Captain Kurt
Malaysia Tatler|Malaysia Tatler October 2018

It wouldnt be an exaggeration to say that Kurt Klaus was responsible for propelling IWC Schaffhausen back to relevancy with his innovative perpetual calendar in 1985. Brian Cheong caught up with the master watchmaker in Singapore

Brian Cheong

The name Kurt Klaus will forever be linked to IWC Schaffhausen, the Swiss watchmaking maison. A former apprentice of Albert Pellaton, another great IWC watchmaker, Klaus’ biggest claim to fame is the autonomous perpetual calendar that he created in 1985. Its renown is attributed to its ability to set all calendar functions with a single crown, instead of multiple pushers—the first time a perpetual calendar was able to do so.

This was a big deal back then, as the innovation came at a time when mechanical Swiss watchmaking was still struggling to find its way back to the top, due to the dominance of quartz watches. “The perpetual calendar was—and perhaps still is—the most talked about IWC invention, not only because it was a new product but also because it kickstarted a new era of success for the company,” said Klaus when we met in Singapore for the IWC 150th Anniversary Exhibition in May. “It really brought IWC to the next level in Swiss watchmaking.”

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