What a magnificent and unforgettable day where timing and precision was crucial. It started in Shanghai, China, and required that I finish my business meetings on time, get to the airport on time and arrive in Berne, Switzerland, on time. Why all this rush? What was so important? Fabian “Spartacus” Cancellara – Swiss and global sporting legend, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, Laureus World Sports Academy member and ambassador of IWC Schaffhausen – was being honoured with the launch of an exclusive, specially designed sports watch. This was a unique event that I simply couldn’t miss – especially since, after the official press launch, a group of special guests were to enjoy a memorable experience of cycling with Cancellara around his native canton of Berne.
Strapping on mahogany
The good news: I arrived in Berne on time. I chose to wear my Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Boesch” (Ref. IW390504) characterized by a mahogany-coloured dial and a special mahogany inlay by Boesch – the Lake Zürich creators of luxury speed boats – on the sapphire-glass case back. Close to being the perfect sports watch, this timepiece is powered by the IWC-manufactured 89361-calibre chronograph movement with flyback function, beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour and boasting a power reserve of 68 hours.
Fabian Cancellara, a perfectionist, is known to be superstitious. And the number seven holds a special place for him in the context of his big races. So this ride was designed to be 77 km long, taking in some of the most beautiful, peaceful parts of the Swiss countryside – from the undulating hills in the canton of Berne and through Emmental to one of his favourite and highly challenging steep climbs to Moosegg. I have to say that I have now discovered one of the best cures to recover from jet lag: join a cycling peloton of new friends and race head-to-head with passionate cyclists.
Once we reached the breathtaking top of Moosegg, we were rewarded with a short, surprising “pit stop” – a light gourmet lunch courtesy of the talented Swiss chef, Nenad Mlinarevic, who holds two Michelin stars. After our delicious lunch, Fabian quickly rallied his peloton to get back on their bikes and complete this special ride with a sprint back to the centre of Berne.
I have now discovered one of the best cures to recover from jet lag: join a cycling peloton of new friends and race head-to-head with passionate cyclists
Number 7 for Spartacus
A masterpiece watch: the definite highlight of the day was the launch of the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Cancellara” (Ref. IW380704), which is limited to 77 watches - number 7 is reserved for Fabian himself, of course. As a sports watch, it combines a robust, satin-finished titanium case (42 mm in diameter), offering impeccable visibility in terms of the timing functions on both hands and dials. The silver-plated dial carries a tachymeter scale, and the subdials are finished in contrasting galvanized black. The hands and timing functions also have red-coloured flashes, which add a true sporty touch. The chronograph is driven by the IWC-manufactured 69370-calibre movement, comprising the high-performance bi-directional pawl-winding system. Finally, the watch’s cycling theme is accentuated through the unique feature of a wheel-spoke design on the sapphire-glass case back.
Now, where will my bike take me next? I hope to be able to share more details on my next cycling adventure with you soon.
Andrew Thomas wore the Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Boesch” (Ref. IW390504), and Fabian Cancellara wore the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Cancellara” (Ref. IW380704) during the event.
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