One of the four ‘teaser’ watches that IWC has unveiled ahead of the SIHH 2019, the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition ‘The Longest Flight’ introduces an unprecedented display/movement. Based on the Timezoner unveiled at SIHH 2016, this new version gets rid of the chronograph function to show a more balanced and legible dial focused on a world time complication – and it is cleverly conceived. Let’s take a look at this new ref. IW395501, a limited edition of 250 pieces.
While there is another watch in the Spitfire collection that will certainly draw even more attention (spoiler alert: a cool, reasonably-sized bronze chronograph), there is another watch in this sub-range that shouldn’t be overlooked.
This IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire is, “dedicated to the ‘Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight’ project. It has been specially developed for pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones to coincide with their flight around the world in a Spitfire. The colour scheme of the watch design, with its stainless steel case, its black dial and its green textile strap, is reminiscent of the cockpit of a Spitfire,” says IWC. A nice-looking design, for sure, but there’s a lot more going on with ref. IW395501.
It marks the first time that IWC presents such a display, which is based on the concept found on the Timezoner Chronograph IW395001 introduced at the SIHH 2016. And even though it loses some of its functions, it feels more balanced, more legible and more practical… In short, more focused. With the elimination of the flyback chronograph complication, the world time function – a very practical indication – takes centre stage.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition IW395501 is a time-and-world time watch, with a less cluttered area in the central part of its dial (the Timezoner Chronograph is certainly satisfying when it comes to the mechanics, but legibility is not its main quality). Here, a classic 3-hand movement receives a clever world time function, which is adjusted by rotating the black ceramic bezel. The hour hand, the 24-hour display and the date rotate automatically at the same time. The 24-hour display has been designed as a rotating disc beneath the dial. A date window, linked to the local time, is placed at 3 o’clock.
The rest of the watch feels familiar. A large 46mm steel case, a city ring on a black ceramic insert and a black dial with large Arabic numerals, propeller-shaped hands and, for the cool factor, a cream-coloured luminous paint applied to the indexes and hands. An oversized diamond-shaped crown completes the package. This watch is secured to the wrist by a green textile strap.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition IW395501 is powered by the calibre 82760, developed and manufactured in-house. It features Pellaton winding with components made from wear-resistant ceramic and boasts a comfortable 60h power reserve. This movement is hidden under a plain steel caseback.
The Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight” will be officially presented at the SIHH 2019. Availability to be confirmed. Price is EUR 14,100. More details at iwc.com.