By John Galt

IWC are for the second year running the sponsors and official timekeepers of the Volvo ocean race, the amazingly challenging round the world race starting in Alicante in October 2014 and finishing in Gothenburg, Sweden in June next year. IWC have released a special edition “Ocean Racer” to commemorate their involvement.

VOR_Alicante_972x426Official launch of the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Ocean Racer” on board of Azzam, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s yacht competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15

When I first got the press release for the Ocean Racer I was expecting the usual Yachting shouty piece that we have come to expect, with very loud bright dials and adorned with plenty of carbon fibre and titanium. Yet to my amazement this is a more mature elegant affair, and very good looking indeed.

The stainless steel case is a good size for this type of piece, coming in at 45mm, which sits nicely on wrist and not too thick at 14.5mm, fitting under shirt cuffs with ease. The dial is clean-looking, white and highly legible with gorgeous blue hands and indices. The layout of the dial seems to be normal for chronographs with a seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock, date window with nice black numbers at 3 o’clock. The chronograph features a flyback second hand controlled by the pusher either side of the screw-in crown with crown guards. And the last but by no means least sub-dial at 12 o’clock is the chronograph displaying both hours and minutes, which in my opinion is a very nice detail. A spattering of red on the chronograph dial and main dial gives it a slightly sporty feel but without over doing it like some companies I could mention.

Peering through the exhibition case (which I personally wish more manufacturers did on special editions) you will see the IWC in-house manufactured 89361 movement featuring a flyback chronograph, IWC’s double-pawl winding system with full 360 rotor in the shape of a yacht’s wheel. The power reserve is good for 68 hours. Inscribed round the outside of the back is the limited edition number and depth rating of 6 bar.

To finish off the piece IWC have added a thick rubber strap with alligator leather inlay and a folding stainless steel clasp.

Conclusion

I really like the aesthetics and elegance of this piece. They could have gone mad with a bright colour, many sub-dials etc. but in my opinion IWC did it the best way: keeping it clean, crisp and modern, which is very suitable for a mature brand like themselves. The piece will be just at home either out to sea on board a yacht or relaxing in the harbour over coffee, watching the boats come and go. So well done IWC for not following the yachting trend and releasing a piece with elegant yet sporty credentials.

The IWC Portuguese yacht club chronograph “Ocean Racer” is limited to 1000 pieces worldwide and will retail at $15,800. For more info please see iwc.com

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John Galt – Contributing Editor

John Galt caught the horology bug 4 years ago on his first visit to a London watch show and has snowballed since; John has become an avid writer and blogger of timepieces of all kinds, from everyday timepieces to modern Luxury Haute Horology, his favorite brands being HYT and Greubel Forsey that push the bounders of modern watch-making. John keeps a keen interest in the UK watch scene with their many emerging brands and timepiece’s. John Galt currently contributes watch related articles for online publications in the UK and USA. You can follow John on Twitter @johng73 Read his articles here.

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