October 12, 2013
IWC Schaffhausen just recently released their third new model in the Portuguese lineup for the year, a line that looks to combine the love of travel and adventure with classic, elegant style. The latest model leaves no guesswork as to two of the major features – it’s called the Hand-Wound Eight Days.
The star of that model name would be the movement, of course. In this case, it’s the 59215 calibre, which is a higher-beat movement (28,800 BPH). More intriguing (at least to me) is that 8 day (192 hour) power reserve. Bigger power reserves on automatics are nice, but when it comes to manually-wound pieces, it’s something that makes life that much easier. With this model, IWC has created a watch you really only need to worry about winding once per week – though, if you’re like me, small bits of winding end up occurring throughout the day.
The manual movement also allows for a thinner profile, with the 43mm case coming in at a fairly svelte 12mm. With the three models launched for this line, you’ll have your choice of two different case materials – stainless steel (with a black or silver plated dial), or 18k red gold, which comes with a silver-plated dial.
All three models share the same clean dial layout, with slightly smaller numerals (in rhodium plate or red gold) applied just inside of the railroad track chapter ring (remember that travel aesthetic they’re going for?). While the smaller numerals seem like there’s a lot of real estate not being used, I think it speaks to IWC’s goal of creating an elegant watch that calls back to watches of the past. In short, it works, and it’s nice to have that clean dial as part of the overall presentation.
Breaking up the smooth expanses you have the understated logo up at 12 o’clock, date display over at 3 o’clock, and the small seconds dial down at 6 o’clock. One bit of visual interest pops up in this sub dial – the 60 is printed in red. While they could have used the large dial to include a power-reserve display, they’ve instead opted to place it on the back of the movement, where it’s visible through the sapphire display back (there’s a sapphire crystal up front as well).
This makes sense for a few reasons. First off, it keeps the dial uncluttered. Next, you’re all but guaranteed to have the watch off of your wrist to wind it, so it’s not a stretch to flip the watch over to see where, exactly, the power reserve stands – say, at the start of the day when you pull it out of the watch box.
Befitting a higher-end watch like this, the straps are made by a luxury shoemaker, Santoni. This should result in some high-quality (and great-smelling) leather being used. The stainless steel models will feature a black leather band, while the red gold iteration comes on a brown leather strap. If you get a black leather strap, it comes with a deployant, while the brown strap features a standard tang buckle (albeit in red gold).
I think this new model fits firmly into the “less is more” camp of luxury watches and I think it’s tastefully executed. I also really like the fact that the movement nicely fills up the 43mm case – meaning the watch is the size it is to enable functionality, not simply to make a fashion statement. Pricing for the Hand-Wound Eight Days comes in at 20,000 CHF (~$22,100) for the red gold variant. The stainless steel models come in at 10,500 CHF (~$11,600). iwc.com