Hands-on The New IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph “80 Years Flight To New York”

Celebrating the 80th anniversary of Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s historic flight across the Atlantic, with a dual-time chronograph pilot's watch.

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | ic_query_builder_black_24px 4 minute read |
IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 80 Years Flight To New York Saint Exupery - IW395003

The IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph might not be the most coveted watch in the brand’s pilot collection and still, it is certainly one of the most relevant… Why, you might well ask? For the main reason that it combines two of the most practical features for such a watch; a flyback chronograph and a clever dual-time function actuated by the bezel. Today, as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s historic flight across the Atlantic (and because IWC is a partner of the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation), the brand unveils a new limited-edition Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph “80 Years Flight To New York”.

The Latécoère 521 “Lieutenant de Vaisseau Paris”, piloted by Henri Guillaumet and with Antoine de Saint Exupéry onboard, was the first plane to make a non-stop flight across the North Atlantic in July 1939.

In addition to breaking records as a pilot, Antoine de Saint Exupéry made aviation history as a passenger too. Travelling onboard the Latécoère 521 “Lieutenant de Vaisseau Paris” in July 1939, the aviator and writer took part in the flying boat’s first non-stop crossing of the North Atlantic in just 28 hours and 27 minutes – pilot Henri Guillaumet flew 5,875 km (3,651 mi) from New York City to Biscarrosse (on the French coast) at an average speed of 206 km/h (127 mph), including 2,300 km (1,400 mi) with one engine out.

The IWC Timezoner Chronograph combines two of the most practical in-flight complications: flyback and dual time.

Celebrating the anniversary of Saint Exupéry’s participation in this epic flight, IWC Schaffhausen launches an 80-piece limited edition of one of its most complex yet most relevant watches in the Pilot’s collection, the Timezoner Chronograph. This watch, which appeared in 2016, had only existed with a black dial and had remained rather discreet until now. Celebrating a time-zone-crossing flight was the perfect occasion to bring back this watch to the forefront.

IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 80 Years Flight To New York Saint Exupery - IW395003

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph is a bold, sizeable watch with true pilot’s credentials, but not like a Big Pilot’s Watch and its B-Uhr roots. It relies on a combination of two complications that are known to be very useful for aviators. First is a chronograph with a flyback “retour en vol” function, which allows to stop-reset the chronograph by just pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock, and is used for various in-flight calculations.

IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 80 Years Flight To New York Saint Exupery - IW395003

The second function, a dual-time indication with a central 24-hour hand seems rather classical in its display, however, is clever and unusual in the way it is actuated. Indeed, the second time zone is extremely simple to use, as it allows the wearer to adjust the additional 24-hour hand by simply pressing down and rotating the bezel. The latter features a ceramic insert that is engraved with the major cities around the world.

For the occasion of this limited edition, IWC brings the classic “Saint Exupéry” theme to this watch. This means a dark brown dial, specific Arabic numerals – vintage and stylized, on the contrary to the standard version with modern numerals – and specifically designed rhodium-plated hours and minutes hands. The ceramic bezel insert, also treated in brown, highlights “Paris” and “New York” in red. The watch is worn on a brown calfskin strap with a steel folding clasp. Finally, the caseback has a special engraving with the Latécoère 521.

IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 80 Years Flight To New York Saint Exupery - IW395003

As for the display, and even though this Timezoner Chronograph IW395003 bears multiple functions, things remain clear thanks to the signature chronograph sub-counter at 12 o’clock, with hours and minutes indications reunited – which also means that it is read as a normal watch. A date at 3 o’clock completes the package. The watch is made of stainless steel, brushed and polished, and measures 46mm in diameter and 16.1mm in height – no need to say, it is rather impressive on the wrist but the curved lugs allow for a good balance.

IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 80 Years Flight To New York Saint Exupery - IW395003

Powering the IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph IW395003 is the in-house Calibre 89760, an automatic, integrated chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch. This modern movement boasts a comfortable 68-hour power reserve and beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. The flyback function is a nice addition and the pushers have a nice, firm feeling.

Price and availability

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph “80 Years Flight To New York” IW395003 will be limited to 80 pieces worldwide. It is available now in IWC Boutiques and from authorised retailers. Its price is USD 13,100.

IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 80 Years Flight To New York Saint Exupery - IW395003

More details at www.iwc.com.

2 responses

  1. I am quite surprised about the photos … The bezel is not set correctly: the City is a few mm off the mark at 12. It should be set lined up with the center dot on top of Anchor., but it is off. That’s why the 24h hand is reading 10am, when actually it should have moved on 1/4 past 10.
    Could you explain, who has taken or chosen these pictures?
    Was it IWC? I understand, that the watch is beautiful, but how comes precision is not part of that equation?

  2. Like most watch people, I really like many of the designs which IWC have, while simultaneously refusing to have anything to do with the brand as it is today. However, this particular watch looks cheap. It seems that some companies have decided to employ designers who have no idea how to dress. Or how to be an adult. Or who have lived in the less salubrious parts of The US.

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