IWC Schaffhausen has a history of collaborating with influential figures from various fields to create limited-edition watches that are a testament to both style and functionality. One of their most recent and remarkable collaborations is with none other than the seven-time Formula One™ world champion and IWC brand ambassador, Lewis Hamilton. Together, they have brought to life a masterpiece that not only reflects Hamilton’s distinctive style but also showcases the prowess of IWC’s watchmaking expertise – the Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton.
The Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton (Ref. IW394008) is a timepiece that demands attention from the moment you lay eyes on it. Crafted with precision and attention to detail, this watch features a refined platinum case, the rarest and most precious of all metals. The whitish sheen of platinum beautifully complements the rich teal-colored dial, which is further embellished with 12 sparkling diamonds. The dial’s design is not just visually appealing but also highly functional, with slightly recessed displays for the chronograph and the retrograde date, giving it a sculptural look. As a personal touch, Hamilton’s logo, resembling a panther’s eyes, graces the dial. The watch is elegantly secured to the wrist with a matching textile strap fitted with a folding clasp, ensuring both comfort and style.
The highlight of the dial is undoubtedly the flying hacking minute tourbillon, positioned at 6 o’clock. The word “tourbillon,” French for “whirlwind,” perfectly describes the captivating movement of the balance wheel as it rotates around its axis within a small cage. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the tourbillon serves a functional purpose by reducing the influence of gravity on the watch’s oscillating system, thus enhancing its accuracy. What sets this tourbillon apart is its integrated stop mechanism, allowing the wearer to bring it to a complete halt, facilitating precise time setting. Assembled with meticulous care, the tourbillon comprises 56 individual parts and weighs a mere 0.675 grams, making it a testament to the watchmaker’s skill and precision.
Driving the Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton is the IWC-manufactured 89900 calibre, which includes not only the tourbillon but also a chronograph function. The chronograph’s hours and minutes are displayed on one counter at 12 o’clock, ensuring that elapsed time is easy to read and comprehend. Another remarkable feature is the retrograde date display, adding an extra layer of sophistication to this timepiece. What sets the movement apart is the use of silicone for the pallet lever and escape wheel, coated with a diamond-like material known as Diamond Shell®. This innovative technology reduces friction and optimizes energy flow within the movement, resulting in an impressive power reserve of 68 hours. The movement components, including the bridges, are gold-plated, and they can be admired through the sapphire glass back. This marks a significant milestone for IWC, as it’s the first gold-plated movement since the legendary “Il Destriero Scafusia” from 1993.
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