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IWC Flies High in 2016

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IWC Flies High in 2016 with New Pilot’s Watches

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 January, 2016, 11:31am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 January, 2016, 11:31am


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The sky is the limit for Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen when it launches the new Pilot’s Watch Collection at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2016 in Geneva on 18 January.

The Big Pilot’s Heritage Lives On

Stealing the show at SIHH are new models of the iconic Big Pilot’s watch. Introduced in 1940, the Big Pilot Watch (52-calibre T.S.C.) with an enormous 55-millmetre case and weighing 183 grams, was the most voluminous wristwatch ever made by IWC until 2016.  Produced in accordance with military specifications, it met chronometer standards as well as technical demands to help pilots navigate during the pioneering days of aviation. The Big Pilot also heralded the birth of observer watches from the Manufacture.

Big, Bold and Authentic

75 years on, the Big Pilot’s Watch has been faithfully re-issued in 2016 with a modern interpretation.  Inspired by the historic observer’s watch, the new Big Pilot Heritage 55 and Heritage 48 watches remain true to the original, from the design of the dial and the colour of the luminescent numerals to the shape of the propeller-like hands and the riveted calfskin straps. The only exception is the introduction of state-of-the-art technology which includes features such as a sliding clutch to protect hand-wound movements from overwinding, titanium cases and a soft-iron inner case to protect against magnetic fields. While the distinct vintage look endures, contemporary aesthetics and comfort have been subtly introduced for the modern day pilot.

The Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 55 (Ref. IWC510401) still comes with the enormous 55-millimetre case, but features the IWC hand-wound 98300 calibre. Limited to 100 pieces, it is available exclusively at select IWC boutiques all over the world. Weighing in at less than 150 grams, this will no doubt be a hit among collectors and lovers of authentic pilot watches.

A practical alternative for everyday use is the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48 (Ref. IWC510301). Slightly less hefty in size, but still imposing with a case diameter of 48 millimetres, this smaller sibling is designed with modern aesthetics of wear comfort in mind. Limited to 1,000 pieces, it features the IWC hand-wound 59215 calibre visible through a porthole on the case back which gives the owner the convenience of a 192-hour power reserve that guarantees accurate running for 8 days before it automatically stops.

Stylish Novelties

Taking flight at the same time are other Pilot Watch novelties that appeal to a wide range of watch lovers. In contrast to the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch, the stylish new entry level Mark XVIII and the elegant Automatic 36 are designed for men and women with slimmer wrists. The new Timezoner Chronograph scores a world-first as the first timepiece with an innovative complication where a new time zone, including the date, can be set merely by turning the bezel, making it the perfect world time watch for frequent travellers. The exclusive and ‘Antoine de Saint Exupéry’ and ‘Le Petit Prince’ collections appeal with their original design ideas and provide a source of pleasure to many collectors.

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