To celebrate its 150-year milestone, watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen – which was founded by American businessman Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868 – dropped two major announcements at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, Switzerland, which opened on January 18th. The first announcement greatly celebrates its founder’s vision of creating pocket watches with jumping numerals in an avant-garde digital display (also uniquely known as Pallwebers) by introducing a 28-piece Jubilee collection: a curation of pieces from the archive that included the Portofino (pictured above), Da Vinci, Pilot’s Watch and Portuguieser watches with additions from the Pallwebers collection. Think functional rotating discs with jumping time numerals on clean, visible dials, coupled with leather straps in various colours like blue, brown and black.
The one thing all these watches have in common is their white or blue dial: “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 enamelled dials used for the historic Pallweber watches,” explains Christian Knoop, Creative Director. The watches with a white dial have blued hands, while those with a blue dial have rhodium-plated hands. The idea for the imprinted dials and blued hands came from the first Portugieser models, Reference IW325, from 1939. All the watches in the collection are fitted with black alligator leather straps. Each model also bears the Jubilee insignia “150 Years”, either as a medallion or as an engraving.
To announce the 28-piece Jubilee collection, a gala dinner was thrown and attended by the likes of celebrities Cate Blanchett, James Marsden, Dev Patel and F1 driver David Coulthard. It was at this dinner that IWC announced their latest ambassador to join the likes of Cate and James: the talented actor and producer Bradley Cooper. “We are happy to welcome Bradley Cooper to our exclusive circle of brand ambassadors. With his pursuit of quality and creativity, he is a perfect match for IWC, a brand which in the course of its 150-year history has continued to renew itself and delights people the world over with its passion for handcrafted watchmaking,” Christoph Grainger- Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen shared in his speech, “the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer is looking forward to further collaborations with Cooper in the year of its 150th anniversary.”