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IWC Schaffhausen

The Journal

A Fugue of Time and Eternity

A Fugue of Time and Eternity
Read Time: 2 min

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EXPLORE HOW HANS ZIMMER CAPTURES THE ATMOSPHERES AND MOODS OF A PASSING DAY IN HIS MUSIC FOR IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN

The Eternal Calendar IW505701 module receiving the case and front glass

A little while ago, IWC and Friend of the Brand, Hans Zimmer, found themselves contemplating time and the concept of eternity. What does eternity feel like? What does time sound like? They pondered how to musically capture the cold morning dew, the low-hanging sun in the late afternoon, and the final glint of sunlight before the sky turns black and stars emerge. To answer these questions, the star composer set to work. The result is presented as part of this year’s IWC Portugieser campaign. 

WORKING TOGETHER IN HARMONY

What parallels do you see between composing music and crafting a mechanical watch?

There are so many parallels between crafting a watch and composing or playing music. I think the main parallel, of course, is time. Because music can only exist in that strange place where, as the sound appears, it disappears. All that a watch is telling us as we see the hands moving from one place to the other is that time is moving forward.

 

The other thing, of course, is that every little gear in the watch, every little part, is finely crafted. And there’s a fugue of different mechanical parts, just as music is a fugue of different notes and different harmonies, and all of it has to work together in harmony and in rhythm. The rhythm of the watch and the music is another very important parallel between them. Because if you’re out of time or rhythm, if your groove is all over the place, it’s never going to work. 

The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 44 IW503701 receiving its Obsidian black dial with gold appliques
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Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 44

IW503701

PORTUGIESER PERPETUAL CALENDAR 44

A$ 70,000

18 ct Armor Gold® case, Automatic, self-winding. Dark brown alligator leather strap by Santoni, Strap width 22.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 44 IW503701 receiving its Obsidian black dial with gold appliques

An IWC watchmaker conducting a final inspection of the Portugieser Eternal Calendar IW505701
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PORTUGIESER ETERNAL CALENDAR

IW505701

PORTUGIESER ETERNAL CALENDAR

Platinum case, Automatic, self-winding. Black alligator leather strap by Santoni, Strap width 22.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— An IWC watchmaker conducting a final inspection of the Portugieser Eternal Calendar IW505701

THE LANGUAGE OF CRAFTSMANSHIP

How has partnering with IWC enhanced your appreciation for watchmaking?

I love being in the company of my friends at IWC because I see that there are people who speak my language. And even though I speak the language of music, and they are speaking the language of mechanics — the incredibly beautiful craftsmanship and artistry of creating watches — we ultimately always end up on the same subjects: time, eternity, how best to spend our time, how to see time, music, watches, and the mechanics of all of these things in the most elegant possible way.

How did you represent the different times of day in your music?

I tried to represent them by using different orchestration elements, different movement elements, and different devices. A lot of it is electronic because I love the abstraction that a synthesizer gives you and lets you create anything that you can imagine.

I write my music from my heart. I write my music from my demons. I write my music from my intellect. […] I write my music because I see it as a vital part of what makes us human, and I write my music because I can’t think of doing anything else.

LITTLE OSTINATOS AND ARPEGGIOS

How did you manage to unify four distinct themes into one overarching composition?

Throughout the composition, all the little ostinatos and arpeggios — those little rhythmic figures that are driving the piece forward — are like the different elements inside a watch. There’s an overarching tune that harmonically keeps shifting about the different elements of the day, and the different shades that the light creates during the day as it travels across the sky.

Hans Zimmer at a concert in Dubai in January 2023, EVI
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Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 44

IW503703

PORTUGIESER PERPETUAL CALENDAR 44

A$ 72,000

18 ct white gold case, Automatic, self-winding. Light blue calfskin strap by Santoni, Strap width 22.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— Hans Zimmer at a concert in Dubai in January 2023, EVI 

The Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon Day & Night Ref. IW545901
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Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon Day & Night

IW545901

PORTUGIESER HAND-WOUND TOURBILLON DAY & NIGHT

A$ 125,000

18 ct Armor Gold® case, Manual-winding. Black alligator leather strap by Santoni, Strap width 22.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— The Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon Day & Night Ref. IW545901

A SENSE OF PLAYFULNESS

What do you consider the most valuable tool for your craft?

I write my music from my heart. I write my music from my demons. I write my music from my intellect. I write my music from the necessity of having to write music. I write my music from a sense of playfulness. I write my music because I see it as a vital part of what makes us human, and I write my music because I can’t think of doing anything else.

What feelings do you want to evoke with your composition?

I’d love you to experience two things when you listen to this music: a sense of playfulness and a sense of epic-ness. Because the concepts of time and our constant struggle with time are all about how epic yet simultaneously elegant these things are.

Pantone Color “IWC Silver Moon”
Pantone Color “IWC Horizon Blue”
Pantone Color “IWC Dune”
Pantone Color “IWC Obisidian”

IWC Schaffhausen