Grade 1 Replica Watches Hands-On with the IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” Pocket Watch
Starting with the Iwc Watches Under 10000 Replica Big Pilot’s Watch Heritage, the newest piece is quite similar to previous major Pilot’s Watches with the exception of case material, that can be currently either ceramic or bronze, and the addition of this very striking IWC 52110 in-house manufacture caliber. The standard Big Pilot’s 51111 caliber features more jewels at 42 but defeats at a significantly slower 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). Otherwise, the 46.2mm case, touch crown, and vintage inspired leather strap stay similar in fashion to previous major Pilot’s. For those who have more regular wrists and bank accounts, IWC also have produced the Mark XVIII in a particular Heritage edition. The new IWC Pilot’s Mark XVIII Heritage keeps the aviation fashion dial and hands in addition to the small 40mm case dimensions from previous versions. New is using titanium for a case substance which lends the piece a pragmatic texture as well as a considerably lighter overall weight. The addition of IWC’s 35111 caliber also distinguishes this new model from it’s forebears and while it isn’t a totally in-house caliber like those in the Heritage Big Pilot’s, it is still a capable 25-jewel movement dependent on the Sellita SW300 as opposed to the 21-jewel, ETA 2892 base motion found in the normal IWC Mark XVIII. A marginally less impressive caliber such as the 35111 using a more approachable 42-hour power reserve also helps to keep the cost somewhat fair.
The headliner in the 28-strong Jubilee Collection of limited editions to mark IWC’s 150th anniversary is undoubtedly the Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” pocket watch.
A remake of the 19th century original, IWC notes the new Pallweber is the brand’s first pocket watch of the 21st century. That being said, it is worth pointing out that IWC was still making pocket watches well into the 1990s – ranging from the complicated like perpetual calendars, to the curious, antimagnetic Ingenieur pocket watch – being one of the few watchmakers aside from Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet to do so.
The pocket watch remake was almost not to be according to IWC insiders. Even until almost the end of 2017 it was still not officially part of the Jubilee Collection, which was then announced as a 27-piece line-up. By SIHH that had become 28, thanks to the last minute inclusion of the Pallweber pocket watch.
Powered by the same movement as found in the well-received Pallweber wristwatches, the new Pallweber pocket watch is closer to the original, being almost a remake of the Pallweber pocket watch of 1885, which was light years ahead of its time.
Characterised by a jumping hour and jumping minute display, the original Pallweber was the invention of Austrian watchmaker Josef Pallweber, who patented it in 1883 and sold the idea to several firms, including IWC. Now a complication synonymous with IWC, the Schaffhausen watchmaker produced approximately 16,500 of them during its brief run up that lasted till 1887.
Intriguingly, the Pallweber movement was built on a base calibre named Elgin, a naming quirk inexplicable today but perhaps related to IWC’s heritage – founder Florentine Ariosto Jones was American – and the fame of the Elgin Watch Company of the United States, then one of the world’s biggest watch brands.
The modern day Pallweber, however, is entirely in-house and thoroughly Swiss-German. A limited edition of 50 pieces, the Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” pocket watch is red gold, and a large 52mm by 14.5mm. Compared to the originals, which were fairly primitive watches, the Pallweber limited edition is like a denser, higher quality doppelgänger.
The front has an engine-turned hinged cover that reveals the hours and minutes display through a pair of windows. Lifting the cover reveals the glossy white dial. While the original Pallweber pocket watches had porcelain dials, some of which were hand-painted with slightly kitschy pastoral scenes, the remake has a white lacquered dial that resembles porcelain, a feature that’s common to all the models in the Jubilee Collection.
Just like the original, the pocket watch displays a digital jumping hours and minutes in labelled apertures with a running small seconds dial at six o’clock. While the labels for the apertures state the obvious, something commonly rejected by collectors, they are true to the originals, which had dials bearing “hours” and “minutes”, or their equivalents in the various languages of wherever IWC watches were exported.
Inside is the newly developed hand-wound cal. 94200 – the exact same movement used in the Pallweber wristwatch. It’s a large calibre constructed in a robust and simple manner, explaining the long power reserve – 60 hours – and the relatively accessible priced compared to similar watches made by other brands (the steel Pallweber wristwatch costs US$23,100).
The commendable power reserve is thanks to an additional barrel and wheel train for the minute discs. That means the minutes display, which has a pair of discs that jump, well, once a minute, runs on its own power, not needing to draw power from the regulator.
Every minute, a release mechanism (visible at the centre of the movement) momentarily locks and unlocks the gear train that triggers the single minute disc. After 10 minutes, the single-minute disc advances the 10-minute disc, and then at the top of the hour, it also moves the hour ring.
Visually, the movement is characteristic of IWC’s modern production, it has a smallish balance wheel and large bridges. As with the rest of the Jubilee collection, the watch’s celebratory nature is made known with an 18k gold medallion on its bridges.
Price and availability
The IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” pocket watch (ref. IW505101) is priced at €64,700, including 19% tax. It will be available later in 2018.