At the Geneva Watch Fair 2019, the most impressive exhibition hall is IWC. For the first time, the brand arranged the exhibition hall as a fully open space, just to highlight an original Silver Wing Spitfire in the center of the booth! The appearance of this real machine is of course also in line with the heavy launch of IWC’s most important pilot series this year, as well as the development of multiple new movements. The reporter in front of the watch house also interviewed IWC again at the watch exhibition Mr. Walter E. Volpers, Technical Director of Watch Products, explained the details of the new products and new movements in 2019.
Walter E. Volpers, IWC Product Technical Director at the exhibition site
IWC Spitfire Pilot Automatic Watch (IW326802) with Bronze Case and Olive Green Dial
Watch House: As a leader in the movement department, what do you think is the biggest challenge and difficulty in the development process?
Walter E. Volpers: 15 years ago, we may not have paid too much attention to the movement, but after a long period of development, IWC has reached an important stage of focusing on the development of the movement. Then what I have to do is to ensure that the development and promotion of the new movement can be performed on time and quality. The development of a new movement will take about 3 to 5 years according to the degree of functional complexity, and the case material development will require 8 From months to a year and a half, the challenge is to keep up with these developments without complacency, and to ensure that the watch is matched with a beautiful case design and material, and the most appropriate movement function. For example, this year’s Spitfire Pilot Automatic Watch (IW326802), the bronze case material, the dial is a special olive green, we have made at least 5 such dial colors, just to compare the best dial color, Finally, it showed the results that everyone saw. This is my job and challenge.
IWC Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Special Edition (Mohave Desert) (Model IW389103)
Watch House: This year’s TOP GUN sand-colored ceramic watch I like very much, it is also the brand’s first launch of this color ceramic watch, so what is the future development plan of the new material?
Walter E. Volpers: This is good news for me, because everyone has their own preferences, there is a little bit of shame before the launch of this color, but I personally like this design very much, so when you hear it, you like it too I am very happy. This sand-colored ceramic was developed by IWC independently. This patented material is as light and strong as titanium and at the same time as hard and scratch-resistant as ceramic. Inspiration comes from the Mojave Desert, the largest onshore base of the US Navy. The color is made by combining zirconia with other metal oxides, which is very special.
Speaking of the future plan of the material, in fact, we have launched new materials in the pilot series since 2016, and now include 7 different types of steel, bronze, ceramics, special color ceramics, titanium, hard gold, and platinum. Choice, so the case material is really one of our important features, but future plans still take time, I ca n’t tell you exactly when the new material will be launched, because the development time may be three years, also Maybe five years.
Watch House: I noticed a phenomenon that this year the brand has used the self-produced movement 32110 on the Mark 18 Spitfire and Mark 18 TOP GUN, but the Mark 18 Spitfire is made of steel and bronze, and the Mark 18 TOP GUN is The ceramic case, the regular version of the Mark 18 and the Mark 18 Little Prince, still use the universal movement 35111, so when will the new movement be used in the regular model?
Walter E. Volpers: This is an interesting question and a strategic one. You know we opened a movement factory last year, so there are many new plans and strategies for the development and use of new movements. Nothing can be done overnight, from the development of a new movement to the promotion and use of all watches. In the paragraph, it is impossible to achieve it all at once. Therefore, we will first use promotion in special material models to make the product more characteristic, and then continue to promote to regular models step by step.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Chronograph ‘Little Prince’ Special Edition (Model: IW392202)
Watch House: Finally, let’s talk about LE PETIT PRINCE. It should be the new highlight of this year’s top priority.
Walter E. Volpers: There are two main types. One is a special edition of the new large-scale pilot constant-power tourbillon watch ‘Little Prince’. It is the brand’s first pilot-powered watch with a constant-power tourbillon. It is equipped with two case materials. Raised and more durable red gold watch. The second is the new Antoine de Saint Exupéry special edition watch. For the first time, the perpetual calendar and chronograph function are integrated into the pilot watch. The movement is equipped with two barrels, so Has a 96-hour power reserve. (Interview / Monica finishing / Zheng Yu)