IWC Schaffhausen’s repertoire of military watches is vast; the brand has created several field watches for the British Navy, Army, and Airforce, the most famous of which is the Mark 11, a navigation watch engineered in 1948 for the British Royal Air Force. The watches, but naturally, were characterised by high-precision movements, ruggedness, functional designs, legible dials, and more – all expressly created to aid while ‘on the field’. Continuing this legacy are the newest pieces from IWC – the 43mm Big Pilot’s SpitFire Watch in titanium and bronze, which take their name from the iconic British aeroplane.
The second version is a bronze with a military green dial, Ref IW329702, and features a bronze case and crown, and a titanium caseback. The bronze is an alloy, resulting in a material that is hardier than the original metal, and will gain a certain patina over time. The hands are gold-plated, and along with the hour markers, are coated with a luminescent material to facilitate readability. The case is flanked by a green buffalo leather strap.
“Both feature the distinctive Big Pilot’s design with the striking conical crown in an ergonomic 43-millimetre case,” says Christian Knoop, Creative Director, IWC Schaffhausen. “However, what sets these new Spitfire models apart is their military aesthetic with closed casebacks, inspired by the rugged field watches from back when the iconic Spitfire graced the skies.”
True to form, the casebacks feature an engraving of the Spitfire. There is also a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields, and the sapphire glass is secured against displacement caused by drops in air pressure. The watches are water-resistant to 100 mts.
Powering both the 43mm timepieces is the IWC-manufactured 82100 calibre movement with a bi-directional rotor, giving it a power reserve of 60 hours. An additional feature is the use of the EasX-CHANGE system that allows the wearer to quickly and easily swap between straps (alternates are sold separately) without using tools.
IWC latest Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire is available now through IWC boutiques, authorised retailers, and online at IWC’s website.
All images: Courtesy IWC Schaffhausen