This Chunky Bronze Pilot’s Watch Was Made for a Globe-Circumnavigating Aviator
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In 2019, a 76-year old restored Spitfire aircraft flew around the world. Now, Swiss watchmaker IWC is commemorating the adventure and the IWC brand ambassador Matt Jones who made the journey (along with co-pilot Steve Boultbee Brooks) with a new pilot’s watch in a bronze case with a striking green dial and a “big date” display. It follows watches like the Timezoner Spitfire Edition “Longest Flight”, which also celebrated the voyage.
With a diameter of 46.2mm, IWC’s Big Pilot’s Watch is just that: big. Its size will be good for the large-wristed, but it has historical justification as well, referencing oversized military watches from the mid-20th century that were made large for cockpit legibility and sometimes even strapped to pilots’ thighs. The giant crown has the same origin, as this would have to be operated wearing gloves.
A notable feature of the verbosely named IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Spitfire Edition “Mission Accomplished” watch is its digital date complication. This uses two discs under the dial to change a single digit of the date at at time, allowing for a larger display — and it’s significantly more complicated than the typical single disc with 31 numbers.
Inside, the watch is powered by the IWC in-house 59235 manually wound movement offering an impressive 192 hours of power reserve — its balance wheel is visible through a window in the case back. The IWC “Mission Accomplished” watch is limited to only 500 examples and each will have a price of around $17,960.
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