As we all know, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is one of the most important annual exhibitions in the watch industry, which will start on Monday (January 14th, 2019). There are four new IWC Pilot’s Watches going to appear at the show this year, let’s take a view of the new IWC Pilot’s Watches for SIHH 2019 firstly.
Thanks to Steve Boultbee-Brooks and Matt Jones, founders of the Boultbee Flight Academy, a restored 1943 Spitfire aircraft will embark on a journey around the world, starting next summer. Except for being a supporter of the project, IWC has also released Spitfire editions of their celebrated Pilot’s Watch models to commemorate the partnership. One of them is the new IWC Pilot’s replica Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition ‘The Longest Flight’ (ref. IW395501).
With only 250 limited pieces, the new style brings together the patented Timezoner mechanism (which displays another time zone via the rotating bezel) with an in-house automatic movement for the first time. Inspired by the appearance of the Spitfire’s cockpit, the new edition sports a 46 mm stainless steel case, black dial, and green textile strap.
While another new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire (ref. IW387902) takes its design cues from the 1948 Mark 11 navigation watch created for the Royal Air Force. Featuring a 41 mm bronze case, olive green dial, and brown leather strap, making the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire looks like a vintage watch, while inside the case sits the modern in-house IWC 69370 automatic chronograph movement. Additionally, the soft-iron inner case that protects the movement against disruptive magnetic forces, the exterior case back is made from titanium.
What should we point out is that 41 mm is a reduced size for the typically oversized Pilot’s Watch chronograph collection. As for the watch enthusiast community, we are sure they will prefer the smaller case sizes of vintage watches.
At present, the most exclusive model among the four new IWC Pilot’s replica Watches for SIHH 2019 is the Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition ‘Le Petit Prince’ (ref. IW590303). Not only is this timepiece the first IWC pilot’s watch to be fitted with a constant force tourbillon mechanism, but also it’s fashioned from a material that the company calls ‘hard gold’ which is a new blend of 18k red gold that is obviously more durable than traditional 18k gold alloys. Since IWC will only make 10 pieces of this highly-exclusive Pilot’s Watch, actually it is quite a rare watch.
A vibrant sunburst blue dial is fitted inside the large 46.2 mm ‘hard gold’ case, which houses a moon phase display, a power reserve indicator, and a tourbillon – all placed alongside the familiar, propeller-shaped center hands and stylized Arabic numerals. From the reverse side of the case, you can see the manually wound, in-house Caliber 94805 movement.
IWC has offered a series of TOP GUN watches named after the U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program since 2007, to meet the standards of today’s elite jet pilots. For the newest edition of the modern military-inspired timepiece, the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium (Ref. IW371815) is fashioned from IWC’s proprietary Ceratanium material, which combines hard ceramic with lightweight titanium.
Due to the innovative material, the 44 mm Ceratanium case of the new TOP GUN watch is resistant to scratching, corrosion, and does not reflect any light, which could be distracting to pilots during flight dangerously. The black case is fitted with a black dial, black hands, and a black rubber strap resulting in IWC’s first all-black Pilot’s Watch never made before. With the Caliber 79230 automatic movement, the new watch supplies the watch with a split-seconds chronograph function except for its time, date, and day features.
As usual, what we said pre-SIHH announcements are just the tip of the iceberg of numbers of new glamorous timepieces. However, no matter what other brands’ new editions will launch, we are always looking forward to the new top IWC Pilot watches we are talking about.