The Flying Watches of Iwc: the Ultimate Overview

IWC Great watch, IWC Top Gun, IWC watch chronograph, IWC Mark XVIII & Co.

IWC renewed 2016 its pilot watch collection. Some things have been further developed, many of them came new. Eighty years IWC is building watches, which does not sound like a long history in a tradition-oriented industry such as the watchmaking industry. However, the issue is somewhat different when it comes to flying watches. After all, aviation began to take on serious dimensions in the First World War, and the great pioneers such as Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart did not make themselves aware of it until the late 1920s: Lindberg crossed the Atlantic alone 1927, Earhart As the first woman 1932.

Seen in this way, IWC was relatively early in the year 1936 with its “Spezialuhr for fliers”. The then Director general Jakob Homberger was inspired by his flight-enthusiastic sons to produce a watch with a lot of luminous mass on numerals and pointers, on the bezel adjustable minute marking and caliber 83 with antimagnetic inhibition. The watch was functional between minus 40 and plus 40 degrees Celsius, which played a role in open or at least unheated aircraft cockpits.

The world-famous successor to the Spezialuhr for fliers is the IWC large watch, which the company produced from 1940 in a circulation of 1,000 copies for the German Luftwaffe. With its watch design, this 55 millimeter-sized timepiece, powered by the caliber 52 T.S.C., has decisively shaped the watch genre to this day – together with the identical models of the German manufacturer A. Long & Sons, Wempe, Laco and Stowa.

The three-star of historically significant pilot watches completes the IWC Mark 11 of 1948. (only from the Mark XII Roman numerals were introduced for the model designation.) The new military timer was destined for the pilots of the British Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth states and belonged to the official equipment for more than 30 years until 1981. The IWC caliber 89 was protected from magnetic fields by a soft-iron inner casing – a requirement that the German Luftwaffe had not yet placed on the large watch.

IWC Watch: The models of the classic collection

While the Spezialuhr for aviators from the year 1936 was revived only for a limited edition of 2008, the Mark 11 has established a model tradition that continues to this day: it appeared 1994 in revised form as IWC Mark XII and has since been steadily Updated, which always reflects new mark numbers. 2016, IWC has reached the Mark XVIII–a Klassischschlichten watch, which, after a somewhat overdesigned predecessor, returns to the strengths of the visually reduced former military time-meter. For the first time in ten years, there have been hours of digits instead of bar indexes at six and nine o’clock, and the minute now runs again at 12 o’clock, instead of being interrupted by the flying Triangle. In the 40 millimeter-sized steel housing of the IWC Mark XVIII, the ETA automatic caliber 2892 continues to operate.

The Great watch of 1940 also marked the beginning of a success story. However, it took up to 2002 until its successor with at least 46 millimeters of steel housing and in-house seven-day caliber 5011 made a stir. The dimension is the same in the year 2016, but it ticks the current caliber version 51111 in the soft iron interior housing of the new model. Like the mark models, the large watch is part of the classic collection, whose housing floors bear the relief engraving of the airplane classic Ju 52, called “Aunt Ju”. Like most new leather band versions, it comes in the future on a bracelet from the Italian shoe and leather goods manufactory Santoni.

The IWC Watch chronograph is also a permanent component of the collection. As with the Mark XVIII, IWC has returned to a more rectilinear design with the 43 millimeter-sized Valjoux-7750 stopper. This means, above all, the departure from the last Extended Date window, which indicated three instead of just one digit, and omitting the five-minute numbers on the dial edge. As with the new mark, the result is a tidy watch face which, despite the many displays, does not cause any confusion.

As big as the big watch, but a completely new model is the IWC Timezoner chronograph. For the first time, IWC sets the 2015 of the world time function purchased by the Vogard brand. The system is based on a rotating bezel with which 24 hour time zones can be selected, with the central clock simultaneously set. However, IWC simplified the system in its handling: if Vogard had to open a protective bracket on the housing before turning the bezel, it is enough for the IWC Timezoner chronograph to push the ring down and then move it in any direction. The small pointer does not represent another time zone, but is used in combination with the small 24-hour scale as a day-night display for the only time shown. The world time function is combined with the Flyback chronograph of the IWC manufacture caliber 89760, which displays the stopped hours and minutes in a common counter at the twelve.

IWC Watch: The models of the Heritage collection

Also brand new is the IWC Heritage sub-collection, which includes only two models. But these two have it in themselves: while the great watch Heritage 48 with its own eight-day hand-winding caliber 59215 and date in the 48-millimeter enclosure already impressively comes, the large watch heritage 55 with manufacture hand winding caliber 98300 and normal gait autonomy of 46 hours in its 55-millimeter shell has an even greater effect.

Both of them see IWC as a successor to the large watch of 1940 despite their titanium instead of steel casing. As a bonus, there is a soft-iron inner housing that is shielded for both magnetic fields, which the famous ancestor did not have. The fact that the 48-millimeter version allows a small viewing window in the housing floor to look at the balance reduces the magnetic field protection according to the IWC by a maximum of three percent.

IWC Watch: The models IWC Spitfire

IWCs continuous burner, the great watch with seven-day manufactory, there are 2016 again in the somewhat more elegant sub-collection IWC Spitfire. This year, the 46-millimeter housing is made of red gold, and the dial in Anthracite has a sun-cut. The ground of the IWC Spitfire adorns the relief engraving of a Spitfire fighter aircraft.

Dial decor and floor engraving has the large watch Spitfire together with the three millimeter smaller watch chronograph Spitfire, which this year will be delivered on a new five-row stainless steel strip.

In addition, there is now also the Digital perpetual calendar with additional chronographs in this line: the Watch perpetual calendar digital date-month Spitfire measures 46 millimeters and is powered by the Manufactory caliber 89801 with 68 hours of speed autonomy.

IWC Watch: IWC Top Gun and IWC Top Gun Miramar

The most important change in the IWC Top Gun collection of ceramic watches is the revision of the model with its own Flyback-Chronographenkaliber 89361: Recently, the Watch chronograph Top Gun, like the other models with this work, no longer shows only the Minutes, but also the hours. The concentric counter can be used to read the stopped time as easily and intuitively as the time. With 44 millimeters, the chronograph measures two millimeters less than its predecessor. Under the ceramic shell is still a soft iron, which protects the work from magnetic fields. The titanium floor still bears the top Gun emblem, but now also as a relief engraving and no more painted medallion.

In the 2012, the military-styled sub-line Top Gun Miramar, the chronograph is modified in the same way. In addition, the IWC Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar is added. It has the typical olive dial with beige luminous mass and the polished ceramic casing. New is a embossed calf leather strap, which replaces the previous textile band. As with the normal Mark XVIII, the engine does the ETA 2892.

With several new watches in honor of the French pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his famous work “The Little Prince”, with a 36-millimeter collection that will appeal mainly to ladies in Europe, as well as with dial and Bracelet variants in the different watch lines, IWC is coming to 30 new pilot clocks this year. Seldom was the assertion “there should be something for everyone” so true. Ak

Tags: chronograph, stainless steel watches, flying watches, gold watch, IWC, IWC Watch, ceramic watches, Manufactory chronograph, manufactory caliber, Swiss watches, Titan Watch