2018 promises to be a busy year for the Schaffhausen manufacturer as IWC celebrates 150 years in business, and a watchmaking history which today sees it as one of the principal global players in the industry. To mark this milestone jubilee the Company will unveil no fewer than twenty-seven anniversary edition models at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, encompassing its portfolio of collections, and over the next few weeks we'll bring you a selection of those.
The IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition "150 Years"
With jumping digits and sumptuous lacquered dial, the IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition "150 Years" is a very rare bird indeed, and if it seems way out of line with how we see IWC watches in the modern age, then we need to track all the way back to the late 1800s, and the era which predated the wristwatch, to understand the raison d'être behind this exceptional edition.
As it's title will allude to, the "Pallweber" relates to the name of the Austrian inventor, Josef Pallweber, whose mechanisms helped the young watch company establish its fashionable and functional pocket watches right from the off, selling some 20,000 pieces in its brief lifetime between 1884 and 1887 and so, 150 years later, IWC has created this strikingly beautiful piece in a faithful tribute which surprises and delights in equal measure.
Thanks to the graceful flowing lines of the red gold case, with a slender bezel opening onto the pristine, naked expanse of milky white lacquer within, there is an air of elegant purity ingrained. Without peripheral chapter ring or numerals of any kind, only fine rings of black at its centre, the dial is uncluttered and that emptiness only serves to accentuate its three defining features all the more.
Utilising a series of discs marked with bold black digits the "Pallweber" hours and minutes are displayed clearly as they pass beneath their apertures. Uppermost, a single disc snaps from hour to hour as the small seconds hand reaches its zenith, heralding the passing of the fifty-ninth minute, and the two minutes discs at the centre reset in unison to minute one.
A drawback of this engaging configuration however, is the constant additional drain on energy which the jumping discs require, as well as the essential mechanics of timekeeping, and so to counteract this side effect IWC has devised an innovation where the most demanding of all - the single minutes - has its own dedicated gearing and barrel.
Underneath, a sapphire caseback reveals the bespoke hand winding Calibre 94200 whose silver-grey plates are finished with côtes de Genève striping and feature a gold 150th anniversary medal. Here IWC's sophisticated in-house horology couples in perfect mechanical execution the impulses of two energy sources which ensures the synchronised marriage of the functions dialside.
Measuring 45mm across it retains that pocket watch style, although its dimensions are tempered somewhat thanks to the soldered wire lugs which keep the strap close to the case, and so providing a snug fit on the wrist.
IWC will produce 250 examples of the Tribute to Pallweber Edition 150 Years.
- REFERENCE: IW505002
- CASE: ø 45 mm 18Kt red gold
- THICKNESS: 12 mm
- DIAL: White lacquer
- MOVEMENT: Hand-winding mechanical. Power reserve: 60 h, 28'800 vph
- FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
- BRACELET/STRAP: Black Santori leather
- BUCKLE: Pin buckle
- WATERPROOF RATING: 30 m
- PRICE EXCL.VAT: CHF 38'800