1936 marked the year of the very first IWC Pilot’s watch. The beautifully engineered innovation represents the special relationship between IWC Schaffhausen and the aircraft industry. Not long after that, the 52-calibre T. S. C. Big Pilot’s Watch was born which became the first observer’s watch with a bold case diameter of 55 millimetres. The look and style of the watch was something never seen before. It combines the sleekness of a luxury Swiss manufactured timepiece, with a desirable aesthetic, housed within a robust case for optimum reliability.
Today IWC Pilot’s watches employ very much the same collection of characteristics, however many of the more recent innovations are nods to world-famous author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and the fascinating story of The Little Prince. The IWC Pilot "Le Petit Prince" Midnight Blue Dial Double Chronograph Watch is an intriguing special edition timepiece evoking a sense of exclusivity and uniqueness. Designers at IWC have incorporated the magic of the story, together with a myriad of technical innovations, including 7 hollowed-out star icons, illuminated by a stunning golden background. There is a twist to the design however, in that the flash of gold will never be seen in more than one star at a time. The crown operates the jumping of the gold background by random selection – each star symbolising a different planet visited by the fictional character, the Prince.
The IWC Ingenieur watch collection also features the XVIII models which are distinguished by a professional pilot-inspired design that harks back to the original Big Pilot’s crop. Large Arabic numerals represent each hour marker - that is all but the 12 o’clock location which is presented in a triangular index. Bold chunky central hands are chiselled and defined, creating a focal feature that teams beautifully with the centralised proud IWC brand lettering in striking white font. A discreet 11mm deep case houses an in-house developed movement, creating the heartbeat of the watch, which sits closely against the skin courtesy of a comfortable black calf skin strap.
For something a little more functional, IWC Schaffhausen also created the IWC Pilot’s Spitfire Chronograph, fitted with a sophisticated stainless steel bracelet. The style of this timepiece takes inspiration from the legendary single engine Spitfire during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Chronograph sub-dials are presented at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock, dressed against a grey dial framed in either a stainless steel or rose gold bezel. The timepiece is exquisite in its refined finish, adding opulence and elegance to any special occasions outfit.
In 2007, the IWC TOP GUN watch joined the Pilot’s family. The design celebrated its very own unique line within the IWC Pilot’s collection with an undeniable authentic military feel. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Top Gun Miramar watch demonstrates the brand’s daring nature with an attention-demanding deep green canvas strap and a luxurious grey dial, with chronograph dials at 6 and 12 o’clock. Powered by the stamina-induced calibre 30110, the IWC TOP GUN watch promises a reliable 42 hour power reserve, combined with an innovative red coloured hour track which lies in the centre ring - the minutes instead, highlighted in a sand colour around the outer perimeter of the dial. A unique IWC gent’s watch for those with an affinity towards military-inspired designs.