What happens when you put 28 watch-nuts in a room? Indeed, the restaurant staff gets crazy. Last Friday, 28 IWC collectors and aficionados from various countries gathered in Amsterdam to chat, do some activities in the city and spend the evening together in the Okura restaurant. During dinner, IWC surprised its fanbase by showing all three models of the new IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Classic with calibre 69730. Yes, IWC has a great online fanbase with its forum, but they do also meet offline, for even more fun.
The first thing I have to say is that I felt really sorry for the restaurant staff. The kitchen prepared a delicious dinner and the staff had to find their way amidst rotating people, photo bags on the floor, and watches on the table. They survived…barely. Honestly, they did a great job accommodating the group. They remained friendly and service-oriented. In the meantime, the group had a wonderful time catching up, showing rare watches, bringing back good memories, and talk about life. But watches remained at the core of all conversations, including a story about the pocket watch of a man who survived the Titanic disaster. We will share that story later with some photos.
In case you don’t know: IWC has a large group of watch enthusiasts who actively participate in what is called the “IWC Collectors Forum” – see here. In many ways, the collectors are ambassadors of the brand. The IWC specific and supported forum was established in 2001 and was moderated by Michael Friedberg – an avid collector of pocket watches himself – for many years. Currently Tonny Berteloot is the moderator. Tonny has been a member since the early days of the forum and very knowledgeable about IWC watches. The forum is a friendly environment and many people have become friends over the years. The amount of knowledge about IWC watches and its history is incredible.
The good thing however is that this fanbase is not only online-gathering but, on a more-than-expected regular basis, they do meet in what collectors call GTG and of course, IWC supports these meetings, by helping collectors to gather and by showing them, in exclusivity, new pieces, aware of the importance of such groups for the brand. That’s actually what they did in Amsterdam.
IWC has launched three models, specifically for Collector Forum members. This is a photo from 2005 when a group of Benelux collectors received their copy of the Collector Forum Ingenieur personally by Kurt Klaus, who flew in specifically for this occasion:
Whenever you have questions about IWC, visit the forum!
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of all three special editions of the new IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Classic that will hit the market this fall. By the way, prices are still unknown but expect them to be around $7.500 for the steel version. See these links for earlier reports here and here.
Bas from IWC Netherlands presenting the models and our editor Koen, proudly presenting the W125 model, also with two fellow aficionados.
Some heroes of the past:
And the new Ingenieur Chronographs.
As we said in our earlier report, the true innovation is inside the watch: the new “workhorse” movement calibre 69370 that will be produced in an industrialized process. The new movement has been designed and developed from the ground-up together with Richemont Valfleurier. It is a robust, standard movement that can be produced in larger quantities meeting consistent quality standards. The movement is IWC-specific, developed based on IWC specifications and standards, which, for example, implies that the small seconds are located at the 6 o’clock position.
This was probably one of the rare dinner events with more watches than people in the room: