SIHH Takeoff! IWC Releases New Pilots For 2019 (Hands-On)

SIHH Takeoff! IWC Releases New Pilots For 2019 (Hands-On)

IWC’s history is tightly linked to aviation. Starting with their first military pilot watch which dates to 1936. For more than 80 years, IWC has been creating pilot’s watches where function dictates form, where legibility and reliability are essential. Timekeepers that embody the brand’s DNA. Here is a sneak preview at some of the novelties from SIHH 2019 unveiled at Goodwood Air Base in the UK.

By Benjamin Teisseire

For SIHH 2019, IWC’s focus will be on Pilot's watches. A new line will take off: the Spitfire. Innovations will appear as much in materials than concerning manufacture movements. A new Top Gun series will be unveiled. A limited-edition Big Pilot Constant-Force Tourbillon “Le Petit Prince” will crown this 2019 vintage.

The new Spitfire collection

The new collection is built around the historical codes of military pilot’s watches from the Schaffhausen brand. Ease of use, great legibility with Arabic numerals and 100% equipped with in-house movements. This is the starting point of the new line. But it brings a lot more to the table. The first model unveiled, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire, boasts a slimmed down case of 41mm. It amazingly brings both modernity and vintage touches to the timepiece. It will adorn all kind of wrists: young, thin, feminine, or Asian effortlessly.

It will clearly enlarge the potential client base for IWC, comforting further its success among the industry. The introduction of a very trendy bronze case, befits this new timekeeper perfectly and will surely offer an excellent patina with time. The material elegantly matches the military green color chosen for the dial — subtle yet differentiating. A great success through and through. The Pilot's Watch Timezoner Spitfire edition "The Longest Flight Edition," provides a further preview of the potential of this new line by offering a useful UTC complication with great ease of use. We can't wait to see the rest of the collection at SIHH 2019.

Top Gun Pilot’s Watch series

Undoubtedly, Top Gun evokes the spirit of fighting aviation, and it is notable that IWC is the only watch brand that has been allowed to use this world-famous name. The Top Gun Series debuted in 2007 with a Double Chronograph in a ceramic case. Precision and novelty are embodied in this series. The 2019 edition will, once more, exemplify both innovation and technicity. The Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun is equipped with a high precision caliber 79420 movement, entirely manufactured in-house, and comes with a new Ceratanium® case.

Ceratanium® is an altogether new alloy that took IWC seven years to develop: a blend of ceramic and Grade 5 titanium. It offers the best of both worlds: the scratch resistance of ceramic associated with the lightness and robustness of titanium. A high-temperature treatment conveys that characteristic deep matte black finish. It has also been used for the hands, crown, chronograph pushers, and the buckle. An all-black look works wonders on this technical piece. For the confirmed pilots out there.

The “Petit Prince” series, IWC’s fine watchmaking at its best

Introduced in 2013 and highly recognizable with its brilliant blue dial, the collection is enriched with a Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon. It is the first time such a complication equips a Pilot’s watch at IWC. The timekeeper is astoundingly beautiful with its large tourbillon at 9 o’clock, its delicate moon phase (mandatory for Le Petit Prince) at one o’clock and its 96 hours power reserve gauge at 4h30. An original balance emanates from the timepiece: different and elegant. To crown it all, an innovative material is used for the case: Hard Rose Gold. Ten times more scratch-resistant than regular gold, it will appeal to enlightened collectors who will no doubt battle to get their hands on one of the ten available pieces.

A unique and historical communication vector

To cap the presentation, IWC unveiled what will probably be a central aspect of their communication throughout 2019: the first flight of a Spitfire plane around the world, hence "The Longest Flight." This ambitious project will highlight the unique features of this mythical plane and to tell the endless stories that go with it. It will introduce the new collection beautifully around the world.

This pre-SIHH presentation from IWC displays once more the undeniable assets the Schaffhausen manufacture holds to capitalize on its success: a rich history, recognizable models and permanent research for useful innovations. This has enabled them to create characteristic Pilot watches, ultra-legible, perfectly embodying the brand’s DNA.

The Goodwood Air Base was the perfect setting to unveil some of the novelties on this 2019 chosen theme. We will be eagerly waiting to discover the whole ranges at SIHH starting January 14th.

(Photography by Pierre Vogel)

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