IWC revamped its Pilots’ Watch Spitfire range this year with a clutch of new models that feature bronze cases for the first time. Featuring manufacturemovements, some of the models in this range should appeal to mainstream audiences with their accessibility and easy style.
At the top end of this new line is the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire (Ref. IW503601) now introduced in bronze with a military green dial. Limited to just 250 watches, the watch is powered by the in-house Caliber 52615 and has a power reserve of seven days and is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback. The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar is not new, but the bronze case and new color scheme gives it a completely new look. It is priced at $28,200.
A special limited edition is devoted to pilots Steve Boulbee Brooks and Matt Jones and their planned IWC-sponsored flight around the world in a vintage Spitfire aircraft. The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight” (Ref. IW327101) is the first IWC watch to incorporate the brand’s patented, wearer-friendly second-time-zone mechanism into an in-house, automatic movement, dubbed Caliber 82760. This mechanism allows quick and easy re-setting of the time, along with the date and 24-hour hand, in a single motion.
The wearer simply presses the city-ring bezel down, turns it so the city representing the desired time zone is at 12 o’clock, and release. Both the hour hand and the small, red-tipped 24-hour hand will move synchronously with the turning of the bezel, and the date display will also change accordingly, either forward or backward. Limited to 250 pieces, the watch will be priced at approximately $12,400.
The newly revamped Pilots’ Watch Chronograph Spitfire, described by IWC as the “backbone” of the line, is the first IWC Pilot’s Watch chronograph to contain an in-house movement from the company’s 69000 series of calibers and has also been slimmed down in diameter from previous models to a more contemporary and wearable 41 mm.
The self-winding, chronograph movement — Caliber 69380 — has a classical column-wheel design and displays elapsed hours and minutes on subdials at 9 and 12 o’clock, the day and date at 3 o’clock. Its double-sided pawl winding system, an IWC technical hallmark, enables the movement to amass a power reserve of 46 hours. The 41 mm case is made of bronze (IW387902), harmonizing with the olive green dial and brown calf leather strap for a retro-chic vintage-military look.
According to IWC, the bronze case will develop a blackish patina as opposed to the green tinge seen on most models. Its price will be approximately $6,250 (all pricing is not finalized and subject to change). The watch is also available in stainless steel with a black dial (Ref. IW387901) for $4,850.
The Pilot’s Watch UTC Spitfire Edition “MJ271” (Ref. IW327101) has an integrated Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) function featured in the manufacturecaliber. Limited to 271 watches, the UTC function makes it easy to set a second time zone. When turning the crown when in its central position, the hour hand moves forward or backward in hourly increments. If the dial crosses the International Date Line, the date display changes automatically. The time in the wearer's home country can be read via the curved UTC display in the top half of the dial. The manufacture Caliber 82710 has a Pellaton winding with ceramic components and a power reserve of 60 hours. The watch is priced at $11,280.
The entry-level timepieces in the new Spitfire range are the Spitfire Automatics (Ref. IW326801and IW326802). Available in 39-mm wide steel (Ref. IW3268801) with a black dial or bronze (Ref. IW326802) with a military green dial, both watches are powered by the manufacture Caliber 32110. The self-winding movement features a pawl-winding system that winds up on both sides and boasts a power reserve of 72 hours. An inner cage made from soft iron protects the movement against magnetic fields. The steel version costs $5,580 while the bronze costs $6,270.