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In conversation with Christian Knoop chief designer officer at IWC Schaffhausen at watches & wonders 2024

Chaniya James 4 Minutes
IWC at Watches & Wonders

Join us as we sit down with Christian Knoop chief designer officer at IWC Schaffhausen.

Can you please introduce yourself and share a brief overview of your journey at IWC Schaffhausen?

I’m Christian Knoop chief designer officer at IWC Schaffhausen, My background is in industrial design before I joined IWC Schaffhausen in 2008, I worked on different design projects, different products ranging from furniture to electronics to machines and aircrafts interiors. I came to IWC and had the chance to work with watches and over almost 16 years my passion has become watch design. Together with my team at IWC Schaffhausen I have the pleasure to really work on the entire look and feel of the brand and work on our new collections like this year the IWC portugieser.

How would you describe IWC Schaffhausen to those who are unfamiliar with the brand?

IWC Schaffhausen takes a very special place in the world of mechanical watches we have more than150 years history, we are the only brand founded by an American who came to Switzerland in the 19th century with a very unique formula, bringing together technology and craftsmanship and this have been our creative ever since. Everything we do in the world of watches has a strong relationship with engineering. Lots of ingenious solutions we are presenting in our watches and always combine this with a very pure and legible design.

Can you talk to us about the new launches at watches & wonders?

This year at watches and wonders in Geneva we have dedicated to our portugieser collection, one of our post prestigious collection dating back to 1939.The first portugieser that was created based on our DNA in very robust and precise instrument watches, bringing this on the wrist in a very large readable wrist watch and over the years we’ve established a number of complications in this collection, one of the most famous is the portugieser perpetual calendar that was fully synchronised and created by our former head watch maker called Claus in the 1980’s. since these times we have evolved on the of our performance of our calendar complications. We are proud this year to present the eternal calendar an ingenious masterpiece of watchmaking which combines a full circular calendar which is programmed until the year 3099, with a record breaking moon face display which has a mathematical accuracy of forty five million years.

This is the highlight of the collection.

What is your favourite memory with IWC?

Working with a brand for more than 15 years, which have been exciting years full of highlights. For me one of the most remarkable moments is meeting our partners and see so many great people we work with in organisations and foundations.

I have the chance to meet so many passionate and talented people also our customers that have this incredible passion for the brand and our watches. This is one of the most pleasant parts of my work to have this opportunity to meet this people who are also very inspirational to me.

With such great history what key elements or values from the brands past do you believe still resonate with today’s watchmaking industry?

For me the most fascinating thing about a brand with 150 years history is that it is not an old brand. Because its only 150 years old it’s able to both to rejuvenate overtime and totally re-invent itself, this power of not relying on the past, but taking it as an inspiration and motivation to keep pushing the boundaries.

I find the same spirit in my colleagues and people around me that still have the agility and willingness to innovate and push the boundaries for the brand. This makes me very proud and, in that sense, I’m very much looking forward to the future and what we can achieve as a team here at IWC.

How do you envision the future for the brand?

Looking at the future of the brand I’m very excited for what’s to come, we have a very long planning pipeline that reaches 10-12 years into the future in RD and design and I can only tell you that there’s more exciting products coming to market later this year and also in the coming years we will keep working now in well-established collections and still trying to push the boundaries in each of the collections of the IWC portfolio creating an even better and exciting future.

See more from watches and wonders at Goldsmiths.

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