IWC Unveils New Timepiece at Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante

By Paul Joseph

Swiss watch brand IWC launched a new timepiece last week to mark the beginning of the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race.

The luxury watchmaker unveiled the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012” at a well-attended press conference in Alicante, Spain, the location for the start of the prestigious yacht race, which began on Saturday.

IWC are the official time-keepers for the event, which sees six teams compete over nine months across five continents, as well as the sponsors of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team – the competition’s first ever Arabian entrants.

The elegant new sports watch is made of titanium and features water-resistance to 6 bar and a screw-in crown with crown protection. Other notable features include the IWC-manufactured 89361-calibre movement, a flyback function as well as an analogue display with two hands in a subdial for long stop times.

Present at the press conference in the Volvo Ocean Race Village were Georges Kern, CEO of IWC, Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, and Ian Walker, two-times Olympic medal winning skipper of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team.

“This uncompromising round-the-world race is one of the most demanding team sporting events of them all and promises a competition full of drama and adventure,” Georges Kern said.

“The professionals taking part will be pushing themselves to the limit every day, and IWC Schaffhausen is dedicating a watch to their extraordinary team spirit and sportsmanship that is virtually ideal for rough conditions on the high seas.”

Both Frostad and Walker were presented with special edition Portuguese Yacht Club chronographs as a gift, following a Q&A session hosted by Scottish television presenter Kelly Cates.

After the press conference, guests moved upstairs for a cocktail party, where Prince Carl Philip of Sweden arrived to also be presented with a gift watch. Guests mingled with IWC officials whilst a steady flow of champagne, beer, mojitos and elaborate canapés kept everyone refreshed and sustained.

IWC were founded in Schaffhausen, Switzerland in 1868.

By Paul Joseph