WatchPro at SIHH: IWC

HANDOUT – The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph (Ref. IW395001) from IWC Schaffhausen features a stainless-steel case, black dial and black calfskin strap by Santoni with a stainless-steel folding clasp. This watch is a watchmaking master stroke: IWC Schaffhausen is the only watch manufacturer to offer a watch that enables the user to set another time zone, together with the date and 24-hour hand, in a single movement. (PHOTOPRESS/IWC)

While IWC’s big story was undoubtedly the revamp of its Pilot’s Watch collection, including vast new Big Pilot’s at 48mm and 55mm as well as petit new 36mm automatics, the one model we couldn’t get out of our heads was IWC’s new Timezoner.

IWC announced last year that it had purchased the patent for a worldtimer watch that used its bezel to adjust the timezone from Vogard.

As promised IWC have successfully implemented the concept into its Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph, a 45mm worldtimer with timezone cities marked on its bezel.


Depress the bezel and rotate, cough bottle style, moving the appropriate city to the 12 o’clock position and watch the hands swing into the correct position.  It’s an exceptionally clever system but one that Vogard didn’t have the funds to make the most of.

Now IWC has taken it on and created a very pleasing, practical sporty watch. Perhaps given the dimensions of the case – with a deceptively compact footprint that sits proudly 16.5mm above the wrist – IWC haven’t yet figured out how to make the Timezoner look like an IWC. This is certainly a point of difference and may even draw new customers to the brand.

An interesting aside was also revealed by IWC’s creative director Christian Knopp at a design round-table.  IWC no longer uses any live photography in its promotional, marketing and sales materials. Every IWC watch illustrated by the company, including the image used above, is a digital render which is then digitally ‘worn’ to reduce the perfection of a computer simulation. Knopp added that the system meant IWC could promote its watches without having to wait on final product from manufacturing and also allowed them to quickly ‘digitally shoot’ each colourway of a model without having to physically shoot each watch in one location before processing each image.


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