Complex Made Simple

IWC tribute to Pallweber edition “150 Years” to honor 1884 pocket watches

IWC Schaffhausen has unveiled three limited-edition “IWC Tribute to Pallweber” wristwatches with jumping numerals, as part of its Jubilee collection, to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary.

Digital display

In these pieces, IWC is incorporating a digital hours and minutes display in a wristwatch for the very first time. First used by IWC in pocket watches back in 1884, this method of display was a revolutionary development at its time.

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Those historic Pallweber pocket watches showed the hours and minutes in large numerals on rotating discs. Despite this innovation, the watches were only a commercial success for a brief period before disappearing from the scene after a few years.

In recognition of the scale of this pioneering exploit by Schaffhausen’s watchmakers as well as a tribute to F.A. Jones – the American watchmaker who founded IWC – the windows of the digital display on the limited edition watches have been labelled as “Hours” and “Minutes”.

Inside however, the movement is the IWC-manufactured 94200 calibre, a new solution for the technically sophisticated digital display (patent pending). While toothed cogs moved the discs in the historic Pallweber pocket watches, the impulse that advances the single-minute disc is now supplied by a separate wheel train with a barrel of its own.

A release mechanism that establishes a connection to the watch’s main wheel train unlocks the train every 60 seconds and then immediately locks it again. After 10 minutes, the single-minute disc moves the 10-minute disc forward by one position. Every 60th minute, the hour ring jumps to the next numeral.

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The fact that the flow of power in the main wheel train is uninfluenced by the separate wheel train in the display discs guarantees a precise rate and a high 60-hour power reserve.

Just like on the historic Pallweber pocket watches, the display discs are connected by a mechanical linkage with a star wheel (Maltese cross drive) and can be easily moved forwards or backwards using the crown.

A total of 25 watches will be made in platinum, 250 in red gold and 500 in stainless steel.