IWC is a collector favorite with several iconic collections. Names like Portuguese, Ingenieur, Aquatimer, and of course pilot watches from the Mark series, have earned their places in the horological hall of fame. IWC is also a name synonym of luxury watches that some will judge inaccessible. However, the collection is wide and includes several watches that could suit the budget of new collectors or collectors with a smaller budget, with no compromise on the usual quality of the brand. Here is our buying guide with six current IWC watches that are in stores now and priced below 10.000 Euros – a selection made with our colleagues of WatchTime.
IWC Pilot Watch Mark XVII
The IWC name is practically synonymous with pilot watches. The company has been manufacturing them since 1936. The best-known, the Mark 11, went into production in 1948 and continued until 1981, ultimately achieving cult status among collectors.
Our first featured watch is the latest in the Mark line – the IWC Pilot Watch Mark XVII. Measuring 41 mm in diameter and priced at $4,900, this watch is comfortable on the wrist and the wallet. The date window presents a vertical display, similar to instruments found in aircraft cockpits. To keep the price accessible, the movement is the IWC 30110, which is produced by a third-party manufacturer to IWC specifications. A soft-iron inner case protects the movement from magnetism.
The IWC Pilot Watch Mark XVII is priced at 4.600 Euros.
IWC Aquatimer Automatic
Dive watches are available with a variety of complications, and while models with bells and whistles can be both great looking and useful, the added functions are often unnecessary for the stated purpose of the watch, namely diving. To do the job they were made for, these timepieces benefit from clean, legible displays, and therein lies the attraction of dive watches in their purest form. Simplicity begets utility, and they still look great.
The IWC Aquatimer Automatic is available with black or silver-plated dials, and with a choice of rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet. On the black-dialed model shown below, the dive-related displays are coated with green Super-LumiNova. The simple dial and bezel design facilitates instant recognition underwater. This watch also features IWC’s innovative external/internal SafeDive rotating bezel. The device that looks like a second crown at 9 o’clock is actually a housing for a drive wheel and pinion. Turning the external bezel, which offers excellent grip, rotates the internal bezel via the wheel and pinion mechanism.
At 42 mm in diameter and 14 mm thick, this is the smallest member of the Aquatimer family. Water resistance is 30 bar, or 300 meters. The bracelet offers IWC’s quick-change system, which allows the owner to switch between bracelet and strap with no special tools. The caliber 30120 movement is Swiss-made by a movement specialist to IWC’s specifications.
The IWC Aquatimer Automatic, on a rubber strap as shown, retails for 5.350 Euros.
IWC Ingenieur Automatic
The Ingenieur is another IWC icon. Several models are available, but as with the Aquatimer, a strong case can be made for the pure lines of the Automatic. One of the most convincing arguments lies in the proportions. At 40 mm x 10 mm, this model sits well on the most wrists. The Automatic’s big brothers may impress with imposing size, but for average individuals, this watch offers excellent fit and comfort.
Aesthetically, the classic model most closely respects the family’s traditional design cues. Famous watch designer Gérald Genta penned the conspicuous bores in the bezel. Like all great watch designs, the Ingenieur is instantly recognizable, and it is among the toughest-looking fine timepieces on the market. A sapphire crystal and screw-in crown add to the feeling of security.
The Swiss-made automatic movement offers hacking seconds and a 42-hour power reserve. A soft-iron inner case shields the movement from magnetism. Water resistance is 12 bar, or 120 meters.
The IWC Ingenieur Automatic lists for 6.150 Euros.
IWC Portofino Chronograph
Famous for its sporty Ingenieurs, Aquatimers and Pilots’ watches, the IWC Portofino collection is sometimes overlooked. It shouldn’t be. Portofinos offer classic good looks in many forms, and the chronograph is a particularly striking example. The lines are clean and well-balanced, and the dial blends dress and sports elements to create a versatile look that can be worn anywhere. At 42 mm x 13.5 mm, the size is just right.
The displays beneath the sapphire crystal include day and date, central chronograph seconds, continuous hacking seconds at 9 o’clock, a 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock, and a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock. Small red numerals on the chronograph counters add a hint of spice. All of the indications are absolutely legible, as they should be on a proper chronograph. The displays are powered by a automatic movement produced by a Swiss movement specialist to IWC’s specifications.
The IWC Portofino Chronograph, on a metallic Milanaise / Mesh bracelet as shown, is priced at 6.400 Euros.
IWC Portugieser Chronograph
This is certainly the most recognizable of all the IWC Watches. The IWC Portugieser Chronograph (the old one, not the new one that IWC decided to name ‘Classic’) is all about the vintage observatory watches created by IWC in 1940 (the Portugieser collection is celebrating this year its 75th anniversary). It brings back all the classical attributes of these old timepieces: a large dial opening, a clean design with iconic applied numerals but instead of the usual 44mm / 45mm of the rest of the collection, this one remains very easy on the wrist with its 40.9mm.
This specific chronograph edition is first the most accessible but also the most iconic, a watch that you can wear in every situation and with every outfit. Inside ticks a modified Valjoux 7750 (and not the usual in-house chronograph movement) that allows to keep a reasonable price, always with the superb IWC quality. It is available in mutilple editions, including this black dial version that is certainly the easiest to wear.
The IWC Portugieser Chronograph is priced at 7.600 Euros.
IWC Pilot Watch Worldtimer
IWC’s Pilot Watch Worldtimer is intended for pilots, frequent flyers, and anyone who needs to keep track of the time in other parts of the world. The hour and minute hands show the local time, and as the owner passes through time zones, the time can be adjusted forward or backward in one hour increments via the crown to display the new local time, even when crossing the international date line. Once the time is set, the rotating black-and-white 24-hour ring allows the owner to read the time in all 24 time zones. When the local time is changed on the dial, the time displayed on the ring is not affected because the movement continues to run during the changeover.
The Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer case measures 45 mm in diameter and 13.5 mm thick. The movement is an ETA-base with an IWC module, and a soft-iron inner case protects it from magnetism.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer is priced at 8.550 Euros.