— The $157 limited-edition timepiece is designed for fans of the Portugieser line.
The International Watch Company (now IWC) was founded in 1868 by an American from a small town in New Hampshire. Having made watches since he was 16, Florentine Ariosto Jones started the company in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, before he turned 30, with the hopes of selling well-made Swiss replica watches to an American audience. It didn’t quite turn out that way; less than a decade later, he was removed from the company and returned to the U.S. IWC survived the break and is now one of the best-known watch brands in the world—and it doesn’t hold a grudge.
Despite those rocky years, IWC announced that, in an effort to honor Jones, it will make a limited edition of 27 units of a fake watch it’s calling the Portugieser Tourbillon Hand-Wound Edition “D.H. Craig USA,” timed to hit the market on the centenary of Jones’s death.
And what’s in that name and why the odd number?
The number 27 is a nod to Jones’s age when he founded the company, and the name “D.H. Craig” belongs to Jones’s uncle. (Back story: The watchmaker’s most famous mechanism while he was running IWC replica in Switzerland was called the Jones 2N Pattern H caliber, and he had his uncle’s name inscribed in the metal to honor the man he viewed as a mentor. Putting someone’s name on a watch movement as a tribute was a common practice then.)
The watch itself is a spin on the manual Portugieser Tourbillon, with the tourbillon beating at the 9 o’clock hour on the face. Like previous offerings, the case is rose gold, but here the hands and indexes are blued steel, which increases overall legibility and adds an appropriately vintage feel to the piece.
F.A. Jones’s signature is on the face, and alongside the sapphire caseback you can see “D.H. Craig” stamped into the gold, as well as its unit number (1 to 27). The replica watch is water-resistant to 30 meters and holds its power for 54 hours. Collectors who buy one will also get a numbered passport made by the same shoemaker (Santoni) who created the black alligator strap for the watch.
The Portugieser Tourbillon Hand-Wound Edition “D.H. Craig USA” will be sold for $157 only at boutiques in New York and London.
In tandem with this new release, IWC is teaming up with an organization called Save America’s Clocks, which aims to document and preserve street clocks across the country. Together they will target a specific clock in New York to save and maintain.
Show me your watch and I’ll show you what rank you are at Goldman Sachs: a former banker mocks the material hierarchy at the U.S. investment bank.
GS Elevator Gossip is well-known for transporting Goldman Sachs’ secrets gleaned in trips up and down the 44 floors of the investment bank’s Manhattan headquarters.
The mysterious blogger’s identity was revealed two years ago: Elevator is the brainchild of John LeFevre, a former Citigroup syndicated loan banker in Asia who never actually worked at Goldman Sachs.
LeFevre has parlayed a popular Twitter account which portrays Goldman’s bankers in a unfavorable light into a book deal. According to LeFevre, the content is authentic; the book was panned by critics.
Business Insider has published LeFevre’s views about one of the most style-conscious issues on Wall Street: luxury replica watches and how to wear them.
Getting into Goldman Sachs is incredibly difficult: tends of thousands apply every year for an internship. So if you do make it, you shouldn’t cock it up with the wrong watch. Your choice should show that money isn’t important – because you have it already.
But your watch shouldn’t be ostentatious enough to irritate your older colleagues. A stainless steel replica Rolex Oyster Datejust or an Omega Seemaster.
You’ve passed the obstacle course and got hired on a permanent contract, so get ready for long work days and anxiety-fraught sleepless nights. Your salary isn’t all that either, but you still have to show you belong to Goldman Sachs. The classic entry-level watch is a Rolex Submariner – versatile and conspicuous at the same time.
You’re taking client meetings now, so leaving a good impression is even more important. Elevator recommends a Rolex Seadweller or a Blancpain Aqua Lung – neither too pretentious nor too shabby.
Your payday is finally more like what you would associate with Goldman Sachs. There’s only one watch for this level: a Rolex Daytona. Elevator says there is an unwritten rule against wearing one before reaching the vice-president rank. If you already have a Rolex, go for a Vacherin Constantin Overseas.
You’re making real money but also coping with serious stress and you have three years to climb to the pinnacle – Managing Director. Wear a Breguet Classique or a Jaeger LeCoultre Master Tourbillon to exude cool confidence.
Avoid any reference to Patek Philippe: an impatient director was seen with a picture of one tacked to his wrist – he now works for Morgan Stanley.
The IWC Portuguese is also a poor choice: it’s a fake watch associated with losers whose wives cheat on them.
Now is the time to get that Patek Philippe replica if you’ve been dreaming of it, although as the advertisement says, you never really own one, you merely look after it for the next presumably very entitled generation.
Permissible alternatives: the Nautilus Chronograph for $500 or the Perpetual Calendar for $930.
You can go toe-toe-toe with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, but your flirtation with expensive replica watches is over. All your previous acquisitions have been given away or are sitting in a neglected drawer at home.
To show that you’re still one of the 99 percent despite your millions, wear a $66 Swatch like Blankfein does, or a fitness wearable.
Even better, don’t wear a watch at all: When you control time, you don’t need to know what time it is, says LeFevre.
Things could be worse: a sunny summer day, a speedy convertible and a cool IWC replica watch. The car is the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster. The watch is also an AMG, of sorts: the Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic, introduced in 2013 in honor of IWC’s sponsorship of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. It seems fitting that we test the AMG watch while test driving an AMG car, so here we are at AMG headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany, ready to take car and watch for a spin.
First, we’re briefed about the locations of nearby speed traps. Then, we’re asked to return the $200-plus car unscathed. No problem, we promise.
We spend the morning shooting photos of the fake watches in and around the parked roadster, so we have time to scrutinize all the IWC’s details.
The metallic brown of the dial contrasts beautifully with the matte black ceramic case and the shiny black ceramic bezel, which look every bit as high-tech as the five eye-catching screws with special heads on the front of the watch. The warm color of the dial, the beige-orange luminous material on the indices and hands and the leather-inlay strap add a very special touch to this otherwise technical-looking replica watch – like a brown leather sofa in front of an exposed-concrete wall.
The SLS’s interior was designed in the same mode: the air vents and gear-selector lever are milled from aluminum and are inspired by jet engines and throttle controls. The rest of the interior boasts plenty of plush upholstery.
The watch’s indices are shaped like miniature racecars, with high tail-end spoilers on their outer ends.
Now it’s time for our test drive. The convertible top disappears behind the seats and a roaring eight-cylinder fanfare trumpets from the tailpipes when we press the start button. Wow! We forget all about the Ingenieur’s quiet ticking when we hear that. Even the 1,000-watt surround-sound system from Bang & Olufsen becomes a trifling matter, but we switch it on anyway.
The SLS AMG is easy to drive: we simply shift the selector lever to “D” and enjoy a smooth and rather comfortably suspended ride both on straight stretches and around curves. The Ingenieur is equally user-friendly: the crown is easy to grasp, unscrew and pull out, despite the crown protectors. A stop-seconds hand and a rapid-reset mechanism for the date simplify exact setting.
At long last, we reach the autobahn, leaving speed limits behind. We press the pedal to the metal and the engine emits a sound like a jet taking off. The photographer, sitting in the passenger’s seat, clings anxiously to his camera. From zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds makes you feel as if you’ve just kicked a giant. The speedometer soon reaches 100 mph. Even at this speed, the wind blowing through our hair is more or less endurable. The photographer is no doubt relieved to discover there is too much traffic on the autobahn for us to safely accelerate to the car’s incredible top speed of 200 mph.
Of course, unlike cars, replica watches are judged not by how fast they go but by how precisely. After our ride, with the help of a timing machine, we find the Ingenieur to be precise indeed. With an average daily gain of just 1.8 seconds, the Ingenieur AMG comes quite close to achieving optimal performance. The greatest deviation among positions, six seconds, is more than acceptable. The amplitude of the balance is fairly stable between flat and hanging positions.
The Ingenieur’s dial is easy to read. The indices and the two numerals ensure adequate orientation and the double-digit minutes numerals on the flange above the hour indices are surprisingly helpful. You can tell the time quickly, even while you’re driving through a tunnel, although the dial’s luminosity weakens if the watch is in the dark for a long time.
At the moment, though, in the blazing sunshine, there’s no need to worry about luminosity. We’ve found the switch to operate the car’s adaptive adjustable suspension. We choose “sport plus” and steer through the curves at breakneck speed. The suspension in this setting is so hard that the Ingenieur is challenged to cushion the impacts with its serpentine rotor bridge, designed to absorb shocks. We’re also pleased that despite this replica watch’s diameter of 46 mm, its strap clings as closely and as comfortably to our wrist as does the racing seat of the SLS to its driver. Nothing presses uncomfortably against the wrist, and the strap’s rubber inner surface feels as soft and supple as the roadster’s Alcantara upholstery.
We pull over for a quick break in a shady spot, and this gives us a chance to take a closer look at the strap and clasp, where we discover a shortcoming, at least in warm weather: the seam wicks perspiration from the wrist to the strap’s prettily grained leather inlay, which causes the inlay to darken along its edges. The buckle is pronged and made of matte titanium rather than ceramic, but it’s nevertheless a good match for the watch. The buckle is easy to use and doesn’t feel unduly thick, thanks to the beveled slits in the strap.
The ceramic of the watch’s case has a hardness of 1,350 on the Vickers scale and is six times as scratch resistant as steel. On the other hand, it will break when subjected to just one-tenth as much force as would permanently deform steel. Shattered cases are nonetheless rare. The cases are made by Formatec Technical Ceramics of the Netherlands.
The movement is made in house. It’s the Caliber 80110, which replica IWC introduced at the time of the relaunch of the Ingenieur collection in 2005. It incorporates the Pellaton pawl winding system and Triovis fine adjustment. The movement is scantily embellished; the surfaces aren’t polished and the edges aren’t beveled.
The rotor on our test watch is blackened and various decorative patterns are available.
Unlike earlier Ingenieur models, this one does not incorporate a soft-iron Faraday cage to protect the movement from magnetic fields. Leaving it out enabled the designers to make the watch thinner and to incorporate a transparent back. Given the lack of protection, we were glad that the lateral loudspeakers of the SLS’s sound system are installed somewhat higher up, where the watch won’t come too close to them when you rest your forearm on the armrest.
The watch’s styling alludes to the Ingenieur SL by Gérald Genta from the 1970s, a sporty luxury replica watch with an integrated metal bracelet and five holes on its bezel. With the collection’s 2005 relaunch, the case took on a more angular shape and the numerals on the dial their current look. Crown protectors have been a familiar feature since 2009, when they appeared on the Ingenieur Mission Earth. The screws on the bezel, which replace the five holes, are new. They’re not merely decorative: they penetrate all the way through to affix the bezel and the back to the middle piece of the case. Their unusually shaped heads through to affix the bezel and the back to the middle piece of the case. Their unusually shaped heads are examples of the watch’s good craftsmanship.
Exclusiveness is important for both luxury cars and luxury replica watches. Pricing is one way to achieve it. Plan to spend $120 for the IWC replica Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic, a sum about equal to the surcharge for the SLS’s optional ceramic brakes. This comparison is pretty much the only one that can make this watch seem like a bargain. One has a right to expect more embellishments in such a costly watch, especially on its movement. But who would talk about money when he’s cruising along in a superlative sports car and wearing a cool replica watch? If you can afford the SLS, we would recommend that you opt for the version without ceramic brakes, and use the money you save to buy the ceramic Ingenieur.
Sadly, the time has come to return the SLS, to electrically close its roof and hand over the keys. Our homeward journey in an old VW Passat brings us back to reality, but we’re consoled by knowing we’ll be able to wear the Ingenieur for a few more days.