IWC Schaffhausen

CONTACT US

  • Call IWC

    Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm

    Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

    +32 42 71 03 10
  • Send IWC an E-Mail
    We will reply within 24 working hours.
    Send IWC an E-Mail
  • Send IWC a WhatsApp Message

    Do you have a question about a product - your order or our service?
    Contact one of our watch experts on WhatsApp.

    Monday to Friday : 9:00am – 7:00pm
    Saturday : 9:00am – 5:00pm

    Send a Message
  • Visit IWC

    Choose the closest IWC boutique and come visit us soon or visit our IWC service centres - we would be delighted to take care of your timepiece.

    Find a Nearest Boutique
  • MAKE AN APPOINTMENT

    Schedule a visit at the boutique of your choice.

    Book an Appointment
  • Leave your Feedback

    Your feedback is important to us. Share it with us here.

Globe

Change location

Close
Search Location
Selected Country
Results
All locations
All locations
iwc-ppc-language-
Shopping Bag

Shopping Bag

Close
Sign in to IWC

SIGN INTO IWC

Close

IWC Schaffhausen

The Journal

A WATCH COLLECTOR’S PURSUIT OF HAUTE HORLOGERIE

A WATCH COLLECTOR’S PURSUIT OF HAUTE HORLOGERIE
Read Time: 3 min

Shipping and delivery conditions

product.buyoptions.taxes.shipping.link product.buyoptions.taxes.shipping.link Price includes taxes. Recommended Retail Price. Price excludes taxes. Recommended Retail Price. Recommended Retail Price Available to buy online. Orders can be returned within 30 days free of charge. Pay with credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), bank wire transfer, Unionpay or Paypal.

     

MEET IWC COLLECTOR NELSON HERRING AS HE CONTEMPLATES THE ESSENCE OF FINE WATCHMAKING

Portugieser Tourbillon Mystere Retrograde IW504601

To Nelson Herring, a watch is much more than the mechanics. It is art and a means of communication. “The more you look at a watch, the more you begin to see things. You see the harmony in its design, the coherence of the dial and the case, and the cleverness that went into the appliqués, fonts, and colors. Watches are pieces of functional art that will be remembered as manmade masterpieces,” Nelson once said. The dentist from Virginia is still one of the most avid members of the IWC Collectors Forum. In his free time, he explores painting and furniture-building, passions that underscore his keen eye for aesthetics and design.

 

Nearly two decades after this Forum interview, the IWC Journal reconnected with Nelson to discuss what Haute Horlogerie means to him, the criteria he uses to choose his watches, and why he puts sentiment before investment. 

Nelson Herring wearing a rare “Dresswatch” Caliber 88 from 1947 (left) and a beautiful Ingenieur Ref. 866 (right)

— Nelson Herring wearing a rare “Dresswatch” Caliber 88 from 1947 (left) and a beautiful Ingenieur Ref. 866 (right)

   

HOW WATCHES FIND THEIR OWNERS

   

WHEN DID YOU START GETTING INTERESTED IN THE WORLD OF HAUTE HORLOGERIE?

I can’t tell you when exactly, but I do remember the old IWC hardcover catalogs. I got one when I was still in school. I was so fascinated looking at all the watches, and I remember thinking: “Ohh I have to have one of these!” 

   

CAN YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST HIGH-END WATCH THAT TRULY IMPRESSED YOU?

It was when I got my Portugieser Minute Repeater 5240 RG. The skill, craftsmanship, complication, and legacy of this watch make it haute horlogerie to me, and also the very classy script on the dial. The story was one of friendship and serendipity. I bought the yellow gold model, but without the box. A few weeks later, one of my good watch collector friends sold his complete set of rose gold models to someone I did not know. I wrote the new owner, and he decided he did not bond with the rose gold one, so we made a deal for me to buy it. Of course, I sold the yellow gold one to finance the rose gold one.  

   

WHAT DOES THAT TIMEPIECE MEAN TO YOU NOW?

It means more to me since it was originally one of my buddy’s watches, but made its way to me. So it was sort of meant to be. IWC Museum curator David Seyffer later displayed it in the IWC Museum. I was sad it was gone for almost a year, but it makes for an even better story. I believe watches go to the person they belong to, and that is really true here.

   

THE HIGHEST FORM OF HAUTE HORLOGERIE

   

WHAT DISTINGUISHES HAUTE HORLOGERIE FROM REGULAR WATCHMAKING?

It’s difficult to have everyone agree on what haute horlogerie is, I suppose. But for me, it is a number of things: movement (finishing, handcrafting, legacy, precision, and watchmaking skills), the type of dial, the case materials, and the complexity. So, double-chronographs, minute repeaters, and tourbillons certainly fit.

 

But also, innovations like IWC’s Ceratanium®, pioneering titanium and ceramics, silicon movement parts, bearings that need much less service and lubrication, CAD and cam machining, etc. But that does not overshadow the finishing and crafting by hand, which might be the highest form of haute horlogerie. It puts things into an entirely different price category in most cases.

The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar IW503406 with platinum case and alligator strap
Close

Portugieser Perpetual Calendar

IW503406

Portugieser Perpetual Calendar

59 400 €

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

Made in Switzerland

— The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar IW503406 features a platinum case and black alligator strap by Santoni

The Portugieser Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde IW504602 in 18 ct 5N gold case
Close

Portugieser Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde

IW504602

Portugieser Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde

103 000 €

18 ct 5N gold case, Automatic winding. Dark brown alligator leather strap by Santoni, Strap width 22.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— The Portugieser Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde IW504602 in 18 ct 5N gold case

 

Beautiful classic: The Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon IW545801 features an 18 ct Armor Gold® case
Close

Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon

IW545801

Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon

73 200 €

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

Made in Switzerland

— Beautiful classic: The Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon IW545801 features an 18 ct Armor Gold® case

   

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP CRITERIA WHEN ADDING A NEW TIMEPIECE TO YOUR COLLECTION?

Always the condition, for a vintage piece. Only great condition really works. For new watches, it would be whether or not I already have the complication. Visual appeal, of course. And I do have my favorites, which are single and double chronographs.

   

WHAT ABOUT PERPETUAL CALENDARS?

I have four Perpetual Calendars. I like them because of the genius way Kurt Klaus designed them. To be able to set them from the crown is amazing. I own the GST Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Titanium (Ref. IW375603), the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Titanium Cellini Limited Edition 50 Pieces (Ref. IW502606), and the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 7 Day Limited Edition 25 Pieces (Ref. IW502113) - a spectacular dial with an incredible moon phase. Lastly, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Perpetual Calendar 125 Years Wempe Limited Edition 50 Pieces (Ref. IW375701) is perhaps my favorite for the added chronograph function.

The Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde IW516501
Close

Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde

IW516501

Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde

66 800 €

18 ct 5N gold case, Manual-winding. Dark brown alligator leather strap by Santoni, Strap width 22.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— The Portofino Hand-Wound Tourbillon Rétrograde IW516501

   

INSIDERS ONLY: WHAT’S ON YOUR WRIST?

   

ANY IWC WATCH YOU’LL NEVER PART WITH?

My Mark XII because it belonged to my father and was the first IWC I ever saw. My father is still alive today, but he gave it to me many years ago for Christmas. After he gave it to me, I knew for sure, this was my favorite watch brand. That’s when I started collecting watches. It’s not the fanciest watch, but it means more to me because it’s from my father. He really loved it. 

   

HOW DO YOU BALANCE EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT TO A WATCH AND ITS INVESTMENT POTENTIAL?

I don’t. Watches are not an investment to me. They are a way to connect with other great collectors and make new friends. So, a watch might or might not be a good investment, but it can have an emotional attachment if I have great memories of hunting it down (the search can be one of the best parts), discussing it with like-minded friends, spending time with it and friends. 

   

HOW DOES SPORTING AN IWC INFLUENCE YOUR MOOD?

It gives me a lot of self-satisfaction. A lot of times, insiders know what you’re wearing, but not everybody on the street knows what it is. I like that very much. Sometimes I get to explain the brand to someone who does not know anything about watches, and over time, you see how they get hooked. That’s always fun.  

 

     

IWC Schaffhausen