IWC Pilot Watches
All About IWC Pilot Watches
Founded in 1868 by the renowned American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones, the IWC Schaffhausen (International Watch Company) or simply the IWC is one of the highly acclaimed watch brands in the world. For over 150 years, IWC has created a name for itself with quite a number of masterpieces that amazed the collectors.
IWC has been leading in watch manufacturing for decades and one of its flagship collections is the IWC Pilot watches. Accomplishing the creation of many incredible timepieces, the IWC Pilot Watch is no wonder one of them. Since its launch in 1936, the collection has offered a number of professional aviation watches crafted to meet the extreme conditions encountered in the sky. IWC Schaffhausen did not just introduce a watch to the market, but a practical instrument to meet every pilot’s most pressing need.
Ruling the watch industry for 150 years IWC has fulfilled so many accomplishments that distinguished the brand from others. IWC has been renowned for its notable contribution to the industry. It has produced a handful of high-quality professional watches since the beginning. One of its pioneer collections is the IWC Pilot Watches.
In 1936, IWC Schaffhausen released its first ever pilot watch, the
Special Pilot’s Watch”. The launch is to address the need for precision under the high pressure in the sky that matters life or death to the pilots. This robust and reliable watch had immediately brought remarkable success to the brand.
The "Special Pilot's Watch" was powered by IWC Calibre 83, featuring an antimagnetic escapement. To enhance the readability the watch was equipped with hands and hour indexes of great contrasts. It also featured a rotating bezel to help measure and record short periods of time. Particularly, the arrowhead index at the 12 o’clock position registered take-off times effectively. Moreover, the watch proved to be robust that is resistant to fluctuations in temperature from -40 to +40 degrees Celsius.
Seeing the well-received success of its pilot watch, IWC released a new pilot watch — the Big Pilot’s Watch in 1940. As suggested by its name, this IWC Big Pilot IW431 featured a large 55mm watch case, with 16.5mm in height, and 183 grams. This biggest watch IWC ever manufactured was produced as a limited-edition in 1,000 pieces. The IWC Big Pilot watch instantly garnered the attention of watch enthusiasts all over the world and became a big hit in the market.
In 2002, IWC revisited the design of its Big Pilot watch and released an updated Luftwaffe-issue watch. This new version of Big PIlot watch 5002 was powered by an impressive automatic movement with a power reserve of 8.5 days. The watch also featured a monochrome power reserve indicator and a date display above the 6 o’clock position that were new from the original watch. The 2002 IWC Big Pilot was equipped with a smaller case of 46mm in diameter.
IWC again re-edited its pilots watches in 2012 and released two new versions of the Big Pilot in ceramic, named the IWC Top Gun. The Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar, Reference 501902, featured a 48mm polished grey ceramic case, a beige and red dial and a green nato strap. Another IWC Big Pilot Top Gun 501901 had the same 48mm case with a black ceramic case and a black strap.
IWC Mark Series
8 years after the release of this iconic Big Pilot, a new IWC pilot Mark 11 was released in 1948 and supplied to the British Royal Air Force (RAF). This IWC Mark 11 Pilot watch was an antimagnetic watch featuring its hand-wound calibre 89 movement and a NATO strap. The watch had been used by the British military for over 30 years.
In 1994, IWC introduced Mark XII to replace the Mark 11. The watch was encased by a 36mm case incorporating a self-winding movement with a new date display window. This Caliber 884 movement was based on the remarkable Jaeger-leCoultre 889/2 movement.
The updated Mark XV was released in 1999, featuring a larger case of 38mm. The watch was equipped with an updated ETA 2892 movement, the Calibre 37524.
Over the past decades, the IWC aviator watches have undergone significant modifications. Still their design is classic and has taken the inspiration of the flight instruments of the 20th century.
One of the most popular timepieces with a vintage look is the IWC Big Pilot Watch IW500901. Since its launch, Big Pilot Watch has been the flagship model of the IWC Pilot watches. The IWC Big Pilot chronograph watch houses an automatic winding movement that offers outstanding functionality such as 7-day power reserve and a date display.
Keeping up its legacy in the history of aviation, IWC Pilot watches continue to evolve while upholding its proud traditions of watchmaking. IWC launched a series of revamped versions of Pilot's Watches during these years. Furthermore, the IWC Pilot Chronograph watches have gained increased popularity in recent years. IWC Le Petit Prince IW377714, Pilot Watch Chronograph IW37770, and the Pilot Watch Double Chronograph IW377801 are amongst the most sought after IWC watches.
On top of these popular watches, the newer model IWC Top Gun is also well received by the collectors along with its legendary Pilot watch collection. Every IWC Pilot watch is so capable that it has always been a great hit in the watch market right after release.
The enchanting IWC Pilot watch series has been specially created to meet the demands of professional pilots. Their designs and mechanisms have been crafted to endure and perform well under the high pressure in the sky. Its distinguishing features including luminescent hands and numerals in sharp contrast with the dark body design, provide the pilot's readability under extreme situations.
Besides, these best pilot watches are made from ceramic and titanium in order to stand high under the air pressure and acceleration. Moreover, the pairing adjustable straps are very comfortable to be worn on the wrist.
Today the IWC pilot watch collection offers a wide selection of robust and elegant watches. With their exceptional quality and classic design aesthetics these watches are highly admired. A IWC Pilot watch will undoubtedly stand you out in any occasion.