in-house automatic movement, Caliber 69335. Naturally, the switch to an IWC-made movement meant that the brand swapped out the customary solid caseback for an exhibition one for a view of the new engine.
While the internal mechanics benefitted from an overall, thankfully the exterior design remained virtually untouched. The watch retains a perfectly proportional 41mm case, an ultra-slim bezel, a wonderfully legible dial, and pump chronograph pushers. The IWC Portugieser Chronograph IW371606 is a sleek version that combines a sleek steel case, vibrant blue dial, and elegant black leather strap.
With its knack for balanced design, a focus on technical ingenuity, and a respect for historical models from its archives, it’s easy to understand why IWC watches have stood the test of time.