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JOIN THE IWC WATCH COLLECTORS’ CONVERSATION ONCE AGAIN AND HEAR THE INSIDE SCOOP AT WATCHES AND WONDERS 2023
In Part I of this mini-series, we shared some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories about the most beloved timepieces collected by IWC enthusiasts. Now, we invite you to delve even deeper into the world of rare watches and discover more insider stories in Part II, as told by members of the IWC Collectors Forum.
— Mark’s Pilot’s Watch “Laureus” IW328101 and the Ingenieur IW322701
CAN’T SAY NO
My first IWC was a caliber 89, which I don’t own anymore. I got into IWC as the 3706 was going out of production and 3717 had just been announced. One watch was so classic the other was so modern, I was trying to decide for months which one I should get, and I ultimately went for the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 3717, which led to a whole bunch of others.
I’m wearing today a Pilot Laureus, which is very special because I wanted a particular number, and I couldn’t get it because it was on hold for someone else. Andrew Thomas got the number released and had it sent to Canada. It’s a 149 – 14th of September – which is my wedding anniversary. So, this watch is special to me.
I also got a 3227, a caliber 52 pocket watch, and a Portugieser 7 Days that’s made the journey with me.
Mark, that is a great idea to sell the idea to your wife that you need another one. Say that you want one showing the day of your marriage! Because she can’t say no. :)
It did work! She was out of the country on business when I actually placed my order. When she came back, I told her: “Listen, I’ve ordered a special edition watch and its’ a 149.” Her answer: “And that’s supposed to help?” Maybe I should have gone for her birthday.
I spent a lot of time on the COLLECTORS FORUM and learned a lot. And I made a lot of friends. A watch can be just a piece of toy. But it’s really about how a watch can get people connected.
KNOWLEDGE AND PASSION
My story is maybe a bit short. I’ve been looking into the brand for around ten years. Today I have the Ingenieur AMG 3227 titanium, a real tool watch. I like the black, it has a nice engraving on the back. The seconds hand is red.
I learned about the brand when I was looking for watches at a dealer in Copenhagen. I took the IWC catalog, browsed through it, and thought that the Pilot’s watch was speaking to me. And so, the 3717 became my introduction to the brand.
My first IWC was the 3227 as well. The black dial in steel. Back then I was in my first job, and I was looking for a watch. Even though back then, I didn’t know anything about the Ingenieur, I just bought it because I liked the look. After that my passion for IWC took off, and I was looking online to find a resource where I can learn more. I spent a lot of time on the collectors forum and learned a lot. And I made a lot of friends. A watch can be just a piece of toy. But it’s really about how a watch can get people connected. The knowledge, the passion… makes watch collecting so special.
So, today I’m wearing a Ro…. just kidding! [collectors laughing] Today I’m wearing the 1832 Ingenieur. A very great watch. A lot of compliments received for this watch, obviously. One thing that makes this watch even more special is that I bought it from a friend of a lot of us, Sir Ralph Edmondson. I miss him, and I wish he could be here with us today. He will be sorely missed. He was a long-time collector, as well. And again, this shows how deeply connected we are. Today I was asked during lunch why I was here, and I said, “I’m here to meet my friends”. It’s not about the watches. Here at “Watches and Wonders”, they have the watches, and then you guys are the wonders.
COLLECTORS: Awwww…. So sweet!
OK, now let’s have a hug!
— Erwin Chu’s Ingenieur SL Ref. 1832
TEAM EFFORT AMONG COLLECTOR FRIENDS
My journey of getting interested in IWC, and watches in general, started with an IWC that belonged to my father’s uncle. He had an IWC watch from the 1960s. That was the first time I noticed the floating seconds hand and I thought that was really cool. So, I started researching watches – especially IWC.
At that time, the vintage collection was just launched. You guys probably remember the storytelling behind the watch collection. They zoomed in and out as if the whole story was inside the watch. That really appealed to me. The one I liked best was the Portofino from the vintage collection. So, that was my first crush. And also, it ended up being the first IWC that I bought. I still really, really enjoy it.
The watch that means the most to me is the Caliber 83 and the particularity about this watch is its very specific type of dial, which is called the “Sandwich dial”. It’s a salmon color, a very rare watch. I received it for my graduation. It was a very big debate about whether it was original or not. But I really liked to have that kind of discussion. I eventually showed it to my watchmaker. He took off the dial and found the star from Stern Frères, a supplier for IWC at that time. It’s a very early one, from 1938. That’s the one I’m getting compliments on a lot.
The watch I’m wearing today is a very nice Caliber 83 with a hermet case, antimagnetic with a bigger crown. And this one has a sector dial. I really love it. What keeps me drawn to IWC is the community. I remember the first time that I went to a get-together in Geneva, when I met with Tonny. I was 18 or 19, so quite a young guy. I didn’t know what to expect and everyone was super welcoming, showing me pieces and explaining the mechanics. And that really hasn’t changed.
What makes collecting nice is that ultimately any collection really is a team effort between your collector friends who can advise you in what they consider special and give you some insights. And that small eco-system is something that I really appreciate. And that builds relationships with other collectors and they become friends. That to me is far more important than watches.
— Koen Simon’s Caliber 83 with “Sandwich dial” in salmon color
If you own a piece from someone who […] is linked to a specific watch, the watch captures that. So, when you wear it, you can see that story in front of you. You relive that story when you look at the watch.
— Anthony’s Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” IW505003
THE “ENGINEERING COMPANY”
The watch on my wrist today is the Tribute to Pallweber. This watch from 2018 was part of IWC’s “150 Jubilee” collection. It means a lot to me. It took a while to get. It was one of those watches that just seemed so far away. I had joined the COLLECTORS FORUM before, but was mostly just sitting back, listening and learning. But I never entertained the idea of traveling from Australia to Geneva for SIHH, “just for fun”. But then in 2018, I had a family holiday planned, so I had to explain to my wife: “Hey, I just need to leave you for a few days”. So, that was my first connection and my first SIHH.
What I love about it is that IWC has this very strong background and pedigree in engineering. And what’s fascinating about this watch is that the minute disc moves 1440 clicks in a day. That’s the equivalent of the energy and the power that a day disc will travel in about four years. So, I really admire IWC’s engineering prowess.
IWC’s advertising says: “We’re an engineering company”. But it’s not just marketing and advertising. It’s about engineering. Not just the movements, but also the cases and materials. And also the people: there are engineers, curious people, open-minded people who are very welcoming, which says a lot about their culture. It’s not a show-off company or a fashion company. They take big icons, such as the Big Pilot, and they transfer it to today’s level.
A few more words about our comradery and friendship among us collectors: unfortunately, over the past year, we lost a few of our dear friends who are not here anymore. We always remember them at our meetings. Some of their watches have found their way to other guys in the group and continue to be cherished. So, we will keep their memory alive. We thoroughly miss those guys, every time we meet.
If you own a piece from someone who helped you acquire a certain watch or who is linked to a specific watch, the watch captures that. So, when you wear it, you can see that story in front of you. You relive that story when you look at the watch. Especially in a community that is so active, at some point you can’t separate it anymore.
Want to discover more delightful from collectors about their cherished timepieces? Check out Part I of ‘Meeting of Marvels’.
This article is dedicated to Ralph Edmondson, Jens-Kristian Soegaard and Argiris Develegas, beloved friends, forum members and passionate collectors who passed away in 2022.
They are dearly missed, and our hearts go out to their families and loved ones during this difficult time.