Jewellery & Watch News
Pilot watches have an instantly recognisable DNA with their easy to read dials, large crowns and pronounced push pieces, but when the style is so popular and often oversaturated in the industry, how do you know where to look when you want one of the best? In our opinion, leave your choice up to IWC Schaffhausen. IWC are already known as one of the most prolific watchmakers in Switzerland so it is no surprise that their selections of IWC Pilots watches have captured the attention of avid aviators, adrenaline seekers and luxury watch collectors around the world.
With a history that expands as far back as the mid-1880’s, IWC Schaffhausen didn’t manufacture their first pilots watch until 1936. Its design was purposely built for pilots during the war and was engineered to be robust and resistant to fluctuations in temperature in the range of -40 degrees Celsius to + 40 degrees Celsius. Less than 15 years later, IWC had become renowned for their quality pilots watches and were commissioned by the British government to develop a service watch for the pilots of the Royal Airforce. The production of the legendary MARK II began in 1948 and by November 1949, the watch was supplied to airborne personnel of the RAF.
To this day, the IWC Pilots watch collection remains central to the brand’s DNA with the quality, consistency, and popularity of their designs as exceptional as ever. We have seen a large number of careful reiterations of historic models alongside entirely new limited editions, classic chronographs and their iconic IWC Pilots Big Crown which harks back to the designs of past aviation watches. Today we will be exploring some of the IWC Pilot watch collections in more detail to help you find the perfect cockpit companion for you.
IWC Pilots Spitfire Watches
The IWC Pilots Spitfire is an instant favourite for us at C W Sellors. It beautifully pays tribute to the elegance and sophisticated technology of the legendary fighter plane of the same name. The series was first released back in 2003 and its success and has only been further cemented with the introduction of new complications and IWC in-house calibres.
The IWC Pilots Automatic Spitfire Bronze watch with reference IW326802 is a stunning example of the brand’s ability to combine modern technologies with vintage inspired aesthetics. It’s carefully engineered bronze case will develop its own patina over time, allowing each lucky wearer to have their own unique variation of the design. The bronze pairs perfectly with the military green dial decorated with luminescence hour and minute hands powered by the robust IWC-manufactured 32110 calibre with a 72 hour power reserve.
IWC Pilots Top Gun Watches
Traditionally dressed all in black, the IWC Pilots Top Gun watch collection is a breathtaking series of tactical watches that pay homage to the famous flight school – and yes that’s the same one Tom Cruise attends in the 1986 film! First launched in 2012, the designs encapsulate the brand’s original Mark XI pilots watch but with the contemporary twist of a striking black case design.
The IWC Pilots Chronograph Top Gun watch with reference IW389101 is possibly the most classic of its kind in the collection and perfectly epitomises the sophisticated yet stealthy aesthetic of the family. It features a striking matte black ceramic case and matching black dial which house another in-house movement, the caliber 69380. As with all IWC watches, you get a lot of bang for your buck with a remarkable range of chronograph complications, a power reserve of 46 hours, sapphire crystal glass and a sporty black textile strap.
IWC Pilots Le Petit Prince Watches
All special edition and designed to commemorate the literary work of the author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the IWC Pilots Le Petit Prince watch collection retells the wonderful story of “The Little Prince” known as one of the best-selling books in literary history. All watches within this series are noticeable for their trademark blue dials designed to evoke the mystery of the sky at night.
We absolutely love the IWC Big Pilots Le Petit Prince Edition watch with reference IW501002. It includes the striking conical crown found within all IWC Big Pilots watches which recalls back to the pioneering days of aviation when pilots needed a large crown to operate under thick gloves. It’s in-house 52110-calibre movement is also smartly designed with aviators in mind with the inclusion of a large date window at 6 o’clock, luminescent propeller shaped hour and minute hands and a power reserve indicator for up to 7 days.
IWC Pilots Mark VIII Watches
Classic in more ways than one, the IWC Pilots Mark VIII watch collection draws inspiration from the very first IWC pilots watches from the 1930’s and 40’s which set benchmarks in both design and technology for the operation of aviation timepieces around the world. The beauty of these design’s comes from their minimalism, with dials reduced for only the essentials and clean case lines that sit comfortably on the wrists of pilots and enthusiasts alike.
A standout example for optimal legibility, the IWC Pilots Mark VIII under reference IW327012 showcases a wonderfully contrasting dial with a silver plated backdrop, large black Arabic numerals and luminescent hands. Characteristically, the dial also features a white triangle at the 12 o’clock position and a date window at 3 o’clock powered by the automatic 35111-calibre movement with a 42 hour power reserve.
IWC Pilots Antoine De Saint Exupéry Watches
It’s clear to see the admiration IWC Schaffhausen has for Antoine De Saint Exupéry, not only through the Le Petit Prince series which tributes his novel but the IWC Pilots Antoine De Saint Exupéry watch collection dedicated entirely to the man himself. Considered a national hero, Antoine De Saint Exupéry was highly regarded as a great humanist, writer and pilot and it is argued that no other writer was able to convey the excitement of the pioneering days of aviation.
Every IWC Pilots Antoine De Saint Exupéry is decorated with a distinctive brown dial and brown calfskin leather strap, a choice inspired by the flying suit worn by the author and pilot. The IWC Pilots Chronograph Antoine De Saint Exupéry Edition under reference IW377713 is stunning and features a clearly organised dial with chronograph complications and a day and date window at 3 o’clock. The calibre 79320 allows you to record single and aggregate times of up to 12 hours and provides a power reserve of 44 hours.
You can shop all these IWC Pilots watches and more at the C W Sellors Bakewell boutique. If you’d like to visit us in store, give us a call on 01335 453453 or message us at email@example.com so we can arrange a personal appointment for you.