Forty years ago, in 1978, IWC took a calculated risk. A few years before, inexpensive quartz watches decimated the entire Swiss mechanical watch industry.
Searching for new ways to survive as sales plummeted, IWC tried becoming a pocket watch specialist. It also promoted jewelry watches and introduced a new SL sports line. But nothing succeeded like its alliance with Ferdinand A. Porsche and Porsche Design. The first product of that alliance was the revolutionary IWC-Porsche Design compass watch.
F.A. Porsche was an industrial designer par excellence. The son of the founder of Porsche automobiles, in 1963 he produced a design triumph, the Porsche 911 automobile. In 1972, he left the family company to establish Porsche Design Studio.
His designs were clean, bold and contemporary, following the German Bauhaus design school philosophy of form following function. This approach provided an optimal grounding for IWC to establish new bearings and to again find its way.
Battered by the quartz revolution, as well as the increasing price of gold and the Swiss franc, IWC found something important here. An IWC–Porsche Design watch would propel the company forward and would appeal to a younger, upwardly mobile clientele.