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Back in December, I had the opportunity to visit IWC in Schaffhausen to get a sneak peek at the novelties theyíd be releasing a few weeks later at the SIHH. As you already know by now, the brandís focus this year is on its pilotís watches, and in particular a new crop of Spitfire models that make use of new materials and colors to give the catalog a fresh look.
The highlight of my trip though wasnít seeing the new watches. It was a conversation I got to have with IWC CEO Chris Granger, who is one of the more interesting people in this strange little industry of ours. Chris is an architect and designer by training, and he first got involved with IWC when the agency he worked for was contracted to design a boutique for the brand. From there, things escalated quickly. He formally joined the company in 2006 and, after working in a few different departments over the years, he was named CEO in 2017.
We sat down to talk in the companyís new manufacture on the outskirts of Schaffhausen, a building that Chris himself actually designed. We of course talked about the forthcoming collection of watches and how his background in architecture influences how he leads the luxury watchmaker, but we also get into what makes Chris tick and his abiding passion for collecting Hot Wheels cars too. This isnít your usual CEO interview, I promise.
We hope you enjoy Episode 33 of HODINKEE Radio. Check out the show notes below and let us know what you think in the comments.
Wrist Check

Very appropriately, Chris was wearing a prototype of the new Pilot's Watch Spitfire Chronograph the day we visited the manufacture. He said he'd been wearing different models basically every day to test things and to make sure he was happy with the various novelties heading into SIHH (which, remember, was fast approaching at the time). Though it's not unusual to see Chris rocking Big Pilots and other larger watches on his Instagram, this 41mm stainless steel chronograph looks flat out awesome on his wrist. The watch is such a good size and IWC really nailed the details on this execution. Also, despite being a sports watch through and through, it still really works with Chris's three piece suit.*
Show Notes

Inside The New IWC Manufakturzentrum

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

@chrisgraingerherr on Instagram
"Safari" Tribute to 5002

The IWC Pilot's Watch Spitfire Collection

New Additions To The IWC Pilot's Top Gun Collection


Hot Wheels Limited Editions