Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Best Men's IWC Watches for Under...

IWC, or International Watch Co. is a luxury watchmaker located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.  The company was founded by Florentine Ariosto Jones, and American watchmaker, in 1868, after leaving Howard & Co, in Boston, which was America's leading watchmaker at the time.  Florentine's goal was to combine the craftsmanship of Swiss watchmaking with the technology of the U.S to manufacture movements and parts for the American market.

Schaffhausen was a town that was in danger of being left in the dust, with the industrial age in full swing, so together, with Johann Heinrich Moser, they laid plans to industrialize Schaffhausen.  Moser built the first hydroelectric plant for the town, laying the groundwork for IWC to begin manufacturing.

In 1880 Johann Rauschenbach Vogel, the CEO and a machine manufacturer from Schauffhausen took IWC over, and the comany stayed in the Rauschenbach name for four generations.  The family was finally unable to come up with the nessessary moneys to afford the extreme rise in gold prices, and had to change directions, bringing in the Swiss Banking Corp to assist.  The SBC brought in VDO Adolf Schindling AG, who took a majority interest in IWC in 1978 and began to reorganize the company.

In 1991 IWC director Gunter Blumlein founded the LMH Group, located in Schauffhausen.  The group owns a 100% stake in IWC, along with large portions of Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Lange & Sohne.

LHM was acquired by Richemont in 2000.

The Best Men's IWC Watches for Under...

The best men's IWC watch under 5000 dollars

Portofino Automatic Silver Dial
Model: IW356501
Case: 40mm Stainless Steel
Band: Crocodile
Movement: IWC 35110 Calibre Automatic
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Date
Battery: N/A
Water resistance: 30M/100ft

Simply classic is really the best way to describe the Portofino series of watches.  The Portofino Automatic Silver dial reminds me of watches my grandfather would wear,  Stainless case, stainless arms, white face, no muss no fuss.

It has a 40mm stainless steel case with a small fluted crown located at the 3 o'clock position.  It has a smooth bezel and sapphire lenses in both the front and back of the watch.  The dial is white, and uses tick marks for the hours, except for the 12 and 6 o'clock markers, which are Roman numerals.  There is a date window located at the 3 o'clock position, and there is an outer ring of Arabic numbers for minutes.  The band is crocodile leather, and it has a belt style clasp, which is also in silver.

The Portofino is actually my personal favorite type of watch.  I love the simple looks and clean lines.  I love to be able to look at a watch and quickly tell what time it is.  I love that it is an automatic.  This is actually a watch I would like to own.  If you look you can easily find this watch for under 3500 dollars, it is a great buy at that price point, in my personal opinion.

The best men's IWC watch for under 10,000 dollars

Portugueser Hand Wound 8 Day
Model: IW510203
Case: 43mm, Stainless Steel
Band: Alligator
Movement: IWC 59215 Hand Wound
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Date
Battery: N/A
Water resistance: 30M/100ft

This watch was originally posted on the 5 best men's watches for under 10,000 dollars.
The IWC Portugieser has a very vintage look to it.  The 43mm Stainless steel case has a very clean look to it, with the crown at the 3 o'clock position, and a sapphire lens, see through, screw down back panel.  The silver plated dial face has the numeral hour markers, and a date window at the 3 o'clock position, and a small second dial at the 6 o'clock positions.  The black alligator band has a tri-fold clasp, that is also stainless steel.

The Portugieser has a 8 day power reserve, and reserve gauge on the back.  It also has a date window, along with the small second dial.  Sapphire lenses on the front and the back along with the alligator band round out the features for this watch.

The IWC 59215 is a manual wind mechanical watch that has a power reserve of 8 days.  Yup, 8 days.  The Movement is a 30 Jewel, Second hacking movement that runs at 28,800 VPH.  It also includes a power reserve gauge on the back of the movement, see through the back cover.

Personally, I like the vintage look of the IWC.  I like the 8 day power reserve, and I like the history this company has.  It is an expensive watch.  I am finding it for around 9500-9800 dollars, so it will stretch your budget if you choose this one, but I feel like it is a great watch.

The best men's IWC watch for Under 20,000 dollars

Aquatimer Deep Three
Model: IW3557010
Case: 46mm Titanium
Band: Rubber
Movement: IWC 30120 Calibre Automatic
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Date
Battery: N/A
Water resistance: 100M/300ft

I have never pretended to be a huge dive watch fan.  But I know there are a lot of folks out there who do like them, and I can understand.  They tend to be some of the more durable watches available, and even if you have no intention on diving, you can be pretty sure you are getting a watch that can take a bit of a beating.  The Aquatimer series of watches are really no exception to that rule.  They are built tough and offer a lot of features that you would expect on a good dive watch.

The Aquatimer Deep Three has a 300ft water resistance depth.  It comes with a large 46mm titanium case and has a crown located at the 3 o'clock position.  The crown has a guard.  It has a rotating bezel, that is internal and external with the safedive system.  The lens in the front and back are sapphire and the dial is black with luminescent elements on the dial, internal bezel and hands.  It has a mechanical depth gauge, and hour, minute and hacking seconds hands.  There is a date window located at the 3 o'clock position.  There is a inverted triangle at the 12 o'clock position, and the quarter hours are denoted in Arabic numerals.  The other hours are denoted with simple ticks.

The watch is nice looking, and large.  I would not mind wearing this, and that is saying something, considering my aversion to dive watches :)  The only real issue I have with this watch is the price.  I do believe that if you are a true diver, there are other men's dive watches that are better suited for the tack for more reasonable pricing.  I do believe this watch is purchased more for the brand then the actual utility of it.

The best men's IWC watch for under 30,000 dollars

Big Pilot Midnight Blue Dial
Model: IW502701
Case: 46mm, Gold
Band: Leather
Movement: IWC 52850 calibre Automatic
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Month, Date, Day
Battery: N/A
Water resistance: 60M/196ft

There are quite a few watches in the big pilot series of watches.  The Big Pilot Midnight Blue dial is a watch that sports the Automatic 52850 calibre IWC movement, and offers time and calender capabilities.  The case is gold and measures 46mm.

The crown is gold also and is located at the 3 o'clock position.  The bezel is smooth gold and has a sapphire face and a sapphire back as well.  The dial is midnight blue.

The watch uses roman numerals, along with tick marks to denote the hours, with a classic triangle marking 12 o'clock.  There is a is a sub dial for seconds located at the 9 o'clock position and a sub dial for the day of the week located at the 3 o'clock position.  There is d Month/Date/Day window located at the 12 o'clock position, and an outer ring of numbers denoting the minutes.    The hands of the watch are all gold.  The band is leather with a gold, tri-fold style safety clasp.

It's a really nice looking watch,  It has good size to it, and the crown has a very nice fluting to it.  I think this is an excellent example from a high class watchmaker.  Something that would be a heirloom for sure.

Wrap Up

IWC is a company that I often overlook.  It doesn't seem to get much publicity, at least in the places I frequent.  But they are one of the top watchmakers in the world, and should not be overlooked.  Quality and attention to detail are second to none from this company.  And it is a company that has been doing this for a very long time.  It even has some American ties to it.  These are some of the best men's watches money can buy, in looks and quality and prestige.


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