TO NEW HEIGHTS

IWC Schaffhausen is bring­ing back the thrill of ae­rial ad­ven­tures with a slew of new Pi­lot’s Watches. Here’s a pre­view of what to ex­pect from its show­ing at SIHH this year.

The Peak (Singapore) - - Talking Time -

Avi­a­tion watch en­thu­si­asts will surely be fa­mil­iar with IWC’s Pi­lot’s Watches – un­ques­tion­ably one of the most well-known tool watch col­lec­tions around. The IWC Pi­lot’s Watch fam­ily has plenty of his­tory, hav­ing made pre­cise, hand­some time­pieces mod­elled af­ter iconic nav­i­ga­tion watches like the Mark 11 for over 80 years. And there’s still plenty of in­spi­ra­tion left, as ev­i­denced by this year’s eet of high yers.

The rst to grab head­lines will be the Pi­lot’s Watch Time­zoner Spit re Edi­tion “The Long­est Flight”. The 250-piece spe­cial edi­tion is ded­i­cated to the “Sil­ver Spit re – The Long­est Flight” ex­pe­di­tion, where two Bri­tish avi­a­tion en­thu­si­asts, Matt Jones and Steve Boult­bee Brooks, will be tak­ing off in a sil­ver Spit re Mark IX – a le­gendary ghter plane – and ying it around the world as early as this Au­gust. By the time they re­turn to Eng­land at the end of the year, they would have made over 150 stops in more than 30 coun­tries.

Trav­el­ling across so many time zones re­quires quick ad­just­ments to each, which is what the new Time­zoner ex­cels at. The patented mech­a­nism al­lows the wearer to sim­ply ro­tate the bezel to switch time zones. Ro­tat­ing it also causes the hour hand, date and in­te­grated 24-hour dis­play to jump ac­cord­ingly. The 82760 IWC­man­u­fac­ture move­ment fea­tures IWC’s Pel­la­ton wind­ing sys­tem, with com­po­nents made from wear-re­sis­tant ce­ramic, and it comes with 60 hours of power re­serve.

The bezel is adorned with clearly marked city names for easy ref­er­ence. The rest is clas­sic IWC’s Pi­lot’s Watch styling: the Mark 11- de­rived tri­an­gle at 12 o’clock, large Ara­bic nu­mer­als, chunky onion crown and black dial. The rugged look is com­pleted with a green can­vas strap.

The Spit re can still be im­pres­sive, even with­out the world time func­tions. The Pi­lot’s Watch Chronograph Spit re

sees the re­turn of bronze cases, a nov­elty last seen on the Big Pi­lot’s Watch Her­itage Ref. IW501005 from 2017. At a re­duced case size of 41mm, it’s not only smaller than a Big Pi­lot, it’s also more con­ser­va­tive than many of the stan­dard 43mm Pi­lot’s Watch Chrono­graphs.

The main ap­peal of bronze watches, aside from its vin­tage ap­pear­ance, is that the ma­te­rial de­vel­ops a patina over time, mak­ing the watch unique to its wearer. The pro­pel­ler-shaped hands are a sig­na­ture of IWC’s Pi­lot’s Watches. Here, they are plated in gold to match the case and stands out beau­ti­fully against an olive green dial.

The Chronograph Spit re is the rst watch from the Pi­lot line to house a move­ment from IWC’s rel­a­tively new 69000 fam­ily of cal­i­bres. First in­tro­duced in 2016, the in-house cal­i­bre debuted in an In­ge­nieur, fol­lowed by a Por­tugieser. The self-wind­ing col­umn wheel chronograph, which speci cally uses the Cal­i­bre 69380, beats at 4Hz and is pro­tected by a soft-iron in­ner case for re­sis­tance against mag­netic elds.

Not to be out­done in the non-tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als depart­ment, the Top Gun line wel­comes the use of the in­no­va­tive Cer­ata­nium with the Pi­lot’s Watch Dou­ble Chronograph Top Gun Cer­ata­nium. De­vel­oped by IWC, the patented ma­te­rial is as light­weight and durable as ti­ta­nium, and has the same hard­ness and scratch re­sis­tance as ce­ramic. Since IWC’s Top Gun watches are de­signed with ro­bust ma­te­ri­als to hon­our the elite jet pilots in the US Navy’s Strike Fighter Tac­tics In­struc­tor Pro­gram, it makes sense for Cer­ata­nium to en­ter this branch of the Pi­lot fam­ily. ( The ma­te­rial was rst used in an Aqua­timer in 2017.)

Cer­ata­nium’s nat­u­ral matte black colour also en­abled the brand to cre­ate its very rst com­pletely black Pi­lot’s Watch with­out the use of any coat­ing. This means all the watch com­po­nents, such as push but­tons and pin buck­les, are the same jet colour. This is a watch that can en­dure ex­treme weather con­di­tions, and is ac­com­pa­nied by a rub­ber strap.

The new IWC Pi­lot’s Watch col­lec­tion also has a dressier, more ro­man­tic side. Since 2005, IWC has been in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the fam­ily of An­toine de Sain­tEx­u­pery, and, for the last six years, has made watches that pay tribute to both his ac­com­plish­ments as an avi­a­tor and to his great­est lit­er­ary work, . The new­est edi­tion, the Big Pi­lot’s Watch Con­stant- Force Tourbillon Edi­tion “Le Pe­tit Prince”, comes with some no­table rsts: It is the rst Pi­lot’s Watch to fea­ture a tourbillon (and one with a con­stant­force mech­a­nism at that), and it is the rst watch from IWC to use hard gold.

IWC’s way of elim­i­nat­ing force vari­a­tions in­volves sep­a­rat­ing the es­cape­ment from the di­rect ow of force from the dial train, while re-ten­sion­ing a bal­ance spring every sec­ond. This tem­po­rary store of en­ergy will trans­fer pulses evenly to the es­cape wheel, op­ti­mis­ing pre­ci­sion.

A com­pli­ca­tion and mech­a­nism as del­i­cate as that de­serves a lit­tle glam­our. In keep­ing with the Pi­lot fam­ily’s DNA of tough­ness, hard gold was the log­i­cal choice. The red gold al­loy has a modi ed mi­crostruc­ture that makes it signi cantly harder and up to 10 times more wear­resis­tant than con­ven­tional red gold.

IWC’s Pi­lot Watches may have been built with pilots in mind, but it’s a col­lec­tion that wel­comes and is loved by any who em­braces a spirit of ad­ven­ture.

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