In this edition of “Watch Pairs” we’ll be looking at two pieces from watchmaking giants IWC Schaffhausen and Tag Heuer that together make quite the sophisticated and versatile two-watch collection.
Each and every year, the watch collecting world is introduced to the latest and greatest developments in horological design and watchmaking at the various trade shows. Typically, it is the bold, avant-garde, and status-quo-challenging timepieces that make headlines, as they redefine what we know to be possible, but more traditional pieces are also met with excitement, as they will always hold a place in the hearts of watch collectors across the globe. This notion surely rings true when looking at the varied and diverse collections of large watchmakers like Tag Heuer and IWC Schaffhausen.
In the case of IWC, their Portofino collection certainly embodies the idea with its emphasis on classic elegance. Tag Heuer, on the other hand, is more known for designs influenced by racing and modern technology, but through some of their recent additions to the Carrera collection, we can see a strong effort being made to present more classically styled offerings.
While IWC may be best known for their rugged, tool-watch offerings, classic designs like the Portofino have always played a large role in the company’s storied development. The history of the line dates back to the early 1980s, which as many well know, was a period of watch design dominated by boldness and a desire to push aesthetic boundaries. Despite the brand’s success in producing such watches, there was still a resounding demand for something slightly more traditional. With this in mind, IWC introduced the very first Portofino (Reference 5251), as a reflection of the leisurely lifestyle of the Italian coastal village, and the stylish timepieces of its inhabitants.
In 2011, IWC released what some might see as the ultimate homage to vintage watch designs: a simple and elegant Portofino known as the reference 3565. However, this classic-looking piece was produced in modern sized 40-mm cases. This is yet another reminder that horological tastes are once again shifting away from the brash and bold and towards more reserved, elegant timepieces that are reminiscent of the designs that dominated the golden age of watchmaking.
Tag Heuer Carrera
As many will already know, the Carrera is easily one of the most recognizable chronographs of all time, which is a result of years of celebrated and historically significant production. Under the leadership of Jack Heuer, Heuer launched the Carrera in 1963 to address the growing market for driver’s chronographs. The highly legible nature of the watch, its perfect proportions, and Heuer’s expertly developed synonymy with motorsport, have resulted in the Carrera being truly recognized as an icon – and with good reason.
In recent years, the brand has made a significant effort within the Carrera line to depart from the established, revered chronograph’s design, attempting to capture the interest of new watch buyers. On one hand, you can make the argument that the DNA of the line mustn’t be tampered with, but having said that, this new age of the Carrera has allowed for the introduction of a several terrific looking modern takes on the sports chronograph.
One such example is the new line of Cal. Heuer 01-equipped Carreras, which offer a new bold case architecture and a very technical looking dial design (especially the skeletonized variants). Tag Heuer has fitted the watch with a ceramic bezel, giving it an even more high-tech look. There is even a version featuring a chronograph and tourbillon which created shockwaves through the entire industry due to its competitively low price.
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