Last year, when unveiling its new pilot’s collection at the SIHH 2019, IWC also announced its partnership with a very cool project named “The Longest Flight”. On 5 August 2019, British pilots Matt Jones and Steve Boultbee Brooks embarked on their flight around the world in an antique, restored Spitfire plane. This was the occasion for IWC to unveil a dedicated timepiece, the Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight”. And now that the mission is accomplished and the world tour completed, the brand introduces the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Spitfire Edition “Mission Accomplished” Ref. IW510506, a new edition true to the design codes introduced with the new Spitfire collection.
On their record-breaking journey in the “Silver Spitfire”, the two founders of the Boultbee Flight Academy covered almost 43,000 kilometres in four months, visiting over 20 countries on their way. Having been the primary partner and official timekeeper of the mission, IWC celebrates this milestone with a unique timepiece. And what could be more fitting than using the Big Pilot’s watch as a base for this achievement?
The new edition “Mission Accomplished” IW510506 is an oversized aviation-inspired model, relying on the design codes of previous Spitfire watches. In this instance, it comes in a large 46.2mm case, which is made of bronze and has a matte, sandblasted surface. Being bronze, you can expect it to gain a bit of patina over its life. The screw-in crown is also made of this material yet the caseback, for obvious reasons, is made of titanium and features a small sapphire window revealing the power reserve indicator. The watch features all the necessary elements of a true pilot’s piece; the glass is secured against displacement by a drop in air pressure and a soft-iron inner case protects the movement from magnetic fields. It is water-resistant to 60m.
The main novelty for this IW510506 is the display, with its combination of small seconds and a large date – a display already used on a Big Pilot for the 150th anniversary. And as for the style itself, IWC plays on classic bronze Spitfire cues, as seen in the Perpetual Calendar or the UTC here, with a matte green dial and gold-plated hands. The rest is typical of the collection, with white Arabic numerals and a signature triangle at 12 o’clock.
Inside the case is a large in-house, hand-wound movement, the calibre 59235. This engine is one of the brand’s most powerful movements with a 192-hour or 8-day power reserve. The date is indicated at 12 o’clock arranged on two non-overlapping discs.
The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Spitfire Edition “Mission Accomplished” IW510506 is worn on a 22mm brown pilot’s strap with bronze rivets. It is a limited edition of 500 pieces, now available in boutiques and at iwc.com for online orders. It is priced at EUR 16,600, USD 15,800 or CHF 17,100.