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An Insight Into the Brand History of Midsize Watches

Date2016-09-19T13:42:27

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IWC Schaffhausen is well-known for producing large and masculine watches. In the brand’s long history, IWC has produced not only masculine watches such as the Big Pilot’s Watch and the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar, but also smaller watches with the same claims to sophisticated technology and quality. The current Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 and Portofino Automatic 37 collection are intended for watch lovers with a slightly slimmer wrist and a penchant for elegance, understatement and timeless design.
Christian Knoop, Creative Director, offers us an insight into the brand history of midsize watches as well as their design development.

—Christian Knoop, aged 46, is a German designer who has been working for IWC Schaffhausen as Creative Director since 2008

Interview with Christian Knoop, Creative Director

1. IWC is known for producing large and masculine watches, why did you decide to design midsize watches?

Large and masculine watches are an integral part of our DNA as a brand. But the definition of “large” has often changed over the years. And we have produced ladies watches for most of the time since our Manufacture was founded. There even were times when a watch with a diameter of 37 or 40 mm was considered to be large. So with midsize watches, we actually remain faithful to our heritage.

2. What are the signature design features of IWC midsize watches?

Our midsize watches follow the aesthetic codes of IWC and of each specific watch family. Every watch from our Manufacture, of course, is equipped with a mechanical movement and crafted with uncompromising attention to quality and timeless design.

3. Who is your target audience for midsize watches?

The target audience is the same as for all IWC watches: watch lovers of all ages and from all backgrounds – from the beginner to the more experienced collector and connoisseur.

4. Are these designed for women only?

Most of our midsize watches are designed as ladies watches. But in many countries, they are very popular with men as well – especially for men with a slightly slimmer wrist.

IWC Lady Portofino
—Lady Portofino – 34mm (1984)

Our midsize watches follow the aesthetic codes of IWC and of each specific watch family.

IWC Pilot's Watch Mark XI
—Pilot’s wristwatch Mark 11 with textile strap – 36mm (1950)

5. Why did you decide to launch midsize watches in the Portofino and Pilot’s Watch families only?

Both of these watch families are ideally suited for an extension towards midsize watches. The Portofino family has been featuring ladies watches with a similar size since the 1980s. And one of the foundations of our Pilot’s Watches collection is the legendary Mark 11, which was only 35 mm in diameter.

6. Will you extend the midsize range into other product families?

We are excited to see that our midsize watches in the Portofino and Pilot’s Watches families are so successful. This tells us that our strategy was right. However, no decision has been taken yet to introduce midsize products in other IWC watch families.

7. Why did you decide to collaborate with Santoni for leather straps?

We started to collaborate with Santoni in 2011, because both brands share the same passion for craftsmanship and design. Since then, the Santoni straps with their typical patina give our midsize watches, but also some of our other products, a very unique touch. Our male customers especially like to have a matching combination of watch strap, belt and shoes – and we can offer that with Santoni. Interestingly, we now see other watch manufacturers starting to collaborate with shoe brands as well.

Meet the Original: IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36

IWC Portofino Automatic Moon Phase

IWC Portofino Automatic

Discover the IWC Midsize Timepieces

PORTOFINO 37

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Explore More Articles
The future of watchmaking
since 1868

Watch the movie now

IWC Da Vinci exclusive watches
2017 DA VINCI COLLECTION:
CREATING PURE BEAUTY

Watch the movie now

IWC Schaffhausen: Official Time Partner of the BFI

For the third year, IWC Schaffhausen is supporting the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® as Official Time Partner.

Tribeca_AnnualCalendar
IWC Schaffhausen at the Tribeca Film Festival 2016

IWC Schaffhausen celebrates the world of Filmmaking for the fourth year as the Official ‘Festival-Time’ Partner of the Tribeca Film Festival® (TFF) in New York.

IWC Pilot's Watches
Meet The Original - The IWC Pilot's Watch Collection

Watch the movie now

NEWEST FLAGSHIP NOW OPEN ON
BEVERLY HILLS’ ICONIC RODEO DRIVE

Located on the world renowned Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the new boutique will be IWC’s second US Flagship. IWC’s other boutiques within the US can be found in the international shopping destinations New York City and Miami.

BTQ_london
Meet The Team

The London boutique opened its doors in December 2014. Since then, every sales advisor has been evolving in the world of IWC, discovering insights into the brand as well as the different watch families.

IWC Talks To
IWC Schaffhausen Talks To

IWC Schaffhausen set the stage for a very special highlight during the festival: under the heading “IWC Schaffhausen Talks To”, selected guests of the Zurich Summit had a chance to listen to in-depth conversations with two world stars of cinema, Marc Forster and Christoph Waltz.