The Swiss-based International Watch Co. has just presented its new IWC Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer (Ref. IW326201) automatic timekeeper that makes life significantly easier both for pilots and their passengers.
The new watch offers functionality, which is similar to that of the trend-setting Girard-Perregaux WW.TC automatic chronograph, but in a styling that is both more masculine and, perhaps, more fitting for a watch designed with frequent travelers and jet pilots in mind.
The watch lacks a secondary hours hand (a traditional attribute of a standard GMT watch), since it uses a different approach to displaying time in the second time zone. According to the Swiss watchmaker, its setting crown allows to easily change the position of the only hour hand in 1-hour increments both clockwise and counterclockwise.
Its self-winding movement (IWC doesn’t specify the name of the caliber in its press release, but I have a feeling that it must an ETA-based job*) even counts in the International Date Line moving the date backward or forward as you move the hour hand.
The black dial of the watch also provides enough living space for a 24-hour display of the “world timer” function. Once correctly set, the disk, which is clearly separated for “day” and “night” areas, will tell you current time in every major city in each respective time zone.
For example, on the photo above the IWC Worldtimer reads 10:10:33 in the home zone, 19:10:33 in Paris, and 2:10:33 in Beijing.
As usual for IWC’s pilot’s watches, the date window, which is placed at 3 o’clock, is shaped as a semi-arc providing enough space for the three dates: previous, current and next.
All things considered, my only complaint about this watch would be its heroic proportions.
Measuring whole 45 millimeters in diameter, the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer Automatic is just too big for it to be worn with a business suit or some other kind of formal attire and too dressy to go with a jumpsuit.
Thankfully, with its width of 13.50 millimeters, the watch is slender enough not to cause any trouble even with tight-cuffed shirts.
* UPDATE ON CALIBER AND PRICE: IWC has just confirmed that the watch is animated by what they prefer to call Caliber 30750. Based on ETA 2892-A2, it gets its basic functionality enhanced by means of a rotating 24-hour disk. Nothing really special here, but the minimum recommended street price that IWC decided to set at $9500. To my taste, the price is a bit too high for a model, which is powered by a run-off-the-mill movement that you can find in a lot cheaper timekeepers sold by less well-advertised brands. Also, I don’t think that it will keep its value that great when you finally decide to sell it for something new.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer Automatic (Ref. IW326201) specification
Price: $9500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, IWC Caliber 30750 (based on ETA 2892-A2), hacking seconds, put in a soft-iron inner cage for protection against magnetic fields, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 31
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Standard ETA finish with IWC branding on the oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, second time zone (GMT)
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 45.00 mm
Case height: 13.50 mm
Lug width: No data
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Diamond-shaped, luminous
Water resistance: 60 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, convex, antireflective on both sides
Case back: Solid, engraved