IWC collectors know that a few IWC pocket watches with minute repeaters and chronograph mechanisms were sold as early as the years between 1910 and 1920. But until the 1970s that was an exception. Before that, the Schaffhausen-based manufacturers had focused on the production of high-quality and extremely precise pocket watches and wristwatches. Then, in the 1970s, following the advent of the so-called quartz crisis, there was a radical change of strategy at IWC. Counter to the general trend towards quartz watches, IWC decided to concentrate on the production and sale of high-value, complicated pocket watches that would sell on the collectors' market. In effect, it was a counter-revolution to the arrival of quartz. Master watchmakers in Schaffhausen, such as Kurt Klaus, designed exclusive pocket watches for the few remaining collectors of top-quality timepieces. The first of these watches was the Reference 5500 open-face pocket watch with a calendar and moon phase, which was unveiled in 1977. Other fruits of their efforts were pocket watches with a strike train, such as the Ref. 5412 (hunter) and Ref. 5226 (open-face) minute repeaters, which IWC advertised in a catalogue dedicated to pocket watches.
One of the model featured here, the Jaquemart repeating pocket watch in 18-carat yellow gold, Ref. 5225 was an automaton, with figures on the dial that struck the time. They are made of stamped, hand-chased 18-carat yellow, white and red gold. The Ref. 5412, Ref. 5226 (open-face) and Ref. 5225 had an IWC 952 calibre as the basic movement with a five-minute repeating module. The strike train chimed out the time in hourly and five-minute intervals on two gongs. Thanks to an "all-or-nothing" strike train, based on the system pioneered by Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747–1823), it was impossible for the mechanism to announce the wrong time due to a failure to push down the strike train lever completely. In the same catalogue, published in 1981, IWC also presented a heavy Grande Complication pocket watch, the Ref. 5480). The movement comprised no fewer than 1300 individual parts. On the dial were the displays for the hours, minutes and seconds, the day, date and month with a perpetual calendar and a seconds chronograph. All this was rounded off by a minute repeater. Connoisseurs soon recognised the watch's unique status. But at a time when many producers were following the trend towards cheap quartz watches and the Swiss watch industry was in dire straits, many of them acknowledged IWC's courage in including such a magnificent specimen in its range.