Pilot’s watches are all about reliability and easy-to-use functionality, but as Swiss watchmakers have proven over the decades, that doesn’t mean they can’t be objects of beauty in addition to products of the finest craftsmanship. A perfect reminder of this fact: IWC has launched three new, highly covetable pilot’s watches that continue the brand’s excellence in this category. That should come as no surprise given that IWC has been making pilot’s watches since 1936, with a soft-iron inner case that keeps the movements safe from magnetic fields, and sapphire glass that’s specially designed to withstand sudden drops in pressure in the cockpit.
Amongst the new models, the most exclusive is the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine de Saint Exupéry”, which is limited to just 250 pieces (Ref. IW502706). It comes in 18-carat red gold with a tobacco-brown dial and gold-plated hands; together with the brown strap with decorative white stitching, the decorative elements are a visual reference to pilot suits work in the time of Antoine de Saint Exupéry, the French pilot and author of The Little Prince.
The annual calendar only has to be adjusted once a year (at the end of February) and the power reserve is seven days, but the standout feature of this watch is the rotor in solid 18-carat red gold in the form of a Lightning P-38. This was the type of aircraft that Saint-Exupéry flew on a reconnaissance flight across the Mediterranean from which he never returned. IWC fans will note that this watch is just the latest in a series of timepieces created by the brand to highlight its long-standing partnership with the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Foundation.
Inspired by the striking retro design of the historic Big Pilot’s Watch (Calibre 52 T.S.C.) from the 1940s, IWC is also releasing the Big Pilot’s Watch Heritage, which is available in two different models. Limited to 1,500 pieces, Ref. IW501005 comes in bronze with a black dial and blue hands coated with luminescent material. Ref. IW501004, meanwhile, comes in titanium with a black dial and blue hands also coated with luminescent material. Both models are built with aPellaton winding system and a seven-day power reserve, and a power reserve display at “3 o’clock” indicates the charging level at all times.
Last but not least is the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Heritage, a recreation of the iconic Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII in a titanium case for the first time ever. The watch has a black dial and blue hands coated with luminescent material (Ref. IW327006). Like the other two new models, the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Heritage features a brown calfskin strap and IWC’s time-tested pilot’s watch technology and cockpit-instrument-inspired design.
All three new models are available from November 2017 in IWC boutiques and from authorised IWC retailers. Contact your local boutique for pricing info.
IWC Schaffhausen, Shop 318, Level 3, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2918 1851