Explore More Articles
IWC_Perfectionists
Perfectionists in their element

Every new in-house movement created by IWC in Schaffhausen involves around 20 specialists from various departments, sometimes working together intensively for years. With the help of state-of-the-art computer technology, the design engineers generate solutions whose elegance can be quite simply breathtaking.

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All wound up

Before a mechanical watch movement can start moving, it needs an energy source to drive it. That energy source is the mainspring. And while there are some who enjoy engaging with the machine, lovingly winding it by hand, others take pleasure in the automatic mechanism, which will keep the watch running indefinitely, simply from the movements of the wearer's arm.

IWC Oils
Time That Runs Like Clockwork

Depending on the stresses and strains to which they are exposed, around 50 points in the movement are treated with oils and greases developed especially for use in wristwatches.

Test Lab

At IWC Schaffhausen, new watch models are put through a gruelling test program involving up to 50 separate stages that include long-term immersion in warm salt water and being locked away in an environmental chamber. All this guarantees that they will be equipped for everyday use – and much more – when they finally reach their future owners.

Sound_check_engine_AMG_972x426
Sound Check

How the engineers at Mercedes AMG in Affalterbach, southern Germany, create the right engine sound.

HALF_WAY_TO_THE_MOON_Trucks_972x426
HALF WAY TO THE MOON

For the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, following the Grand Prix circus means transporting 30 tons of material in 10,000 individual parts and at least 60 employees to venues on five continents. Of course, they have to ensure that everything arrives there on time what calls for a system and improvisation in equal measure.

Grande Complication Dial Explained
Small World

Time moves the world. The IWC Portuguese Grande Complication is an understated, beautifully designed way of summarizing time as the motor of all change: a time machine that shows a tilted globe on the dial.

Top Secret

In a small town in central England, over 500 specialists spend their time developing and building silver arrows for the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team. Almost every one of the 3,200 parts in each car is custom-made.

Experiences

Eternity in Digits

Date — 22 July, 2013

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The IWC-manufactured 89800 caliber, which made its debut in 2009, redefined the digital date display. The triple-disc mechanism in the perpetual calendar features large-format displays for the date and month and, slightly more discreetly, the leap year cycle. All are ingeniously synchronized. The IWC chronograph movement (based on the 89360 caliber), which has been enlarged to include the calendar features, is also going skyward: it is now the mechanism at the heart of the Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month.

Calibre 89800

1

The IWC-manufactured 89800 caliber is an example of watchmaking skill at its most advanced. It has exquisite circular-grain decoration even in places you are unable to see. The perpetual calendar under the bridges requires absolutely no external adjustment, and is mechanically programmed to take the varying length of each month into account.

 

2

A wheel train in the calendar mechanism controls the two perforated discs in the date display. The correct date is shown in digits from 1 to 31, and can be read off easily in the window on the left-hand side of the dial. The date here is January 18: the month (01) can be seen on the disc on the opposite side of the dial.

3

These two discs show the month. In extreme cases, then, three discs need to be advanced simultaneously on December 31. This calls for a lot of energy, and explains why the 89360 caliber comes with another very special feature: a spring-loaded lever is raised via a snail each day throughout the month, before dropping down smartly to its starting point at the end. The energy released is transferred via another lever to assist with the switching sequence at the end of the month.

4

The perpetual calendar in the 89360 caliber is able to distinguish between normal years with 365 days, and leap years. The four-year cycle between leap years is shown in a window in the seconds dial (with a red L for the leap year) on the dial. In our example, the three discs show the date 18.01.2009 or 2013 (L+1) because the years 2008 and 2012 are leap years.

Advancing the dials of three displays simultaneously isn’t easy. We couldn’t overcome the laws of physics, but we’ve managed to use them cleverly.

—Stefan Ihnen, Technical Director

Equipped with the IWC-manufactured 89800 caliber, the Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month in its red gold case is the flagship of the second IWC Pilot’s Watch line to be named after the legendary British fighter plane. The mechanical chronograph movement records hours and minutes in a totalizer at 12 o’clock and seconds on the watch’s chapter ring. It also features a flyback function. The autonomous perpetual calendar has a large date and month display together with a – small – leap year display at 6 o’clock. The self-winding movement’s vital statistics: 28,800 A/h, 52 jewels, 68-hour power reserve.

Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month

—Reference 3791

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Explore More Articles
IWC_Perfectionists
Perfectionists in their element

Every new in-house movement created by IWC in Schaffhausen involves around 20 specialists from various departments, sometimes working together intensively for years. With the help of state-of-the-art computer technology, the design engineers generate solutions whose elegance can be quite simply breathtaking.

Haute_Horlogerie_quer
All wound up

Before a mechanical watch movement can start moving, it needs an energy source to drive it. That energy source is the mainspring. And while there are some who enjoy engaging with the machine, lovingly winding it by hand, others take pleasure in the automatic mechanism, which will keep the watch running indefinitely, simply from the movements of the wearer's arm.

IWC Oils
Time That Runs Like Clockwork

Depending on the stresses and strains to which they are exposed, around 50 points in the movement are treated with oils and greases developed especially for use in wristwatches.

Test Lab

At IWC Schaffhausen, new watch models are put through a gruelling test program involving up to 50 separate stages that include long-term immersion in warm salt water and being locked away in an environmental chamber. All this guarantees that they will be equipped for everyday use – and much more – when they finally reach their future owners.

Sound_check_engine_AMG_972x426
Sound Check

How the engineers at Mercedes AMG in Affalterbach, southern Germany, create the right engine sound.

HALF_WAY_TO_THE_MOON_Trucks_972x426
HALF WAY TO THE MOON

For the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, following the Grand Prix circus means transporting 30 tons of material in 10,000 individual parts and at least 60 employees to venues on five continents. Of course, they have to ensure that everything arrives there on time what calls for a system and improvisation in equal measure.

Grande Complication Dial Explained
Small World

Time moves the world. The IWC Portuguese Grande Complication is an understated, beautifully designed way of summarizing time as the motor of all change: a time machine that shows a tilted globe on the dial.

Top Secret

In a small town in central England, over 500 specialists spend their time developing and building silver arrows for the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team. Almost every one of the 3,200 parts in each car is custom-made.