On January 15th, 2019, at the SIHH 2019, IWC has officially presented the Bronze Pilot 36mm Special Edition: a beautiful homage to a timekeeper that was introduced over 70 years ago and was worn by the British Royal Air Force pilots for many years to come. Featuring a deliciously compact and surprisingly -for a watch powered by a self-winding caliber- slim case machined from a bronze alloy, it looks stunning new and has a great potential to age graciously together with its owner.
Looking at our stats, I see that demand for recommendations regarding diving watches is a seasonal thing with most visitors coming in summer and then gradually declining till Christmas only to start growing again in early January. “Pilots” are different animals: I have an impression that people are always interested in “aviators” regardless of the time of the season. So, for your reading pleasure, a choice of fifteen timekeepers from under $200 to more than $10,000 as priced by online retailers that I find worthy of being considered while shopping for your new (or maybe your very first!) pilot’s watch this year.
The limited-edition 2016 IWC Ingenieur Chronograph “W 125” IW380701 comes in a nice -if somewhat bulky- titanium case. A true piece of luxury, the watch features an appealing combination of mirror-polished front surfaces that are accented by deliberately roughly brushed sides. Set to go on sale in just three or four months (they mention the “autumn” in the press release), the new member of the legendary Ingenieur family will sell at a competitive -I mean, um, all things considered- price of just over $7000.
Officially revealed at the SIHH 2016 show, the IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph (ref. IW389002) brings everything you loved about the original Miramar collection, albeit in a smaller package. With a touch oversized case crafted from dark grey scratch-resistant ceramic and a high-contrast, yet discreet dial layout, this new model looks like an interesting choice for a person who always wanted a dressy “aviator”, but wasn’t quite satisfied with earlier models and their Gargantuan proportions.
Unveiled at SIHH 2014, the IWC Aquatimer Deep Three Titanium (Ref. IW355701) is perhaps the first “tool” diver that actually looks great. Its lightweight titanium case is meticulously crafted and features a much elaborated high-tech finish. With its easy-grip rotating bezel and crisp (although a bit busy thanks to its mechanical depth gauge display) dial, the wristwatch would look organic in a sci-fi movie like Oblivion or maybe even Prometheus.
IWC has revealed a nice addition to its splendid Portofino range of oversized timekeepers. Always conservative in its approach, extremely reluctant when it comes to evolving its design language, the Swiss watchmaker again brings us a watch that features all the elements that we love so much with only a small change: the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date Boutique Edition (Refs. IW516102 / IW516101) has the original simple calendar display replaced with a lot more appealing Big Date indicator.