The first pocket watch from IWC in the 21st century is also a tribute to one of the company’s first pocket watches.
Watchmaking in Switzerland takes place largely in the Francophone regions of the Jura and Geneva, but IWC’s presence in German-speaking Schaffhausen seems to have infused it with Germanic horological values – especially solidity and reliability. The pocket watch tradition at IWC was a strong one, and with this new pocket watch – a very faithful, though not exact, version of the traditional Pallweber pocket watches from the late 1800s – IWC returns to pocket watch production once again.
Why This Watch Matters
The Pallweber is one of the most distinctive pocket watches that IWC made – in fact it’s one of the company’s most distinctive watches ever, and for the 2018 SIHH, the company announced it would be returning this jumping hours and minutes complication to production. The wristwatch model was announced just before the SIHH, but the pocket watch wasn’t unveiled until the opening of the show. In looks and feel, it’s a classic piece of Swiss-German horology: an engraved but not overly ornate gold case, a movement that’s well finished and constructed, but not given the jewel-like treatment more characteristic of French-Swiss watchmaking, and an overall sense of weighty physical and horological presence.
For some more recent IWC enthusiasts this will be a somewhat difficult watch to understand, but if you’re a long-time fan, you’re probably going to be thrilled to see IWC get back into the pocket watch business. It’s a small-scale but significant start and one that marks IWC’s reconnecting to its roots after many years of innovation in terms of design, complications, and also its role in the larger horological universe. It was a very satisfying moment for me to hold this in my hands. I’ve always felt that it’s important for a watch company – especially one with a real heritage, like IWC – to make it possible to own a physical manifestation of that history. This isn’t to say you should take it to unrealistic extremes – I would be the last person to suggest that Vacheron Constantin should get back into the cylinder escapement business – but a high-grade pocket watch with an interesting complication from IWC is definitely reason to cheer.
Model: Pallweber Pocket Watch Tribute To Pallweber Edition „150 Years“
Reference Number: 505101
Case Material: 18k red gold
Dial Color: white lacquer
Indexes: printed display disks
Water Resistance: 1 bar
Strap/Bracelet: none; 18k red gold chain
Caliber: IWC manufacture, caliber 94200
Functions: jumping hours and minutes
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Additional Details: the Pallweber variant of the 94000 family, which is the base for many high complications from IWC which require extra energy, including the Portugieser Sidérale Scafusia.
Pricing & Availability
Price: Not yet announced
Limited Edition: yes; 50 pieces worldwide.