IWC’s latest release has 550 parts and weighs a hefty 4 kilograms. It was three years in the making. It’s sure to delight watch lovers everywhere, though it does not tell time. It’s a book. As you would expect, IWC Schaffhausen. Engineering Time Since 1868 chronicles the company’s history from the founding in 1868, but it also includes an unexpected “book within a book”. More about that in a minute.
The book has three authors. German journalist Manfred Fritz presents the comprehensive company history, compiled with careful attention to historical accuracy. Fritz comes from the area near Schaffhausen and he is a genuine watch enthusiast who has published a number of watch-related books. He previously authored Die Grande Complication von IWC (The Grande Complication of IWC), published in 1991. The book includes 500 illustrations, many of which have never been published before. The historical section looks closely at each of IWC’s watch families dating back to the mid-1930s. The section closes with a comprehensive list of IWC calibers.
The “book within a book” is a collection of seven short stories by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, illustrated by Enki Bilal. The author of several best-sellers, Coelho’s work has been translated in 69 languages and edited in more than 150 countries. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most translated living author. With due poetic license, Coelho looks at IWC’s foundation phase and its six product families. His narratives are interpreted by an artist of equal stature. In modern, vibrant colors, works by the Paris-based illustrator, cartoonist and film director Enki Bilal mirror Coelho’s abilities as a storyteller.
Authors (left to right) Manfred Fritz, Paul Coelho and Enki Bilal
“We decided not to bring out a classic, standardized book about watches. Instead, by adopting an unusually artistic approach, it was our intention to attract a broader public so they could experience the charm, uniqueness and fascination of the IWC brand,” writes CEO Georges Kern in his foreword. After all, it goes without saying that what the legendary IWC seal of quality has so aptly expressed since 1903 applies equally to this work: Probus Scafusia – Good, solid craftsmanship from Schaffhausen.
IWC Schaffhausen. Engineering Time Since 1868 is available in English, German, and French (ISBN numbers below). The book is priced at CHF 250. It is available at www.iwc.com and in bookshops from the end of April. Advance orders are now being taken.
English edition: ISBN 978-3-7165-1631-7
French edition: ISBN 978-3-7165-1632-4
German edition: ISBN 978-3-7165-1630-0