Swiss watch company IWC Schaffhausen works with the finest leathers from luxury shoe manufacturer Santoni to bring ultimate luxury to its signature timepieces.

The partnership between Swiss watch brand IWC Schaffhausen and luxury shoe manufacturer Santoni is one that combines generations of watchmaking innovation and premium- grade, hand-made leather. Having mastered the craft in their respective fields, the two legends began their collaboration in 2011 with the goal of forging a series of unforgettable timepieces that boast style and technical brilliance.

IWC, with its generations of precise and award-winning watchmaking, has iconic pieces such as the Pilot’s Watch, Portugieser, Ingenieur and Portofino that are coveted by watch lovers around the world. IWC strategically partnered with Santoni to offer the ultimate marriage of luxe and technical precision to those who appreciate the finest in horology.

The partnership started with the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days. The pioneer piece made way for other watches within the family such as the Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher, Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date and the Portofino 37 collection. Since then, the collaboration has reinvented models like the Pilot’s Watch and Portugieser series to aesthetically modernise IWC’s timeless innovation.

Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days
The pioneer piece that led to five more years of partnership, the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Ref 5101 combines the ingenuity of IWC engineering with Santoni’s sophisticated alligator-skin finish straps. All variations of the model feature Santoni straps that are hand-polished and coloured from scratch. The straps come in brown, dark brown and black. The case of the timepiece itself is rounded, measuring 45mm in diameter, and is offered in 18-carat redgold and stainless steel. The dial includes a date and power reserve display at six o’clock and nine o’clock respectively — available in ardoise (slate), silver, black and blue.

The 59210 calibre is used across all variations, made up of 30 jewels with an eight-day power reserve. The movement mechanically stops before unwinding completely to prevent torque loss in the mainspring, which preserves the watch’s accuracy.

Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher
This piece does not stray too far from the Eight Days model. Its circular frame and diameter measurement remain unchanged, along with the dial’s date and power reserve display placements. The Monopusher comes in Santoni’s grey and brown alligator straps, with case options of 18-carat white or red gold. As a chronograph, the IWC logo is shifted to three o’clock, next to the date, to make way for a stopwatch display, with a 60-minute limit at 12 o’clock. The Monopusher uses a 59360 calibre that comes in 36 jewels. The movement also runs on an eight-day power reserve with a chronograph mechanism.

Portofino Hand-Wound Day & Date
In many ways, the Hand-Wound Day & Date merges practical uses from multiple models within the series. Much like the Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date, both models feature a larger date display at 12 o’clock, while keeping the power reserve display at nine o’clock. Taking after the Monopusher, the chronograph is located at six o’clock, but places the IWC logo within the chronograph itself. Like other Portofino models, the timepiece functions on an eightday, hand-wound mechanical movement and comes with Santoni’s black or brown leather straps.

Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition
Among all Portugieser models influenced by Santoni over the years, the Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition is its most noticeable for its 75th anniversary profile and aesthetic appeal. Launched only last year, the model comes in both 18-carat red gold and platinum, with the options of black and dark-brown alligator straps. The dial stands out for its date and month digital display at 10 o’clock and two o’clock respectively. The piece also shows off a chronograph flyback function with its 89801 calibre that offers a quick-action switch and double-pawl winding mechanism. There are only 25 platinum and 75 red-gold pieces available.

Big Pilot’s Watch
Having launched this year, IWC’s newest collaboration with Santoni takes a step back from tradition and unfolds a new series of visual innovation. The Big Pilot’s Watch is only one out of the various models in the series but is pleasantly simple in design. Measuring 46mm in diameter, the watch comes exclusively in stainless steel with a black calfskin strap. The black dial matches the sleek hues of the model and highlights the simplicity of its numeral design. The days display is placed at three o’clock, with a date display at six o’clock. Big Pilot’s Watch comes with an aviation engraving on the back that hides its seven-day 51111 calibre automatic function.

This article appeared in the Options of Issue 753 (Nov 7) of The Edge Singapore.