While the majority of watchmakers within the modern market stick to releasing timepieces that form part of their traditional collections, brands will sporadically branch out from the norm and create novel designs that are unlike anything else they produce. Launched in 2018 to celebrate their 150th anniversary, IWC did precisely that with their Tribute to Pallweber Edition 150 Years. Inspired by a design from 1884 that multiple brands used, but IWC was best known for, this a watch unlike most of what we see today, never mind just what IWC produce.
Taking direct inspiration from one of IWC's most legendary pocket watches, the Tribute to Pallweber features the same layout as that iconic pocket watch. Developed as a first back in 1884 and based on the Pallweber system developed by Josef Pallweber, it displays the hours and minutes in digital form via large numerals on rotating discs beneath the dial – much like the date display in modern wristwatches today. Contrasting this digital display for the hours and minutes, the Tribute to Pallweber displays the seconds at 6 o'clock on the dial through a recessed analogue subdial like the original pocket-watch. These same recessions also surround the hours and minutes apertures and provide a wonderful sense of depth to the otherwise understated dial.
In keeping with its strict adherence to the original's design, the Tribute to Pallweber is a large watch, with a 45mm stainless steel case. Being that it is inspired by an iconic pocket watch, the Tribute to Pallweber sports two wired lugs, much like those that were often soldered onto pocket watches that were converted into wristwatches following WWI. Attached to these lugs is an attractive black leather strap secured by a pin and buckle.
While its glossy blue dial is undoubtedly an entertaining point of intrigue, the Tribute to Pallweber's sapphire crystal exhibition caseback reveals the true party. Beneath the crystal lies a wonderful movement that IWC had to create from the ground up for this magnificent timepiece due to the historical movement not being up to IWC's modern standards. Manually wound, like its predecessor, the in-house cal. 94200 sports some incredible finishing and a commemorative marking.