The original Pallweber watch pocket watch
The original Pallweber watch pocket watch
Image: Supplied

In its time, the launch of the original IWC Pallweber pocket watch must have been about as revolutionary as the Apple Watch of the modern era.
That’s the view of Walter Volpers, the director of product management at IWC Schaffhausen.

IWC, which stands for International Watch Company, was founded by American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868 and is the only major Swiss watch factory located in eastern Switzerland on the banks of the Rhine River.

The IWC Pallweber was patented by Austrian watchmaker Josef Pallweber, in 1883, and licensed to IWC. Now, a modern redesign of this revolutionary pocket watch, with its jumping hour and minutes display, has been created by IWC as a wristwatch and forms part of the limited edition 150 year Jubilee Collection unveiled this past week at the SIHH.

Volpers says that when the first Pallweber was created 150 years ago, nothing like it had been seen before and pocket watches had only ever sported hands on dials.

The modern Pallweber has been in development for five years and this is the first time too that IWC is incorporating digital hours and minute display in a wrist watch. Volpers says the creation of the casing, the movement as well as the dial of this unusual timepiece came with serious challenges.

The Pallweber wristwatch has been made in extremely limited editions. It comes in platinum with a white lacquered finish dial, red gold with a white dial and stainless steel with a blue dial. There are also some new pocket watches in the collection which themselves enjoyed considerable attention at the trade fair – perhaps next year’s watch trend?

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