What you are seeing here is the most complicated IWC watch ever created. It is called the Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia (ref. 5041) and it will be available only via custom order. IWC recently launched it at a powerful celestial observatory in Chile, and it represents a new high-mark for the brand. While the watch itself is very interesting, the lesson it can teach us about how high-end watch brands operate is even more interesting.
According to IWC a team of watch makers spent about 10 years researching and developing the Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia mechanism. While at least one other IWC watch offers more complications, the Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia is a much more complicated watch. Strictly for the die-hard collector, this timepiece according to IWC CEO Georges Kern is a “dreamlike” machine. It holds within it the values a serious watch brand wishes to convey as well as those aspirational qualities that a super high-end watch should have. It is meant to be an item of wonder, something that beguiles and intrigues more than something which has a serious utilitarian use.
In a candid interview Georges Kern has recent with Swiss paper Le Matin, he spoke clearly as to the purpose of the Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia watch. It is to attract people to the brand, show off IWC’s technical capabilities, offer media bait as something to discuss, and provide an ultra-exclusive piece for the world’s top watch collectors (something which IWC did not previously offer). The project was never really intended to be a money maker. IWC will be happy to sell 10 of them per a year – and with the current market situation as it is, IWC expects most of them to go to Asian clients. The Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia will however also act as an eye lure at IWC brand boutiques around the world with it in the window.