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.
Although 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, 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 loved so much in their 2011 IWC Portofino Eight Days that was equipped with the hand-wound Cal. 59210 (Ref. 5101) with only ones mall 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.
IWC has prepared a limited edition version of its Big Pilot model. Sporting the same dial layout as the 2010 IWC Blue Big Pilot Limited Edition 7 Days Power Reserve, the 2013 IWC Big Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Boutique Edition Green (Ref. IW501903) grew even bigger and finally got its stainless steel body swapped in favor of a more appealing black ceramic.
If you keep an eye on fresh products from IWC and are also a fan of the world’s most popular racing series, you probably know that the Swiss watchmaker sponsors the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team and have also probably noticed the gorgeous, cool as Arctic ice IWC Ingenieur Racer Automatic Chronograph that was announced back in December 2012. Well, the brand decided not to limit its onslaught to just one F1-themed watch. Behold the new IWC Ingenieur Carbon Performance limited edition (Ref. 3224).
The year 2012 wasn’t exactly rewarding for the better part of the population. Greece didn’t default, Doomsday didn’t happen and Valve yet again failed to deliver HL:3. However, there were certain bright spots, too: Spain emerged victorious in the 2012 UEFA Euro cup and the European politicians somehow managed to prevent collapse of the single currency. The watchmakers from Europe and Japan, too, managed to introduce a number of great watches, although there was nothing truly revolutionary neither in terms of design, nor technical characteristics (here I am talking about mass-produced models, not some ultra-expensive one-offs).