IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph
$ 7,500.00

IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph

Why We Love It 

While the Big Pilot's Watch collection might be their headliner, it is their chronograph collection that IWC is probably best known for.

Be it from their Pilot's Collection, Aquatimer Collection, or Portugieser Collection, an IWC chronograph is always a good choice. And some of their more obscure models - such as this Yacht Club Chronograph, are amongst the most compelling.

The sportiest variant in the Portugieser family, this is the only model to feature a luminous dial and handset. Paired with an in-house flyback chronograph movement and a beautiful sunburst grey dial with black recessed subsidiary registers and applied Arabic indices, this watch perfectly straddles the line between dress and sport - not the easiest gap to bridge!

In exceptional condition with full set dating to July 2020, this is fantastic value for a 'deep cut' modern IWC worthy of experiencing!

The IWC Pilot’s Story

The history of IWC can be said to be one of marriages. For example, a marriage of the Old World to the New, or of the craftsmanship and tradition of the Swiss with American innovations and technology. But perhaps the most enduring association is between IWC and aviation.

When an American watchmaker named Florentine Ariosto Jones arrived in Schauffhausen, Switzerland, he found a city almost frozen in time. Though the Industrial Revolution had swept through America (where Jones worked as a director of a prominent watchmaking company), in Switzerland the situation was very different. Watchmakers still plied their trades by their own firesides, as they had done for centuries; but Jones had in mind something different: an American-style factory where the watches would be designed and assembled in keeping with the old Swiss ways.

His methods caught on, and soon there were 196 people employed at his factory.

Though IWC was founded 35 years before Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first flight, the association between aviation and IWC began just as the aviation age dawned. A pocket watch made by IWC in the 1890s found its way into the pocket of one Robert Albert Lotter. Lotter was a pilot in the German Luftwaffe who served with distinction during the First World War.

Two decades later, in 1936, IWC would release a watch that set the standard, more or less, for what a pilot’s watch is supposed to be—in fact, this watch, the Spezialuhr für Flieger or Special Pilot's Watch, was the first specially-designed pilot’s watch. Another would follow in 1940, the Big Pilot, which has spawned an eponymous model in IWC’s current collection. However, despite the Big Pilot’s current popularity, it was the Special Pilot’s Watch that would lay the cornerstone for IWC’s most iconic line: the Mark series of pilot’s watches.

IWC released the Mark XI in 1948 according to specifications set forth by the British Ministry of Defense. These watches had to be legible, compact, and able to withstand exposure to the magnetic fields emitted by instruments in an airplane’s cockpit. The Mark XI, therefore, had a black dial with large luminous Arabic numbers, and the Calibre 89 movement (regarded as perhaps the best mechanical movement ever produced) was encased in an iron cage.

The Mark XI served as the basis for design inspiration for a robust line of pilot’s watches still being produced today – easily identifiable by their clean, uncluttered dials, robust cases, and outstanding quality.

 

Details

SKU: AS03942

Stainless steel case is approximately 43.5mm (excluding the crown). Calibre 89361 automatic winding chronograph movement by IWC. IWC Reference IW390503. Circa 2020.

Overall Condition: The case is in fantastic, as-new condition throughout showing only faint wear from careful handling. Luminous grey sunburst dial is in as-new condition with matching handset. Sapphire display case back. Signed crown.

Includes blue leather strap with signed deployant clasp. Also includes inner and outer boxes, books and warranty card dated July 2020.

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