Upon entering the lab, you’ll see various types of testing machines, with some even resembling science fair contraptions. For example, one tests the wear of automatic rotors for sometimes as long as 3,000 hours at accelerated testing conditions. Other devices produce impact tests, intended to simulate seven years of life. Since light, heat, impact and motion aren’t deemed sufficient, another machine subjects components to magnetic forces up to 600,000 A/m.
Every new watch model is tested to its limits. If it can survive the planned threats from IWC’s testing experts, it should thrive well in the real world. All homologation tests are “in the raw”, where whole movements are exposed and dismantled and then the myriad parts, after being subjected to abuse, are checked for corrosion, wear, oiling and precision timekeeping.