From the first special pilot watch in 1936 to now, IWC has established a rich range of pilot watches. The flight plan is very clear: clear, robust and precise!
IWC Large Pilot’s Watch, 1940
The IWC Pilot’s Watch is inspired by the pilot’s demand for precision and legibility, and has evolved with the development of the aviation industry, becoming an icon in the brand’s product line since the 1930s. At that time, wristwatches were still in their early stages, and aviation was still a vast, untapped field, and the desire and ambition for adventure made flying from dreams to reality. And IWC is part of this epic story, known as a professional pilot watch manufacturer-from the first special pilot watch in 1936, the pilot series has been a major pillar of the brand for more than 80 years .
IWC Large Pilot Mark XVIII Watch Special Edition ‘Salute to Mark XII’
Designed for the cockpit
The idea of developing a pilot watch originated from Hans Ernst and Rudolf, the two sons of Ernst Jakob Homberger, then the head of the Schaffhausen watchmaking factory, both of them flying enthusiasts. The Pilot’s Watch is the first of its kind, the dial is decorated with large fluorescent Arabic numerals and hands, which are extremely clear. The arrow marks on the rotating bezel can be used to record takeoff time. IWC’s first pilot watch is equipped with a Calibre83 manual winding movement, which uses an anti-magnetic escapement system. Developed to withstand the harsh conditions of the cockpit at the time, this special pilot watch is extremely cold-resistant and can withstand temperature changes from minus 40 ° C to minus 40 ° C.
IWC Large Pilot’s Calendar 150th Anniversary Special Edition
Immediately following the special pilot watches, IWC has continued to develop a masterpiece that not only retains the history of the famous brand, but also extolls the history of pilot watches. In 1940, the Schaffhausen Watch Factory launched a large pilot 52T.S.C. watch, with an output of more than 1,000 pieces, which was supplied to the Luftwaffe. This watch is 55 mm in diameter, 16.5 mm thick and weighs 183 grams. It is impressive and is the largest watch ever made in the history of IWC. The dial draws inspiration from the cockpit instruments of the time, and the famous triangle mark at 12 o’clock is still a classic feature of IWC pilot watches. The onion crown on the case side makes it easy for pilots to grip even when wearing gloves.
IWC Large Pilot’s Watch “Little Prince” Special Edition
Mark eleven, a new icon
Inheriting history, IWC opened a new chapter in 1949, once again leading the trend of modern timepieces inspired by aviation. In response to the needs of the Royal Air Force in the late 1940s, IWC developed the legendary Mark XI watch. Produced in 1948, delivered and equipped with British pilots and the Commonwealth Armed Forces in 1949, until 1981. This watch is equipped with Calibre89 movement and equipped with antimagnetic soft iron inner case. Calibre89 movement was from the handwriting of Albert Pellaton, then the technical director of IWC. At the same time, the latter was the inventor of the efficient bidirectional pawl winding system (later the Pellaton automatic winding system).
IWC Perpetual Calendar Watch
From 1936 to 1949, these three pilot watches laid the foundation for IWC’s long tradition in aviation. Since then, IWC has repeatedly given pilots new interpretations, introducing a variety of men’s watches and smaller women’s watches. In 1992, a double chronograph chronograph joined the collection. In 1998, the brand released the Spitfire Universal Time watch (the time and date are set by the crown), sowing the seeds for the complete Spitfire series in 2003. In 2002, IWC re-examined the large pilot’s watch, reducing the case size to 46 mm and equipping it with an automatic winding movement that provides 7-day power reserve.
IWC Large Pilot’s Chronograph
In 2006, the brand launched five new models with improved design, including the special edition of ‘Anthony Saint Exupery’ to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the publication of ‘Night Flight’. The birth of the Spitfire series was witnessed in 2012. The case was made of black ceramic material to further enhance military colors. In 2013, the first ‘Little Prince’ special edition to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the publication of Anthony Saint Exupery’s classic fairy tale ‘Little Prince’ was released. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the brand’s founding in 2018, IWC has launched a new limited-edition pilot calendar.
IWC Large Pilot’s Calendar Annual Special Edition “Little Prince”
Currently, IWC subdivides the pilot series into five different categories: Classic, Little Prince, Anthony Saint Exupery, Spitfire, and TOPGUN Navy Air Combat Force. Next year, the iconic Mark 11 watch will usher in the 70th anniversary of its birth. This is a good opportunity to introduce new ideas. It is believed that at the 2019 Geneva International Watch Salon (SIHH2019), IWC will present new exciting for antique and aviation lovers . (Photo / text watch home compiled by Xu Chaoyang)