IWC focuses on new materials and novel functionality within its pilot watch collections as it previews new watches ahead of SIHH 2019. The Schaffhausen-based watchmaker in 2019 will add a new Spitfire collection, a new Top Gun line and a particularly complex Le Petit Prince special edition.
To continue its celebration of this British fighter aircraft, IWC’s new Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition "The Longest Flight" (ref. IW395501, $12,400) combines for the first time IWC’s Timezoner mechanism with an automatic IWC-manufactured Caliber IWC 82760. The Timezoner is IWC’s particularly user-friendly method of adjusting the watch to quickly see the time in any time zone.
Limited to 250 watches, the 46mm special edition is dedicated to the ‘Silver Spitfire –The Longest Flight project’ in which pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones fly around the world in a Spitfire. The black dial and green textile strap of the watch recall the cockpit of a Spitfire.
A second new Spitfire watch, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire (ref. IW387902, $6,250) represents IWC’s first use of the small-sized Caliber 69000 family (introduced in 2016) in the IWC Pilot watch collection. This caliber ensures that the watch itself measures a comfortable 41mm in diameter, a size that IWC says will make it a bedrock piece within the collection. The new watch will feature Caliber 69380, a high-precision chronograph movement with a classic column wheel design.
IWC creates a Top Gun collection with Ceratanium cases. The Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium (ref. IW371815, $15,000)) is also IWC’s first truly all-jet-black pilot watch.
Developed by IWC, Ceratanium combines the advantages of titanium and ceramic to gain the best of both materials. The case, as a result, is said to be as lightweight and unbreakable as titanium and at the same time as hard and scratch-resistant as ceramic. IWC also says Ceratanium offers wearers excellent skin compatibility and a high degree of corrosion-resistance.
Using the matte black material on all watch components such as push buttons and pin buckles has enabled IWC to create this first completely black design, made without a black PVD or other type of coating.
The double chronograph Caliber 79230 inside the case has an integrated split seconds and is self winding. The watch, with its black dial and black hands, sits on a rubber strap and textile inlay.
Le Petit Prince
Not only is this IWC’s first Pilot's Watch to feature a constant-force tourbillon, but the Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition "Le Petit Prince" (ref. IW590303, $235,000) is also IWC’s first to be made with a case and crown of hard red gold. This limited edition of ten watches is made with a gold modified to be significantly harder and five to ten times more wear-resistant than conventional red gold, according to IWC.
The IWC manual-wind Caliber 94895 inside the watch combines a super-precise constant-force tourbillon with a perpetual moon phase display that is also extra accurate. IWC notes that its moon phase will take 577.5 years to require a one-day adjustment. The Prince himself can be seen standing on the moon on the dial.
In addition, IWC has endowed the 46.2mm watch with two barrels, which means it will store enough power for ninety-six hours (which can be monitored by the red-tipped hand display on the dial). Note that all prices listed above are not final and subject to change.