Hands-On With Some of the New Ingenieurs

It’s one thing to look at stylized press photos of new timepieces but it’s quite another to get your hands on them, strap them on your wrist and examine them up close. This week, we were lucky enough to spend some quality time with the new Ingenieur collection from IWC Schaffhausen and managed to snap some photos of them.

We’ve been posting “wrist shots” on Twitter and Instagram this week and one of the most retweeted and favorited ones was a photo of the new 40-millimeter Ingenieur Automatic on the wrist. The watch is a return to the classic Genta-designed styling of the 1970s iconic Ingenieur SL and wears slimmer than you’d expect from a 40,000 A/m antimagnetic sports watch housing an iron movement cage inside. Thanks to its short “lugless” design, the 40mm watch will fit a wide variety of wrist sizes. In our minds, this one will be a hit for IWC. Still undecided for us is whether the black or white dial is the better of the two.

Arguably the sportiest of this line of sports watches is the Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium, which technically was introduced in 2012 but still a pleasure to spend time with. The combination of the titanium case, blue dial and hand accents and rubber strap would make this watch great for any number of active pursuits, not to mention the decidedly useful split seconds chronograph function, for which IWC is famous.

At the “Holy Grail” end of the spectrum was the Constant Force Tourbillon, which, as the name suggests, combines true haute horlogerie in a sports watch, a feat IWC is known for doing, with last year’s Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar as prior evidence. Despite the heft of its platinum and ceramic case, the watch is eminently wearable and may be one of the few watches of this calibre we’d dare to strap on with a T-shirt and jeans.

While the entire new Ingenieur line impressed us, these three were our favorites and we strongly advise you to “race” to your IWC dealer (Disclaimer: IWC does not endorse speeding on public roads) once these watches start showing up.

– HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen

IWC Celebrates The Charles Darwin Foundation In New York City

We’ve told you before about IWC’s support of the Galapagos Islands and the Charles Darwin Foundation, as well as the special edition Aquatimer to celebrate the Foundation’s 50th anniversary, but today we have another part of this story for you. Not only does IWC directly support the Charles Darwin Foundation, but it also empowers its fans to do so too.

Last week IWC hosted a dinner in New York City (and two in the Los Angeles area) to connect collectors and media with the mission in the Galapagos. Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation, Swen Lorenz, was present and our associate editor, Stephen Pulvirent, moderated a short discussion with Lorenz about the goals of the CDF, how to responsibly visit the Galapagos, and how to get involved in other ways.

Lorenz shared an important message, asking guests to please visit, but to visit responsibly. Without tourism and without spreading the love of the Galapagos Islands, conservation would be missing out on many opportunities to engage in important projects, such as the shark tagging supported by IWC.

Also launched last week was a series of membership programs that allow anyone, anywhere in the world, to support the Galapagos from a distance. The membership levels begin at $20 to Adopt a Species and go up to the $1,000 Benefactor level, which includes VIP access if you do make your way to the Islands. 

You can learn more on IWC’s Facebook page and you can sign up for the various membership programs here.

-HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen

Replica IWC Watches SIHH 2012: A Blogger Recap

It was a fair to remember. SIHH (Salon International dHaute Horlogerie) 2012 saw IWC’s full release of the brand new Pilot’s Collection, a show booth built like an aircraft carrier, celebrities and global watch aficiandos. For those of you who couldn’t be there, we wanted to share a few of the kind words bloggers, journalists, and editors from around the world had to say about IWC’s presence at this historic show.

Even before SIHH, Gear Patrol commended the new Top Gun Miramar as a highlight of our aviation theme for the year. Picking up on this early, Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean kicked off his coverage of SIHH by sharing that the first “serious” watch he ever bought was an IWC Portuguese Automatic, and he went on to divulge that the Top Gun Miramar has been added to his list of desired timepieces. Mr Porter chimed in on their Journal about the Miramar, calling in their “pick of the bunch” amongst our new releases.

The Top Gun also received accolades from Classic Driver, which named it one of the best at SIHH. Esquire Magazine reported their excitement on the fighter jet and military drumline IWC used to launch the High Flyers theme, and they found the Top Gun Chronograph to be their favored timepiece of the show. Other watches were commended. For example, to our delight, Monochrome captured the Marc XVII, Hypebeast touted the whole pilot’s range overall, and Ariel Adams’ A Blog To Read and captured all major novelties in a spectacular post.

Another new release at SIHH was the Pilot’s Watch Worldtime, which Por Homme noted offers a display of 24 time zones simultaneously and a 42 hour power reserve. Impressive credentials from another member of the Pilot’s collection! Sharing SIHH updates with watch enthusiasts across the globe, Philippine Watch Club captured some great photos of the IWC Big Pilot and Pilot’s Chronograph.

Big Pilot and Pilot Chronograph courtesy Philippine Watch Club

Ben Clymer of renowned watch site Hodinkee was also in attendance and described the show’s ability to “distort your horological reality”. This was said as he held two IWC Portuguese Siderale’s in his hand; watches of such exquisite craftmanship, that the photo must have induced jealousy in many of his readers.

Ben Clymer holding two IWC Portuguese Siderale’s

As mentioned above, the watches weren’t the only highlight of the show. The setting they were displayed in got some top billing as well. Breitling Source Blog’s description of it as an “incredible looking display” was backed up with images and video of the booth’s construction (no easy feat). Creating a miniature aircraft carrier in Geneva was only the first part – an air control tower and a military drumline (as tweeted by Eugene Tong of Details Magazine) were also on hand to round out the Top Gun setting. The settings were appreciated by blogger Fashion Estasi in Italy, and our star-studded Top Gun gala event blogged about in popular European blog Sandra’s Closet.

The making of the IWC booth at SIHH 2012

We were thrilled to launch this exciting new collection in IWC’s storied stable of timepieces, and even more excited to play host to so many brand fans from far and wide. But even though SIHH 2012 has closed, there are many more exciting events coming… be sure to stay tuned here.

Best wishes from Schaffhausen.

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation 2012: A Recap

Last week in London some of the world’s best athletes were honored for their accomplishments, at the Laureus Sports Awards. Selected by a 47 member jury of their peers, winners for 2012 included tennis star Novak Djokovic and Spanish League football champions FC Barcelona (for Sportsman of the Year and Team of the Year, respectively).

It was an exciting event to be sure, but some of the lesser known winners of the evening were the children from around the world who benefit from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Created in 2000 (with IWC Schaffhausen’s parent company Richemont as a founding partner), the Foundation uses the positive influence of sport in a child’s life to support various global projects. 

As part of their sponsorship with the Foundation, IWC created a limited edition watch in honor of this year’s Laureus Sports Awards. And a number of our favorite blogs were as excited about it as we were! Here’s a brief recap of what they’ve written.

As blog Perpetuelle noted, this is IWC’s  sixth year creating a watch for Laureus Sports for Good. While each year the watch is patterned on a different member of the IWC family, “this year’s Laureus watch is drawn from IWC’s Portofino collection”. They go on to remark that the timepiece was created in the “characteristic ‘Laureus blue’ color”, a nod to to the organization.

The Watch Press elaborates on the signature blue: “a colour symbolic of hope…” and that “each edition also features some rather unique case back engravings.” In fact only 2500 of the watches are made each year, with the Portofino boasting a 79320 calibre movement and 44 hour time reserve. 

To See And Be Seen blog from Hong Kong shares a touching story about the previously mentioned back engravings. Each year children submit illustrations in a competition to have theirs chosen for the back of the watch. This year it was the artistry of 7 year old Kumara Wadu Parami Apsara from Sri Lanka, who depicted four girls playing.

Not only are children who benefit from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation involved in the design process, but part of the proceeds from the Laureus watch go to the organization and the over 90 programs they sponsor. It is a commitment to children that IWC does not take lightly, and Spanish blog Hora Latina quoted IWC Georges Kern when he declared that this was: “a watch with a mission that goes beyond the exact indication of the time”.

With so many children in need, it is with immense pride that IWC partners with Laureus and we look forward to sharing more about the great work done and the great children who benefit from its work.

IWC Fake WatchesVolvo Ocean Race: The Building Of Azzam

The Volvo Ocean Race entrants have left Lisbon on their way to the French city of Lorient. At 1,940 nautical miles it is one of the shorter legs of the race, but with areas of potential light winds that could hamper progress. These types of conditions are just one of many that the boats have to undertake during each leg, and for which the craft’s designers and builders must account.

Some of the conditions the Azzam must be built to face

For Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Azzam, design team Farr Yacht Design was given the task of creating a vessel that could withstand the pummel of Southern Ocean waves and wind, to the doldrums across the Equator, and everything in between. The design team must adhere to strict guidelines issued by Volvo Ocean Race: macro considerations like boat dimensions and hull thickness, to the more detailed rules on bunk size for the crew. None of these considerations can be taken lightly – both the craft and crew must withstand harrowing and tiring conditions during the nine months of the Race. This was seen acutely when the Azzam experienced hull damage during Leg 5. This damage was mitigated by at-sea repairs – made possible by ingenuity in the boat’s design.

One of the many steps in getting Azzam built

Once the design for Azzam was complete it was handed off to the ship’s builders, in this case at the Persico boatyard in Nembro, Italy. Here the build team constructed the mould, focusing on any measure that could save overall weight. 

The on-shore build team for Azzam

Teamwork between the designers and builders is also crucial to the success of the finished product. To that end Persico collaborated with the Farr design team on ways to modify the construction to improve performance and function of the boat. One way they achieved this was by using a Kevlar honeycomb on the foredeck, which sheds water and keeps the deck safer and without additional weight.

She’s getting there… Azzam at the Persico boatyard

In the end the Farr Yacht Design team dedicated over 26,000 hours in the planning, calculating, and engineering of Azzam. That innovation combined with the exacting precision shown by the Persico build team are traits we value highly at IWC. Always searching to improve, and always ensuring we are creating the very best.

The striking colors that will be slicing through the ocean

A salute to both teams and to the crew who have stewarded Azzam around the globe and kept her going strong.

IWC Replica Watches London Showcase

Innovation is at the heart of IWC Schaffhausen, and so it was with an innovative pop-up shop in London that our brand has shared it’s full line of handcrafted watches and a small peek at the advanced technology behind it. In partnership with retail partner David M Robinson, London’s Canary Wharf was the destination this week – showcasing key pieces in the IWC lineup, as well as some high horology pieces. 

Hundreds- including current customers and new fans- gathered on each of the exhibit’s two days to purchase, to preview, or to learn more about our timepieces. Also on display were high resolution photographs of the mechanisms inside some IWC watches, offering a glimpse that few get up close, and which satisfied all who wonder how the advanced components come together to create such finely tuned devices.

While the London pop-up ends today, stay tuned here for news on where you may find another innovative chance to be immersed in the products and lifestyle of IWC Schaffhausen.