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 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.
First presented at the Baselworld 2016, the limited-edition IWC Ingenieur Chronograph “W 125” (ref. IW380701) comes in a nice -if somewhat bulky due to its 42 mm wide to 15 mm high proportions- titanium case. Like a true luxury piece, the case features an appealing combination of mirror-polished front surfaces that are lovely 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 be offered at a competitive -I mean, um, all things considered- price of just over $7000 USD.
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.
With its water resistance rating of just 100 meters the 2014 IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (Ref. IW379401) is not the first watch to be recommended for a serious diver. Yet, the new member of the legendary Aquatimer family still looks appealing thanks to its sexy “digital” display of the date and month.
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.
Previously known as the main sponsor and official timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht race, IWC decided to up the ante and, back in May 2008, signed a three-year sponsorship agreement to become an Engineering Partner of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team. It was only a matter of time before a special-edition Ingenieur Racer automatic chronograph was officially announced.
To create this highly impressive limited edition IWC Big Pilot DFB (Deutscher Fußball-Bund / German Soccer Union, Ref. IW500432), the Swiss watchmaker has outsourced its huge automatic movement from their current “oversized” Portuguese collection. However, justifying its name, the new “aviator” is even bigger than its older siblings!
The Swiss-based International Watch Co. has just presented its new IWC Pilot’s Worldtimer (Ref. IW326201) that makes life significantly easier both for pilots and their passengers.
The 2012 IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW388002 is named after the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California, USA. Almost 43 years ago, the military installation gave birth to the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School that was immortalized in a Hollywood movie starring Tom Cruise and is now mostly known to the general public as TOP GUN.
Based on the elegant and stylish 2010 Portuguese Yacht Club chronographs, the refreshed IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012” (ref. IW390212) arrives in a body of the same dimensions, but features a revised movement, as well as a host of lightweight materials that make it even closer to the thrilling world of high-profile ocean races.
Delivered in a moderately oversized body, this new IWC Portofino Chronograph (Ref. IW391002) is a nice alternative to both Patek Philippe chronographs that are just too formal and the Omega Speedmaster series, which is just too sporty. Relatively affordable and styled with attention to even smallest details, this is something that you want to wear in the office.
This is certainly going to be a great year for the refreshed Portofino range of entry-luxury watches. Besides the dressy Portofino Dual Time and the elegant Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days, IWC has also presented a face-lifted Portofino Automatic (Ref. 3565): a modern-classic three-hander with a simple calendar.
First unveiled at SIHH 2011 earlier this month, the automatic IWC Portofino Dual Time (Ref. IW361004) will be presented in many versions, but it looks the best in a combination of 18-karat rose gold and black.