This holiday season, show your loved ones how well you know them with an IWC watch that perfectly matches their personality.
With Christmas around the corner, we know that gift buying is on everyone’s to do list this month. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of IWC watches that we love and the personalities we think they’ll pair perfectly with. From the recent graduate about to join the real world to the discerning design buff to the haute horology connoisseur and the limelight-loving trendsetter, we guarantee the timepieces below will make for considerate and memorable presents this holiday season.
The Graduate: IWC Portofino Automatic
The refined and elegant IWC Portofino Automatic is the ideal gift for that friend or family member who’s recently marked a momentous right of passage, such as a graduation or the passing of tough exams. Making for a perfect dress watch, this classic timepiece, available in stainless steel or red gold, is all about restrained design — a true symbol of professional world preparedness.
Presented in a discreet, round 40mm case with a silver-plated, slate-coloured, or black dial, the Portofino Automatic features an elegant three-hand display, surrounded by baton-shaped hour markers, all of which match the watch’s case material. A subtle date window sits at 3 o’clock and is — along with the Roman numerals marking 12 and 6 o’clock — the only additional adornment to the watch’s clean face.
Powered by the automatic Calibre A35111, this Côtes de Genève-finished movement can be admired via a sapphire crystal caseback and offers the wearer a power reserve of 42 hours. The red gold Portofino Automatic model is paired with a dark brown alligator leather strap, while the stainless-steel version is available with a black alligator leather strap or a Milanese mesh stainless steel bracelet. Starting from $6,300 and going up to $96,800, this collection is accessible to a variety of budgets, making it a viable gift option.
The Purist: IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII
For the watch enthusiast in your life, we recommend the time-honoured IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII. Gifting this vintage-inspired timepiece will demonstrate not only that you recognise the deep knowledge that your horology connoisseur friend has, but also that you know a thing or two about watches as well. Paying homage to the iconic Mark XI, the Mark XVIII distils the pilot’s watch down to the absolute essentials.
Housed in a 40mm stainless steel case, the watch’s simple, utilitarian design reflects considered restraint. Clarity and legibility are the defining traits of the Mark XVIII’s dial, which is available in either black or silver-plated. Arabic numeral hour markers appear in white against the black dial or black against the silvered face, while crisp white hour and minute hands coated in luminescence ensure optimal legibility and easy time reading at all times. As a nod to the pilot watch heritage of this IWC model, a white triangle with two dots replaces the 12 o’clock mark, while a date window can be found at the 3 o’clock position.
The automatic Calibre 30110 drives this timepiece. A Côtes de Genève-finished movement, it offers resistance against magnetic fields, central hacking seconds, and a 42-hour power reserve. Paired with either a Santoni black calfskin leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet and priced at $6,100, this aviator’s watch is for the hard-core watch fan that is sure to appreciate the authenticity of the Mark XVIII series.
The Design Buff: IWC Portugieser Chronograph
IWC’s ultra-sleek Portugieser Chronograph is the watch of choice for that always put-together, design savvy loved one. You know who we mean — that friend or family member with impeccable taste, who’s always on top of all things arts and culture. The Bauhaus-inspired design aesthetic of the Portugieser Chronograph — available in stainless steel or 18-carat red gold — gives this watch a stand out look on the wrist.
Sized at 40.9 mm in diameter, this round timepiece with a fluted crown positioned between two perfectly rounded chronograph pushers has been designed with symmetry and harmony in mind, which explains why it has become arguably the most coveted member of the Portugieser family since being introduced in 1998. Boasting a black, silver-plated, or blue dial, the Portugieser Chronograph features a shimmering sun-pattern finish and two recessed sub-dials positioned at 6 and 12 o’clock. The top one displays the chronograph’s 30-minute counter while the bottom displays the small hacking seconds. Embossed Arabic numerals, thin hour and minute hands, and a peripheral precision scale round off the watch face’s composed style, while the “IWC Schaffhausen” lettering at 3 o’clock is perfectly counterbalanced with the “Chronograph Automatic” lettering at 9 o’clock.
Housing the self-winding Calibre 79350, this automatic movement finished with Côtes de Genève perlage controls the watch’s chronograph functionality and offers up a 44-hour power reserve. Fitted with a black alligator leather strap and retailing for $10,900 to $22,900, we guarantee the design buff in your life will never forget a gift of this merit.
The Movie Star: IWC Big Pilot’s Watch
If you need a watch that’s as bold as your favourite person with a larger than life personality, then look no further than the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch. A timepiece that celebrates its past, this instrument is the uncompromising example of the historic aviator’s watch and will be much appreciated by that seeker of celebrity you hold dear.
Encased in stainless steel, this watch takes inspiration from “Beobachtungsuhr” — watches once made for German pilots during WWII. Featuring a matte black dial with a sunray-finished power reserve register on the dial at 3 o’clock, this pilot’s watch is sized at an impressive 46.2mm in diameter. Bold Arabic numerals adorn the watch face along with a prominent minute track, which — by virtue of being all in white — pops against the dial’s black backdrop. The propeller-shaped, lume-filled hour and minute hands are in keeping with the watch’s vintage look, while a date aperture at the 6 o’clock mark maintains the piece’s classic design aesthetic and practicality.
Powered by the Calibre 51111, the Big Pilot offers a generous seven-day power reserve, which can be tracked by the indicator on the dial. Rounding off the case design is an engraved Junkers JU-52 plane on the caseback, an additional nod to this watch’s rich aviation heritage. Paired with a black calfskin leather strap by Santoni, this IWC model is priced at $19,300, a small price to pay to be forever in the good graces of a future movie star.
Whatever IWC watch you choose and for whichever personality, you can be sure it will be the best Christmas present they get this year. Possibly ever.