Meet The New Pilot’s Watches From IWC Schaffhausen
Luxury Swiss watchmaker IWC has you spoilt for choice this year with an exceptional selection of new additions to its Pilot’s Watch range. From military-inspired editions to a special crossover with the world of motorsport, you’ll be wishing for one of these must-have models under your tree come Christmas morning. Don’t rely on Santa to come through with the goods though, read on now to shop the selection for yourself.
The Race Edition
IWC is no stranger to the high-octane world of professional motorsport. The Swiss luxury watch maker and Mercedes-AMG have been partners since 2004. With IWC officially becoming the racing team’s engineering partner in 2013. The long-lasting collaboration is grounded in many shared values, including the pursuit of technical perfection and uncompromising quality.
Which is why we are excited to present IWC’s new race-inspired pilot’s watch, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG”. As the name suggests, it’s the latest timepiece to the celebrate the long-standing partnership between IWC and Mercedes-AMG. And the first to present IWC’s iconic 43mm Pilot’s Watch Chronograph in a Grade 5 titanium case (including the crown and pushers). This lightweight and resistant alloy – often used in high-performance cars – ensures plenty of wrist presence, without the associated weight. The dial is made from another hi-tech material common to motorsport: carbon fibre. Its black woven texture contrasts nicely with the silver-plated chronograph counters and the small seconds at 6 o’clock creating a sporty aesthetic that is also highly legible. Inside the case is the IWC-manufactured calibre 69385, a robust and precise chronograph movement. It’s partly visible through the tinted sapphire crystal case back which is emblazoned with the Mercedes-AMG logo. This all-around sporty timepiece is fitted with a black leather strap with a stainless-steel folding clasp.
The Military Editions
Now we shift our attention from IWC’s involvement in motorsport to its special military program. For many years, the Swiss luxury watchmaker has worked with various U.S. naval aviation units to engineer watches that are exclusively available to members of these squadrons. Every so often, IWC is kind enough to grace us with ‘civilian’ editions of these hi-tech, hi-performance timepieces. Not surprisingly, they are highly sought after by aviation and horology enthusiasts alike.
The first two models on our list are the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Royal Maces” and the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tophatters”. The former is inspired by the military-exclusive timepiece developed in collaboration with Strike Fighter Squadron 27, which is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan. While the latter is dedicated to the Strike Fighter Squadron 14 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. Established in 1919, it is the oldest active Navy squadron. Both are presented in oversized, 44.5mm cases crafted from black zirconium oxide, while the pushers and the crowns are made of Ceratanium®, an IWC-developed material combining the lightness and robustness of titanium with the hardness and scratch-resistance of ceramic.
Each model features a black dial with white, luminous markings to ensure high legibility in all conditions. The “Royal Maces” edition feature’s the squadron’s patch proudly displayed at 6 o’clock, with the squadron’s signature yellow colour featuring throughout. Including the yellow day-date indication, the yellow stitching on the black calfskin strap, the tip of the chronograph seconds hand and the small seconds hand. The reverse of the case is fitted with a Grade 5 titanium case back and features an engraving of the squadron’s F/A-18E Super Hornet jet next to the official denomination “VFA-27”. The “Tophatter’s” edition meanwhile features the squadron’s classic top hat patch at 6 o’clock, and also as an engraving on the Grade 5 titanium case back. The day-date display, the tip of the chronograph seconds hand, the small seconds and the stitching on the black calfskin strap are all finished in the squadron’s characteristic red.
The final military edition model on our list is the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Blue Angels®”. This is the third timepiece to emerge from IWC’s license agreement with the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. Based on the incredible popularity of the previous two editions, it’s safe to assume this will be a must have model too. The design is inspired by the military-exclusive watch developed with Blue Angels members in Pensacola and features a 44.5m blue ceramic case. As with its stablemates above, the pushers and the crown are made of Ceratanium®. In keeping with the “Blue Angels®” colour scheme, the dial is blue with yellow highlights and features the “Blue Angels®” patch at 6 o’clock. The Grade 5 titanium case back features an engraving of the characteristic “Blue Angels®” lettering.
All three models are powered by the IWC-manufactured 69380 caliber chronograph movement. Whilst not limited editions per se, annual production of each of these military-inspired chronographs will be capped at 500 pieces worldwide. Meaning allocations will be limited for these in-demand timepieces.
The Top Gun Editions
TOP GUN watches have been a core part of the IWC Pilots watch collection since 2007. The name comes from the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program in the U.S. Navy, a top-tier training programme that provides the best Navy pilots with flying and tactical training. To meet the specific and highly demanding requirements of these elite jet pilots, TOP GUN watches must be specially designed with robust materials, such as ceramic, titanium and Ceratanium®.
This year, for the first time, there is a TOP GUN model equipped with IWC’s patented timezoner function, allowing the wearer to quickly and easily change between time zones. Pressing down and rotating the bezel causes the hour hand, the integrated 24-hour display and the date to move forwards or backwards in one-hour increments. Inset into the bezel is a city ring, made from matte black ceramic and inscribed with the names of 24 cities in contrasting white, each one representing a different international time zone. A 24-hour disc visible through a curved aperture below 12 o’clock provides a quick reference as to whether it is day or night in your chosen timezone. In keeping with the stealth look, the 46mm case is crafted from matte black Ceratanium®, while the black dial features printed grey numerals. The jet-black tactical design of the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner TOP GUN Ceratanium edition is complemented with a tinted sapphire glass case back and a black rubber strap with textile inlay. Providing the power is the IWC-manufactured 82760 calibre, complete with Pellaton winding system with components made of virtually wear-free ceramic.
Rounding out our selection are two special “Mojave Desert” editions of IWC’s Big Pilot’s watch. This marks the first time the distinctive case of the Big Pilot is offered in IWC’s sand-coloured ceramic case, the hallmark of all its “Mojave Desert” editions. The unique colourway is inspired by the flight suits of Navy pilots and the barren landscape of China Lake, the US Navy’s largest land area in the Mojave Desert. Achieving the perfect finish requires a sophisticated manufacturing process involving powdered raw materials that are shaped and then sintered at high temperatures. The result is a light-weight case that is virtually scratch-proof and looks unlike anything else on the market.
The Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Edition “Mojave Desert” offers the classic, time and date display, complete with 7-day power reserve indicator on a sub-dial at 3 o’clock. Behind the dial is the self-winding, IWC-manufactured 52110 calibre. The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Edition “Mojave Desert”meanwhile presents one of IWC’s most complicated models in a whole new light. The subdued dark brown dial houses four sub dials and a four-digit year display, which combine to show all calendar indications simultaneously, as well as the phases of moon and the 7-day power reserve indicator. The perpetual calendar is mechanically programmed to automatically recognise the different months lengths and the leap years. The calendar module is driven by a single nightly switching impulse delivered by the IWC-manufactured 52615 calibre.
Watches of Switzerland is proud to be an authorised representative of IWC watches in Australia. Please note though that allocations are limited, so we encourage you act quickly to avoid disappointment.