IWC Schaffhausen creates two striking new timepieces that pay homage to the victor of the Battle of Britain, the mighty Spitfire.
While there were several fight models participating in the aerial battles over the English Channel during WWII, including the more numerous Hurricane, it was the Submarine Spitfire that caught the hearts of the British public. Built for speed, this lethal interceptor was tasked with taking the fighters of the Luftwaffe head on and Spitfire squadrons continued to victory in battles above the Mediterranean, Pacific and even Southeast Asia in the years that followed the Battle of Britain. Now this acclaimed fights is immortalised with two new “mil-spec” timepieces from IWC’s Big Pilot’s watch collection.
Over the years, IWC Schaffhausen has manufactured numerous field watches for different branches of the British military. These mil-spec service watches were characterised by high-precision movements, extreme ruggedness, functional designs with easily legible dials, and purpose-built technical features such as soft-iron inner cases to provide protection against magnetic fields.
The Spitfire Pilot’s Watches reflect this chapter in the brand’s history. Featuring a distinctive military design, they take their name from the iconic British aeroplane of the time, one of the most sophisticated developments in the history of aviation.
The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire comes in two styles; both have a titanium case back, engraved with the iconic Spitfire airplane, and a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields.
The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire (Ref. IW329701) features a case, case back and crown made from lightweight and robust grade 5 titanium. The dark grey matte colour results from an elaborate surface treatment in which the components are first polished and then sandblasted.
The design of the black dial was inspired by historical observation watches. Only the minutes and seconds are printed in white on the outer ring, while the hours appear smaller and in a more discreet grey print on the inner ring. Traditionally, this layout made it easier for pilots and navigators to read the minutes and seconds at just a glance. The distinctive field watch design is complemented with a brown calfskin leather strap with contrast stitching.
The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire (Ref. IW329702) features a bronze case and crown. Alongside copper, the bronze used by IWC also contains aluminium and iron. This specific composition makes the alloy around 50 per cent harder than standard bronze. Additional characteristics include the material’s exceptional biocompatibility and its ability to develop a unique patina over time, which will give each timepiece a distinct character and look of its own.
The warm colour of the bronze harmonises with the military green dial and the gold-plated hands. Both the hands and hour markers have been coated with a luminescent material to facilitate readability at night. The timepiece is fitted with a green buffalo leather strap with a unique texture.
The new timepieces are powered by the IWC-manufactured 82100 calibre movement and feature IWC’s EasXCHANGE system which allows the wearer to quickly and easily change the strap at the touch of a button without any additional tools. Several alternative strap options made from calfskin and rubber are also available as accessories.
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