The 2016 Pilot’s Watch collection from Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen offers a wide, balanced range of Pilot’s Watches stretching from the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch to the stylish Mark XVIII and the elegant Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36. With the new Timezoner Chronograph, a simple twist is all it takes to change the timezone, making it the perfect world time watch for frequent travellers. The exclusive and emotional “Antoine de Saint Exupéry” and “Le Petit Prince” collections should also be a source of pleasure to many collectors this year.
“In 2016, we’re widening our range to include smaller Pilot’s Watches in the entry-level segment, without neglecting our traditional heritage,” explains Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “With our stylish Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII and elegant Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36, we’re addressing women and men with slimmer wrists who have a penchant for elegance and understatement. At the same time, we’re producing the sizeable and authentic Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch, an observer’s watch that’s strongly reminiscent of the Big Pilot’s Watch of 1940. And this year, IWC is launching yet another world-first that fits in particularly well with the subject of flying: the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph is the first timepiece where a new time zone, including the date, can be set merely by turning the bezel. And finally, as every year, we have the exclusive ‘Antoine de Saint Exupéry’ and ‘Le PetitPrince’ collections. Their appeal lies in their original design ideas, such as the special annual calendar.”
Among the eye-catchers of the current collection are undoubtedly the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 55 (Ref. IW510401) and the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48 (Ref. IW510301). They are clearly inspired by the historic observer’s watch, and not only because of their enormous case diameters of 55 and 48 millimetres. Christian Knoop, Creative Director at IWC Schaffhausen: “For us, it was vital from the start that the Heritage watches were 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. It’s like jumping back in time to the pioneering age of aviation, except that we’ve got state-of-the-art IWC watch technology.” And that, apart from IWC-manufactured calibres, includes features such as a sliding clutch to protect hand-wound movements from overwinding, titanium cases and the soft-iron inner case as protection against magnetic fields. Christian Knoop: “Integrating protection against magnetic fields in the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48 with its see-through back visibly combines our tradition and manufacturing expertise.”
For IWC’s engineers, creating the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph (Ref. IW395001) meant bringing together three technologies: the city ring from the Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer; a sprung rotating bezel, which cannot be moved inadvertently; and, from IWC’s latest Aquatimer generation, the external/internal rotating bezel mechanism that transfers the rotational movement to the inside of the watch. The result is a world time watch that shows its owner a new time zone and the time of day together with the 24-hour display and the new date, all with a simple twist of the wrist. The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronographis fitted with a calfskin strap.
The “Antoine de Saint Exupéry” and “Le Petit Prince” collections play a special role in the Pilot’s Watch line. IWC Schaffhausen has created a memorial to the French author and pilot, and to his most famous work, “The Little Prince”, every year since 2006 and 2013, respectively. Throughout his life, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was torn between flying and writing, between technology and poetry. Now, IWC’s engineers and the designers of the Big Pilot’s Watch AnnualCalendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW502701) have succeeded in uniting the two worlds. They modelled the solid gold rotor at the back of the watch to show the famous image of the little prince standing on his tiny asteroid and regarding the heavens with wide-open eyes. At the same time, he turns on his own axis and provides the power needed by the watch. In 2016, three unlimited Pilot’sWatches are likewise decked out with the midnight blue dial of the Edition “Le Petit Prince”: the Big Pilot’s Watch (Ref. IW500916), the Pilot’s Watch ChronographRef. IW377714) and the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII (Ref. IW327004). And with the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Antoine de Saint Exupéry” (Ref. IW503801) and the Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Antoine de Saint Exupéry” (Ref. IW371808), IWC’s designers have put together a striking assembly of immediately recognizable timepieces. Both models have a tobacco brown dial and a calfskin strap with cream-coloured ornamental seams that serve as a reminder of Saint-Exupéry’s flying suit.
In 2016, IWC Schaffhausen also presents the new Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII (Ref. IW327001/IW327002/IW327011) as an entry-level model with a calfskin strap or stainless-steel bracelet. Unlike its predecessor, the Mark XVII, it no longer features the triple date display. Optically speaking, this provides more space on the dial and the watch appears cleaner, despite the fact that the diameter of the case, at 40 millimetres, is one millimetre smaller compared with the previousmodel.