Earlier this year, watchmakers from around the world gathered to showcase their latest and most innovative creations at the 29th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (or SIHH as it’s more commonly known). And it was at this international platform that iconic Swiss manufacture IWC Schaffhausen launched their exciting, aviation-themed Spitfire line under the wider Pilot’s Watches collection.

Spitfire Pilot's Watch
IWC kitted out its SIHH 2019 booth with a full-scale replica of the Spitfire fighter plane – the inspiration behind one of its three core ranges of novelties this year.

Named after the eponymous WWII-era British fighter aircraft, the Spitfire range pays homage to this aircraft’s exceptional engineering and sleek design. “Just like the Spitfire, [this watch collection] perfectly combines form and function,” said Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “The design is inspired by the puristic instrument design of the iconic Mark 11 navigation watch. This watch demonstrates our engineering expertise, as we have integrated high-quality IWC-manufactured calibres into all Spitfire models.”

 

The Engineering
Spitfire Pilot's Watch
Chronograph movements in the calibre 69000 family utilise the conventional column-wheel system; and are able to yield a power reserve of 46 hours.

For the first time, IWC has integrated a chronograph movement from the calibre 69000 family into its pilot’s watches. Two high-quality automatic movements from the calibre 82000 family have also been introduced. In addition to in-house production, both movements have gotten the complication treatment: the first features IWC’s patented Timezoner mechanism (that improves the performance of the time-and-date movement); while the second is a UTC function allowing wearers to view a secondary time zone on the watch.

 

The Design
Spitfire Pilot's Watch
The core design language of the new Spitfire collection is reportedly inspired by the Mark XI (pictured) – an instrument watch designed by IWC at the behest of the British Ministry of Defence.

Moving away from the traditional design and silver dials of the earlier Spitfire models, this collection uses stainless steel and shades of bronze, olive, black and brown to create a striking more Heritage-inspired look. “The colour scheme of the watch design, with its stainless steel case, its black dial and its green textile strap, is reminiscent of the cockpit of a Spitfire,” explains Christian Knoop, IWC Creative Director.

 

The Collection

Spitfire Pilot's Watch

Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire

This piece is limited to 250 watches. The heavy-duty components of the Pellaton winding are made from wear-resistant ceramic. It also has a perpetual calendar that will work until 2100. Since all displays are perfectly synchronised, the watch can be easily adjusted via the crown.

Available in bronze, on olive green dial.

 

Spitfire Pilot's Watch

Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight”

This piece combines the patented Timezoner mechanism with an IWC-manufactured automatic movement and is limited to 250 watches. The watch can be set to a different time zone by means of a simple rotational movement of the bezel.

Available in stainless steel, on black dial.

Spitfire Pilot's Watch

Pilot’s Watch UTC Spitfire Edition “MJ271”

This model is limited to 271 watches. IWC has integrated the UTC function into their in-house calibre. And so, if the dial crosses the International Date Line, the date display changes automatically.

Available in bronze, on olive green dial.

Spitfire Pilot's Watch

Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire

IWC presents its first Pilot’s Chronograph with a movement from the 69000-calibre family. The pawl-winding system, which winds up on both sides, boasts a power reserve of 46 hours. An inner cage made from soft iron protects the movement against magnetic fields.

Available in bronze or stainless steel.

 

Spitfire Pilot's Watch

Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire

The 32110 IWC-manufactured calibre makes its debut with this piece. The robust automatic movement features a pawl-winding system that winds up on both sides and boasts a power reserve of 72 hours.

Available in bronze or stainless steel.

To learn more about the new SIHH novelties releasing under the Pilot’s Watch collection, please visit IWC online.