Skeletonized watches have a long tradition at IWC and the master craftsman transforms the Portuguese F. A. Jones into a filigree horological work of art. Under the engraver’s burin, unadorned watch movements metamorphose into small horological theatres, which put on show everything that moves and drives such a fascinating mechanism and keeps it running. Skeletonized movements are a tradition at IWC. This high art is continued with the Portuguese F. A. Jones Squelette, which is considered by connoisseurs to represent the highest level of craft perfection.
In this case, less is more. The movement of the Portuguese F. A. Jones, largely concealed from view by a conventional three-quarter plate in the standard version, is openly exposed here behind the sapphire glasses on the front and rear – together with the winding mechanism, the ratchet locking mechanism, the large barrel and the escapement or the screw balance oscillating at 2.5 Hz. The winding status is even visible on the mainspring itself, which relaxes increasingly inside the open barrel in the course of its 46-hour power reserve.
The motion work on the dial side, which the layman does not normally set eyes upon, can also be seen. No plate obstructs the view of the ingenious interplay between the escapement wheel and the pallet fork. All that remain are a few ornamentally hand-decorated and engraved webs – retaining points for screws and jewel bearings. In addition, all load-bearing parts of the movement are rhodium-plated.
The mechanical ensemble no longer shows any resemblance to a machine. The severe forms give the impression of having been resolved with consummate ease. The gold-plated or blued hands – for the hours, minutes and seconds – actually perform their function in the absence of a dial, against the backdrop of the mechanism that drives them.
Launched in 2006, this exclusive model, and a tribute to the founder of IWC, is limited to 100 watches in rose gold and to 50 watches in platinum.
Model: Portuguese F. A. Jones Squelette
Ref. IW544205 / Ref. IW544206
Mechanical movement, fully skeletonized and decorated, Glucydur screw balance with high-precision adjustment cams, Breguet balance spring, elongated precision adjustment index (F. A. Jones type), seconds stop function
Power reserve: 46 h
Case, dial and strap
Material: platinum, 18 ct. rose gold
Glass: sapphire, antireflective
Folding clasp: platinum or rose gold
Water-resistant: 3 bar (30 m)
Diameter: 43 mm
Height: 11.7 mm
Watch in platinum with crocodile leather strap (black): 100 g
Watch in rose gold with crocodile leather strap (dark brown): 85 g