Exploring Iberia with the IWC Yacht Club Chrono

In 1939 two Portuguese business men approached the International Watch Company (the only major Swiss watchmaker that was founded by an American) to create a watch collection to honor the great 15th-and-16th century Portuguese explorers like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan—men who pushed the limits of exploration. Seventy one years after the now successful Portuguese watches were introduced,  IWC led an expedition of its own back to the coast of Portugal to unveil its newest addition to the Portuguese family of watches, the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph.

Time and navigation are siblings, and an accurate chronograph is a crucial tool in piloting a seaborne vessel — the old school analog way. To celebrate the launch of the Yacht Club, the newest member of the Portuguese collection (IWC’s most popular series we might add), the Schaffhausen, Switzerland based watchmaker chartered two racing yachts and devised an old school navigation school to extol the virtues of the new Chronograph. Our group disembarked from the marina at Cascais, a town not far from the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon, for a day-long nav course on Portugal’s coastal waters of the Atlantic ocean.

Throughout the day the professional sailors of the IWC navigation program taught the basic hand-held navigation, techniques that took hundreds of years of sailing, experimentation and ingenuity to develop. The expert French sailors taught the group to use the sextant to acquire our position using celestial navigation and gave lessons in coastal navigation, dead reckoning and charting our position by hand,  just as the explorers would have done it centuries ago.

While historically explorers had the basic sailing navigation tools, they didn’t have anything that came close to the beauty and precision of the the IWC Yacht Club Chrono. The watch is perfect for sailing (built on an in-house Swiss movement that is waterproof to six bar and features sub dials for marking and measuring time) yet right at home for a meeting in the city. Another interesting feature is the fact that he Yacht Club is the first watch from the IWC Portuguese range to offer a sport band, a strap that will be resistant to the harsh environs that ocean going men have to face. The good news is you don’t have to be a member to don the Yacht Club, and there is no sailing ability required. [IWC]

Comments on “Exploring Iberia with the IWC Yacht Club Chrono

    Ben Bowerson September 27, 2010 @ 11:43 AM:

    I love the look of that watch. Glad to hear you felt it was appropriate for business in the city despite the sport strap, since I couldn’t tell from the photos if you’d have to acquire another leather version for more formal occasions. Funny that all of the sailing staff was sporting navy boat shoes too.

    Chrison September 27, 2010 @ 11:55 AM:

    Glad to see IWC up on ACL again. Not a big fan of this particular watch in person, but the new Portuguese Hand Wound (ref. IW5454) will be my next IWC. Keep it up!

    JonIndia™on September 27, 2010 @ 12:11 PM:

    The shadows and colors in all these pictures look perfect. Very nice work if all these were taken with your d300.

    MLon September 27, 2010 @ 12:12 PM:

    of course they are all wearing navy boat shoes Ben – it’s Europe….

    Michael Williamson September 27, 2010 @ 12:12 PM:

    I took these with my new Canon 5D MKII with a 24-70mm F/2.8 lens. Thanks for noticing. I think that top photo is the best picture I have ever taken.

    Paulon September 27, 2010 @ 12:35 PM:

    Nice watch!

    Reminds me, i watch White Squall over the weekend. Younger men in very 60s trad clothing. The movie was listed as B, but the story was good and lots of good filming.

    Ramalhonion September 27, 2010 @ 12:44 PM:

    Hurray for Portugal !!!!!!!!! My country !!!!!!! ……. beautiful pics…. !!!!!….

    Speedmasteron September 27, 2010 @ 1:17 PM:

    Fantastic post and pics!

    JonIndia™on September 27, 2010 @ 1:48 PM:

    Yeah that top picture is definitely pretty sweet. You definitely find a lot of ideas and inspiration for shots out on the water. I really think that tan/pink in the nautical maps were a perfect choice of color for these pictures. The shadows in the second to last picture are cool as hell too. Nice man, very nice.

    jaredon September 27, 2010 @ 2:51 PM:

    Great looking photos. Might be worth mentioning if IWC paid for the trip.

    TMHon September 27, 2010 @ 3:27 PM:

    Like it.

    Scott Gon September 27, 2010 @ 4:58 PM:

    Great watch, beautiful surroundings.

    Now that I got that out of the way – the exposure, sharpness and detail captured from your 5DMKII are night and day compared to the D300. The fine detail on the maps is clearly legible. I’m considering my own move to the 5D and these images aren’t helping! Nice work!

    Michael Williamson September 27, 2010 @ 5:09 PM:

    Jared — yes, IWC paid for the trip and they did not give me a watch — if you were wondering. Though I am about to pull the trigger on an Portuguese Chrono black / black. IWC is far and away my favorite watch company. And they didn’t pay me to say that.

    JonIndia™on September 27, 2010 @ 5:34 PM:

    I think everyone on the planet has had a wet dream or two about wearing an IWC. And no, IWC didn’t pay me for that.

    vintage leather jacketson September 27, 2010 @ 9:20 PM:

    Great watch. I am a watch fanatic and this is amazing. Beautiful photography.

    Ethan-Ton September 28, 2010 @ 1:00 AM:

    I am a huge IWC fan. The first real watch I bought was an IWC portuguese chrono about 8 years ago. IWC 3714-04 Love the watch till this day. I saw the new Yacht Club watch at the IWC boutique in Vegas at the venetian hotel. Thought I won’t buy the new Yacht Club (I just don’t like it as much as my other IWC’s) I did see the new perpetual 44mm Portuguese in white gold. The grey on grey dial was awesome… I missed seeing the new navy dial with white markers by a few days. The new pieces in the portuguese line is very promising. Thanks again for the post!

    Lineage of Influenceon September 28, 2010 @ 3:10 AM:

    Beautiful watch and you won’t go wrong with an IWC.

    I love my Pilot’s Chronograph, it’s just a stunning piece of watchmaking.

    Imperial blackon September 28, 2010 @ 7:45 AM:

    Michael, I’ve had my eye on a Portuguese for quite some time. Even after the visit with the yacht club, still as much a fan of the Portuguese? It seems quite a bit busier.

    Imperial blackon September 28, 2010 @ 7:47 AM:

    I meant the yacht club seems busier- caffeine abstinence killing me…..

    Michael Williamson September 28, 2010 @ 9:05 AM:

    I like the Yacht Club a lot and if I owned other IWC watches I would probably go for that over the Portuguese Chrono, but since this is my first in the group I think basic Portuguese is the way to go.

    K.A. Adamson September 28, 2010 @ 2:02 PM:

    Check out super classic F.A. Jones from IWC

    Imperial blackon September 28, 2010 @ 7:54 PM:

    Now I just need to unload a Panerai…..any takers?

    Djangoon September 29, 2010 @ 1:48 AM:

    That’s a decent starter watch.

    B. N.on September 29, 2010 @ 7:32 PM:

    ACL – what are the make and model of the sextant you all were using? Looks nice.

    Cliffon September 30, 2010 @ 11:32 AM:

    I’m on a boat
    I’m on a boat
    I’m on a mothaf@ckin boat

    Tomon October 2, 2010 @ 12:03 AM:

    I tried on that very watch at the IWC store in Beverly Hills two months ago. Sadly, like most of their catalog, it’s more attractive in photos, because in person it’s awkwardly over-sized.

    IWC is putting out some very attractive designs at the moment, but unfortunately they all need to be scaled down by about 15%.

    Jeremiah Simmonson October 2, 2010 @ 9:21 PM:

    IWC Chrono, yachts, maps, navy boat shoes… Canon 5D MKII images! I just had a blogasim.

    Does anyone have a cigarette?

    BoyAboutOaktownon October 2, 2010 @ 11:54 PM:

    I agree, Tom, IWC are often oversized these days. I often wear a 42mm Omega Seamaster, but it feels small compared to many of these monsters. It’s really frustrating. I fell hard for a Breguet Marine a while ago, but upon trying it on, I realized that it was simply too large. It was like wearing a pair of clown shoes.

    Trevoron October 5, 2010 @ 7:10 PM:

    Beautiful pictures and watch. I would also like to know what your wedding band is made of.

Comments are closed.