Exclusive for Air-Force Pilots
Founded by American Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868, IWC was taken over by Ernst Jakob Homberger in 1905. The brand has always held a deep connection and fascination with flight partly because the brand owner’s sons are both aviator pioneers. The elder son Rudolf was a fighter pilot in the Swiss Air Force. And IWC captured the spirit of aviation. The very first Special Pilot’s Watch was created in 1936, followed by the Big Pilot’s Watch in 1940 and the Mark 11 in 1948.
Rudolf Homberger was a fighter pilot in the Swiss Air Force.
The pilot’s licence of Hans, second son of Ernest, shows the sons’ passion for aviation.
It is safe to say that the Special Pilot’s Watch was the first prototype of the Pilot collection. It was produced for civil aviation purpose. To deal with the temperature change and strong magnetic field in the cockpit, the watch was anti-magnetic and also highly resistant to temperature fluctuations, ranging from –40 to +40 degrees Celsius. The first generation of the Big Pilot’s Watch in an edition of 1,000 pieces were supplied to the German Air Force, the first time that the Manufacture’s watches were served for army. Inspired by the historic observer’s watch, the watch had a 55 x 16.5 mm case and a weight of 183g. This rugged watch, which remains the largest watch IWC has ever produced, featured the hacking seconds function and was equipped with the 52 T.S.C. pocket watch movement.
The Mark 11 with its Cal.89 movement and inner soft iron cage served the Royal Air Forces (RAF) for more than 30 years. It also claimed to be the first anti-magnetic wristwatch in the world. Besides the RAF, the Mark 11 was also supplied to the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force), RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Air Force) as well as South Africa. Followed the naming tradition of British military watches and the condition of contract, the piece has been referred as “Mark 11”, the only Mark watch presented in Arabic number. So the Mark series watches that came after were named in Roman numbers such as XII, XV, XVI and etc. Last but not least, the Manufacture successively launched the Spitfire watches named after the British aircrafts and developed limited watches for the US Top Gun Miramar, not to mention the widely respected “Le Petit Prince” collection.
Pilot's Watch Family：
IWC in 1936 created the Special Pilot’s Watch equipped with a rotating bezel and anti-magnetic escapement.
The 55mm Big Pilot’s Watch in an edition of 1,000 pieces were supplied to the German Air Force in 1940. It remains the largest watch IWC has ever produced.
The Mark 11 with its Cal.89 movement and inner soft iron cage claimed to be the first anti-magnetic wristwatch in the world in 1948.
The Big Pilot’s Watch with a 7-day power reserve indicator was launched in 2002.
Big Pilot's Watch
Annual Calendar Spitfire
Spitfire is an impressive line of the Pilot’s Watch. It is named after the British single engine aircraft Spitfire. How did a Swiss watch manufacturer meet a British jet fighter? Because in 1936 IWC launched its first pilot’s watch, the same year the Spitfire made its first maiden flight. The Spitfire appeared in 24 versions and was widely produced; over 20,000 Spitfires were built – more than any other British aircraft. The Manufacture in 2003 launched a Pilot’s watch line that took not only its name from the Spitfire but also reflected the contemporary and innovative design, making it a stylish and sporty pilot’s watch.
This year, the Spitfire features the annual calendar function for the first time. Powering this handsome piece is the 52850 automatic movement which is the same movement nestled in the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” last year. The timepiece is cased in steel and comes with a sunray-brushed and slate-coloured dial. The small seconds at nine o'clock catches the eye thanks to a small red seconds hand, one of the typical designs of the Spitfire watches.
The annual calendar shows the month, date and day of the week at 12 o’clock. The advance mechanism is able to count the differing lengths of individual months and requires correction just once a year in February, even in a leap year. Besides the clean calendar setting, a more balanced dial layout is achieved by the 7-day power reserve indicator displayed at 3 o’clock and the small seconds dial at 9 o’clock.
The month, date and day of the week are shown at 12 o’clock.
The 52850 automatic movement is equipped with Breguet overcoil balance spring and double barrels providing 7-day of power reserve.
The Beautiful Blue Face
IWC Pilot’s Watches enjoys global renown as precise timepieces with remarkable design. The Manufacture produces pilot’s watches not only for the air forces, but also an author and his masterpiece, namely Antoine de Saint-Exupery and Le Petit Prince. Antoine de Saint Exupery was a French aviator. He was famous for his novel Le Petit Prince which has been translated into over 260 languages and sold 80 millions copies. It has become one of the most best-selling books of literature. Back in 2006, IWC joined hands with Antoine de Saint-Exupery Youth Foundation to run an exhibition and debut a limited edition watch to commemorate the legendary pilot. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Le Petit Prince in 2013, the Manufacture launched limited edition watches inspired by the Little Prince with wheaten hair. Now we’ve seen the “Le Petit Prince” edition for five years in a row.
The brand last year produced the Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupery” limited to 750 pieces as well as two “Le Petit Prince” editions, one is a three-hander, the other with a 7-day power reserve. The “Antoine De Saint Exupery” edition always features a brown dial together with a rotor bearing the initial “A” if it comes with a sapphire caseback. While the “Le Petit Prince” edition has a beautiful blue face, we’ve seen its rotor engraved with a portrait of the Little Prince standing on his planet or an engraving of the Little Prince on the caseback. Here we’ll show you the brand new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Antoine de Saint Exupery” and the Mark XVIII (on the next page).
Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition "Antoine de Saint Exupery"
Big Pilot's Watch Edition "Le Petit Prince"
Antoine de Saint Exupery is a writer-cum-pilot. His Le Petit Prince has been sold 80 millions copies.
The blue dial is an exclusive design of the “Le Petit Prince” edition.
Mark XVIII Edition "Le Petit Prince"
There is a theme in Antoine de Saint-Exupery's Le Petit Prince:
“One must observe the proper rites.” said the fox.
“What is a rite?” asked the little prince.
“They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours.” said the fox.
Today, “Le Petit Prince” and “Antoine de Saint-Exupery” watch editions are considered a rite to IWC. Starting from last year, the Manufacture creates watches in the same form and functions for both collections to suit all preferences. The latest Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Antoine de Saint-Exupery” boasts the same case size and material as the one of “Le Petit Prince”edition, while the difference is the colour of the dial - one comes in brown and the other in blue.
Written by Saint-Exupery, Le Petit Prince was published in 1943. It is a poetic tale styled as a children's book with Saint-Exupery’s hand-painted illustrations. The novel has been universally cherished by children and adults. Unfortunately, Saint-Exupery, a writer-cum-pilot, went missing while flying in a P-38 Lightning on a reconnaissance mission in 1944. Hence, the “Antoine de Saint Exupery” watches usually feature an engraving of Saint-Exupery's last plane found in 1998 to pay tribute to this legendary story.
機芯：35111自動 / 30110自動
Apart from the dial colour, the caseback also tells the difference of “Le Petit Prince” and “Antoine de Saint-Exupery” editions.
Pilot's Watch Mark XVIII Edition "Antoine de Saint Exupery"
Pilot's Watch Automatic 36
The Pilot’s Watch has come in a wide case and fits more on men’s wrist since its launch. Even though the Mark 11 is 36mm in diameter when it released in 1948, such size is rarely seen. This year IWC introduces again a 36mm model inspired by the Mark 11, which is suitable for both men and women with slender wrists. The piece offers grey, sliver or blue dial and is complemented by Santoni alligator leather strap or stainless steel bracelet. Beating inside the watch is the 35111 automatic movement with 42-hour of power reserve and hacking seconds function for adjusting the time via the crown.