The actual term for a 150th anniversary is a ‘sesquicentennial’ and if you think THAT word is complicated, it’s nothing compared to the wristwatches that IWC Schaffhausen is making to celebrate the event.
The watches chosen for this celebratory collection range from the Portugieser to the Portofino and beyond, from the Pilot’s Watches to the Da Vinci tonneau-shaped masterpieces. And they take inspiration from a timepiece that dates back all the way to 1884, the historic Pallweber pocket watches. The dials of the Pallweber pocket watches had a special beauty that IWC wanted to grant to their 150th Anniversary Jubilee watches.
Each of the 27 new 150th Anniversary watches is specially made with an imprinted dial in white or in blue. These dials achieve these colors through the application of several coats of lacquer, a painstaking process that makes each piece an investment of time and artistry that is worthy of a brand’s 150th Anniversary.
“In a long and complex process, these dials are coated with up to 12 layers of high-quality lacquer, flat-polished, brushed, and then imprinted several times. We drew our inspiration from the unusual aesthetic appeal of the enameled dials used for the historic Pallweber watches” says Creative Director Christian Koop. The watches that have white dials come with blued hands, while the blue dials have rhodium-plated hands. The inspiration for the imprinted dials and blue hands dates back to the very first 1939 Portugieser models, Reference IW325. All the Jubilee watches will have the “150 Years” insignia, either as a medallion or engraved on the watch itself.
And those Pallweber watches that Koop mentioned get further tribute in the 150th Anniversary collection. The Jubilee watches will be the first IWC watches to ever have jumping numerals in a digital display. This hearkens back to digital displays used in pocket watches, all the way back in 1884 – a groundbreaking development at the time. To honor them, the Jubilee collection’s IWC Tribute to Pallweber edition “150 Years” was made. This is a watch that shows the Hours and minutes as digital displays. It comes in an 18-carat red gold case, with a white lacquered dial and a blued seconds hand. (There are, of course, no hours and minutes hands with these digital-display watches.) This is a limited edition of 250 timepieces.
And in addition, the Jubilee collection carries some of the finest watches of IWC’s storied history. A Portugieser constant force tourbillon watch, a Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36, an amazing Portugieser perpetual calendar tourbillon… if nothing else, IWC Schaffhausen shows that it knows how to spend 150 years in style.