We’ve looked at a variety of case materials here on WWR – and today brings another one into the fold that I don’t believe we’ve look at before (watch or material) – the IWC Compass Watch / Mirror, which features a case and bracelet made of aluminum.
Of immediate interest, of course, is the fact that aluminum is used. Â In my searching, I’ve not uncovered many watches fully made out of aluminum; if anything, they use it as some side feature (ie, the bezel) on a steel watch. Â Any which way, IWC opted to use aluminum in this watch due to the compass hiding underneath the dial – I can only assume that steel would interfere with the compass reading.
Outside of the aluminum and compass, you have a fairly standard mechanical three-hander with a date display (albeit designed by Porsche Design). Â As to the finish, the watch was available in two: Â black and olive drab. Â With a 38mm case width, it should fit onto most wrists. Â This could be a handy watch if you were in the habit of orienteering with a map (rather than today’s GPS devices), but it would not be a cheap proposition. Â In the secondary market, they appear to be selling for $5500 (as this example, from Princeton Watches, is going for).
If you’d prefer something of a more recent vintage, you’re in luck – IWC and Porsche Design are still collaborating on watch designs, and they have made a newer one that also hides a compass, as Ariel Biggs wrote about back in 2008.