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Pre-SIHH 2018: IWC

IWC goes white, blue and classic for its 150th. 

Turning 150 is a big deal for any company, not least a watch manufacture where history and heritage play such a vital role. In a thoroughly apt move, IWC pulls out all the stops for its anniversary with their Jubilee collection comprising 27 limited-edition models from four families, as well as a very special tribute to the Pallweber pocket watches it used to make in the late 19th century.

Tying all the watches together is the common theme of white and blue, where the dials are meticulously lacquered many times over in either hue, flat-polished, brushed and then imprinted multiple times, resulting in a beautiful sheen recalling enamelled dials of the past. In addition, they feature the Here’s a quick look at five of them:

IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition '150 Years'

For us, this is undoubtedly the star of the Jubilee collection. The decision to reincarnate such an iconic pocket watch in a wristwatch is certainly one collectors will appreciate. From the technically complex digital display of the jumping numerals to the pared back small seconds counter and clean Art Deco aesthetic, this watch is the epitome of ‘deceptively simple’. A red gold case with wire lugs and black Santoni alligator leather strap complete the look. Limited to 250 pieces, the Pallweber tribute is vintage done right.

IWC Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition '150 Years'

Featuring IWC’s new in-house manual-winding Calibre 94805 with a power reserve of 96 hours, this timekeeping powerhouse pairs a constant force tourbillon with a moonphase display that will never need adjusting in your lifetime. Unless you plan on living past 577.5 years, after which you will need to move it by one day. The combination of a patented constant-force mechanism and tourbillon offers extreme precision while the dial is a balance of artistic showmanship and simple elegance. Given its complexity, this timepiece is limited to just 15 pieces in a platinum case and Santoni alligator leather strap.

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition '150 Years'

In a first for the brand, IWC marries a perpetual calendar with a tourbillon, prominently placed at 12 o’clock on the dial. The watch also runs on a new in-house movement, the Calibre 51950, based on the Calibre 51900 with added perpetual calendar function. To keep the dial as neat as possible, the moonphase indicator is incorporated into the month sub-dial, while the power reserve indicator sits within the days sub-dial with one corresponding hand for each function. While we would have preferred the tourbillon at six o’clock (12 o’clock seems a little top-heavy), there’s no denying the sense of gravitas it offers the watch. Limited to 50 pieces.

IWC Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 Edition '150 Years'

Referencing models in the late 1980s through to the 1990s when IWC made intricate jewellery watches, this Da Vinci Automatic Moonphase is a masterclass in elegance. The 36mm red gold case is framed with 206 diamonds on the bezel and moveable lugs, offset by a clean dial with a moonphase indicator at 12 o’clock. Perfectly sized for the ladies, this timepiece is eminently suited for formal dinners but if you asked us, we’d flaunt it at the office too, just because we’re fancy that way.

IWC Da Vinci Automatic Edition '150 Years'

The Energiser Bunny of the collection, this Da Vinci Automatic is the first timepiece to be equipped with the new in-house Calibre 82200. It features a Pellaton winding system with ceramic pawls and cam that are stress-resistant and will keep going despite the constant pressure on them. A minimalist navy dial features Arabic numerals and a small seconds counter at six o’clock. But while the front is kept simple, the transparent caseback reveals the Calibre 82200 in all its beautifully finished glory, complete with Geneva stripes and circular graining. Limited to 500 pieces, this piece rocks for its durability and versatility.

Ex Managing Editor

Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".