The Top Five IWC Watches In 2024
 

The Top Five IWC Watches In 2024

5 min read
Rob Nudds

Brands

IWC

Categories

Watch Buying Guide

Rob Nudds

Brands

IWC

Categories

Watch Buying Guide

Everyone loves a good list article as it’s a chance to reinforce your own opinions via the clearly ranked opinions of others.

It’s a fun exercise, but it’s not always as easy to compile a good, well-reasoned, and possibly even thought-provoking list as you might think.

Deciding on your favourite out of a bunch of things that you don’t own can be a revelatory exercise. The fact you don’t own something is, in itself, a good place to start.

IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph IW390703Hands-on with the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph IW390703 - Credit WatchGecko

Why don’t you own it?

Is it because it’s the best of a bad bunch that you’ve been tasked with ordering and you secretly think that every item on the list is rubbish? I can’t speak for other media outlets, but I know that isn’t the case here at WatchGecko, so that can’t be it. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of not being able to afford it. Maybe you simply want something from another brand more. Maybe you love it but you believe something better (like a more appealing dial colour, for example) is on the way. Or maybe, the problem runs deeper than anything taste-driven and becomes one of philosophy...

Sometimes, you don’t own something not precisely because you couldn’t afford it, but because you simply don’t think it’s worth the asking price. And if you feel like that about a piece, how are you supposed to rank it? After all, a watch’s price is part of the product proposition. You can’t close your eyes to the reality of the situation and order things in isolation of their price positioning and expect the list to stand up to scrutiny.

5. The IWC Ingeniuer IW328903 (Teal Dial)

IWC Ingeniuer IW328903IWC Ingeniuer IW328903

IWC Ingeniuer IW328903 - Credit IWC

I refer to the above preamble to explain why this watch, reference IW328903 is fifth on my list despite being my favourite model by IWC by a long, long way. I love this watch. I adore the dial texture and colour. The execution of every element is on point. But I loathe the price. So much so that I will never buy one new at retail, despite believing it to be the very best product the brand has produced in decades (and possibly ever).

And don’t mistake this for sour grapes. I’m not in the camp that thinks £10,500 is a crazy price for any watch. I own watches worth more. It isn’t the fact that I couldn’t acquire one if I wanted to. It’s the fact I think the gap between where this watch “should” sit in the industry-wide pricing hierarchy and where it does sit is so scandalous, that I refuse to reward the decision makers that placed it there. If this watch were 7K (a not insignificant but fair price for an integrated steel sports watch with a closed case back from a reputable brand) could have crushed the competition from in the 5–10 grand bracket to dust. 

Instead, it suffers from arriving just as the Covid bubble burst and looking like it turned up to the surprise birthday party three days late and totally hammered. It’s a classy watch that made a relatively classless entrance into the world. Let’s hope that IWC decides to hold the price where it is while the rest of the industry catches up because I’d hate to see it discontinued before its time. It’s just too good. 

4. IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 41 Black Aces

IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 41 Black AcesIWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 41 Black Aces - Credit IWC

 
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WatchGecko Ridge British Military Watch Strap - Black & Orange
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WatchGecko Ridge British Military Watch Strap - Navy & White
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WatchGecko Ridge British Military Watch Strap - Black & Red
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When you think of IWC, it’s quite possible the first style of watch that pops to mind is a classic Flieger (or Pilot’s watch). There are tonnes of great, timeless designs in this category ranging from basic functions to high-end complications, but the one that stands out to me is the recently released Black Aces flying squadron special edition with a fully luminous dial and a cool playing card motif at 6 o’clock. Priced at £6,350, it’s a relatively accessible way to buy into the brand’s esteemed aviation heritage that brings with it bucket-loads of character you don’t always find in this popular category of timepieces.

Want to learn more about this model? Then click here.

3. IWC Portugieser Chronograph IW371624

IWC Portugieser Chronograph IW371624IWC Portugieser Chronograph IW371624

IWC Portugieser Chronograph IW371624 - Credit IWC

The new “sand” dials released into the Portugieser line this year are gorgeous in natural light, and this one, at £7,600, is right on the money. I cover these models in more detail here.

2. IWC Aquatimer Automatic IW328801

IWC Aquatimer Automatic IW328801IWC Aquatimer Automatic IW328801

IWC Aquatimer Automatic IW328801 - Credit IWC

For me, the entire Aquatimer range is sorely underrated. The case design may be a bit “mid-2000s”, but I believe that more and more brands are going back to these bold silhouettes and having some fun with them now they are seen as slightly goofy-but-good-natured throwbacks as opposed to the self-serious, swaggering sumos they once were. 

The basic black dial model with flashes of green lume is just an easy watch to wear. And in this era of IWC, the price (£5,450) is crazily competitive. Bear in mind that a standard Omega Seamaster Diver 300M on a rubber strap now retails for £5,300, and the value becomes even more apparent.

1. The Eternal Calendar IW505701 

Eternal Calendar IW505701IWC Eternal Calendar IW505701 - Credit IWC

This is not only a beautiful watch, it is a stunning and stunningly pointless achievement (and I make the latter comment in partial jest).

Nobody needs an Eternal Calendar and that’s entirely the point. Nobody needs a luxury watch, after all. The IWC Portugieser Eternal Calendar is actually everything that’s right with the watchmaking industry. It, like the Ulysse Nardin Freak, or the MB&F Legacy series is an inspiration that stokes the enthusiasm for our great craft like little else.

When the curtain dropped on Watches and Wonders this year, it was this model I heard mentioned most often in the “best watch” conversation, and it deserves it. This is a watch we’ll still be talking about in ten years, so if you have the means and opportunity to acquire one, go for it (and you’ll never forget what day it is again).

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Rob Nudds

About the Author: Rob Nudds

Rob started working in the watch industry for the Signet Group, aged 17. Following university, he undertook the WOSTEP course at the British School of Watchmaking, developing a keen interest in watchmaking theory. After graduating, he worked primarily for Omega and Bremont before leaving the bench in 2015 to become Head of Sales for NOMOS Glashütte in the UK. After three years of managing an international retail network that grew to encompass 17 countries, he began writing full-time.

Since then, he has written for aBlogtoWatch, Fratello, Time & Tide, Grail Watch, SJX, Get Bezel, Borro Blog, Jomashop, Bob's Watches, Skolorr, Oracle Time, and Revolution USA.

He currently co-hosts The Real Time Show Podcast (www.therealtime.show) with his friend and long-time collaborator, Alon Ben Joseph of Ace Jewelers, Amsterdam, as well as working with several brands as a consultant in the fields of brand building, product development, global retail strategy, and communications. Follow him on Instagram @robnudds.

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