IWC - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: IWC
    Year: Circa 1995
    Reference No: 3712
    Model Name: Portugueser Split Seconds Chronograph
    Material: Stainless Steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 76240, 27 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel IWC pin buckle
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a letter from Richard Habring confirming this was his watch and that it is a prototype, a heuer Split Seconds chronograph pocket watch, a dissassembled Valjoux 9 movement, a drawing of the IWC Doppel Chronograph, copy of International Watch magazine, Richard Habring's IWC business card and a signed graphic novel about Habring2.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present IWC Split Seconds is being consigned by the man who developed the split seconds chronograph movement at IWC: Richard Habring. It is a true piece of horological history, dating from the early 1990s, a period when mechanical watchmaking was making a comeback and research and developments made would shape the market for the years to come.

    Habring joined IWC in 1991 – then helmed by the great Günther Blümelin - as technical director in charge of the development of a cost efficient and easy to assemble split seconds chronograph.
    It is important to underline that a split seconds mechanism, due to the incredible low tolerances, is one of the most difficult complications to master and expensive to produce. Habring’s task was therefore one that requested out of the box thinking, talent and a bit of madness.

    The first decision was t0 use the workhorse ETA 7750 chronograph movement but to remove the winding system (and thus make the movement hand wound) the date and hour counters to make the movement thinner. A split seconds mechanism needed to be developed that would fit onto the 7750, the Eureka moment came after studying a Heuer pocket watch with split seconds housing a Valjoux 9 caliber – which explains the fact that the present IWC is accompanied by a Heuer split seconds pocket watch and a disassembled Valjoux 9 movement.

    Habring inspired himself from the Valjoux 9, to create a split seconds mechanism that did away with a column wheel, was thin and fit atop the 7750.
    IWC’s split seconds chronograph was born, first into the Pilot Doppel Chronograph and rapidly into what was the world’s most complicated timepiece at the time: The Destriero Scafusia featuring a perpetual calendar, minute repeater, tourbillon and split seconds chronograph.

    When it was decided to have the iconic Portugueser model house the newly developed split seconds chronograph Habring created a prototype- the present example-to show Blumelin what could be done with this new model and as such took steel parts from steel parts from the Il Destriero Scafusia and applied a high grade finish with a nickel plated movement with Geneva waves on the top bridge and balance cock. To be able to admire the movement he also cut an opening on the caseback.

    These modifications did not make it into the final production and Habring’s prototype (which explains the lack of numbering on the case and movement) remained unique. He wore it as his everyday watch until he left in the early 2000s to create his own brand with his wife Maria: Habring2 .

    The present prototype is accompanied by an incredible set of accessories, a Heuer pocket split seconds pocket watch, a disassembles Valjoux 9 movement, a painting of the Doppel Chronograph, an copy of International Watch (in German) with an article on Habring from his time at IWC, Habring’s business card from IWC and a letter from Habring confirming this was his watch and a signed graphic novel about Habring2.

    Not only a historically important timepiece, the proceeds of the sale will be going to charity, the biggest portion going to Caritas Austria and the rest to support local schools and associations.
    Caritas is a non governmental organization helping the poor both locally and abroad.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1868

    With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world's leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining high precision with masculine design. Vintage wristwatches such as the oversized Portugieser, Aquatimer, Ingenieur and the B-UHR pilots watch are especially desirable for collectors.

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Lot offered with No Reserve

Ref. 3712
A unique prototype stainless steel split seconds chronograph wristwatch, proceeds going to charity

Circa 1995
42mm Diameter
Case, dial and buckle signed

CHF8,000 - 16,000 

Sold for CHF119,700

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021