In addition to both festive and jolly, ’tis also the season for SIHH pre-releases. Today’s contribution comes courtesy of IWC, who appear to be following up their Portugieser and Pilot years with a Da Vinci-focused line-up – which is what makes the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition ‘Sharks’ even more intriguing. The clue is in the name, but it’s the hammerhead sharks on the caseback that seal the deal. This monochrome take on the Aquatimer (we genuinely thought the picture was black and white when we first saw it) takes for its inspiration the cool grey colour of these apex predators. IWC has partnered with Hollywood-turned-underwater photographer Michael Muller on this watch, each one coming with a book chronicling his years of experience capturing this dangerous fish. IWC inform us (perhaps with the merest whiff of wry humour) that the book is “presented in a striking iron cage, guaranteed to protect against shark bites.” The watch receives no such protection, but given its 44mm steel sturdiness, we’re not sure it needs it. IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition ‘Sharks’ Australian pricing The IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition ‘Sharks’, limited to 500 pieces, $16,000
Editor’s Note: In this, the second instalment of our IWC microstory, Christian and Evelyn don driving gear, load up the Mercedes (living the dream right there, folks) and race off to the mysterious party of the title. Where will it be? Does anyone else get the impression Christian isn’t exactly looking forward to it? And what watch is that on his wrist? You’ll have to wait until the final instalment for the answers for those first two questions, though the last is a little easier – he’s wearing a Portugieser Chronograph Classic.
Editor’s Note: Welcome to ‘The Party’, a micro-trilogy that revolves around IWC’s Portugieser collection. And while this illustrated story is a little different from our typical fare of reviews and write-ups, in a way it’s exactly the sort of thing Time+Tide was started to do – to tell a story of watches, wearers and their journeys. The only difference here is that this story is fictional. And even though Christian, Evelyn and their gorgeous house might not exist in real life, that doesn’t mean we can’t dream – right?
Editor’s Note: IWC’s new range of Pilot watches are a symphony in simplicity and an exercise in restraint – such straight-up clean dials and displays. En masse they shoot the pilot watch paradigm out of the sky. Which is why the contrast with the Timezoner Chronograph continues to titillate. The busy, function packed dashboard of a dial and neat bezel party trick sure offer another way to fly… IWC Schaffhausen’s Timezoner Chronograph is a good-looking watch that packs an impressively technical punch. On the face of it it’s a chronograph with a worldtime function. This could have been an overly complex watch, but the reference 3950 is also one of the most user-friendly we’ve seen in a long time – featuring a clever mechanism that allows you to adjust both home time and the 24-hour second time zones with a simple twist of the bezel. Of all the 24 pilot’s watches IWC released this year (that includes completely new watches and relatively minor upgrades to existing models) the highly technical Timezoner is the most obvious choice for frequent travellers or, of course, pilots not wanting to lose track of time while away from home. It’s certainly IWC’s most ingenious… Read More
IWC’s Pilot’s collection is predominantly a tribute to the past – to the golden age of aviation, and of course WWII. But amidst the vintage squadron of Junkers and Spitfires there flies a much more modern creation, a supersonic F-14 Tomcat in the shape of the Top Gun Miramar collection. Named for the flight school made famous by Maverick and Goose, the IWC’s Top Gun collection is the boldest, most contemporary design in their Pilot’s collection, and the Mark XVIII epitomises this spirit. In addition to the layout, the colours are a modern take on vintage too, with the typical white replaced with a cream or ecru colour, to replicate the look of decades of patina. A case in point is the differences between the regular Mark VXIII and this version. The model we reviewed here features a simple dial – black with white Arabic numerals – whereas the Top Gun mixes things up. The anthracite dial shifts from near-black to a pale grey. On top of this, the dial layout is quite different, with a prominent minutes track. This is what’s known as a ‘B-Uhr Type 2’ dial, and speaks to the original Pilot’s watches as navigational instruments, where minutes were far more crucial… Read More
If you’ve been paying even marginal attention to IWC over the past seven months you’ll have noticed it’s on a bit of an aviation kick, refreshing the entire Pilot’s family and adding some tantalising novelties like the limited edition ‘Le Petit Prince’ edition of the Big Pilot and the ingenious Timezoner. Impressive as these are, they’re not the bread and butter of IWC’s Pilot’s line. That falls to fresh faces like the Mark XVIII, and updated stalwarts like this one, the Pilot’s Chronograph. If you were to look quickly at this new reference (IW377710, or IW377709 on Santoni leather) next to the outgoing IW377701 you could be forgiven for thinking they were the same watch. But take another look, and numerous small tweaks become apparent. The most obvious is the removal of the altimeter-style triple date window, which in turn allows for the IWC branding to be moved back to the three o’clock position. Also gone are the printed Arabic minutes at the outer edge of the indices. All minor changes, but they add up to a dial that’s slightly simpler and certainly closer to the watch’s historical origins. The other changes concern the strap. For the leather version, the alligator strap has been… Read More
When IWC released the original Big Pilot in 2002 it captured imaginations, marking a defining moment in the early noughties trend for ‘big’ watches. It was a brute, with its hulking 46mm case and utilitarian aesthetics. And if the original ref. 5002 Big Pilot had been as pared back as its WWII inspiration, would it have captured the hearts and minds of the watch-loving public quite as much as it did? Probably not. The IWC Big Pilot was, without doubt a luxury pilot’s watch. It’s a post-modern statement piece that’s the horological equivalent of the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon. This year, IWC revamped its entire Pilot’s collection, and today we’re taking a closer look at one of them: “Le Petit Prince” edition of the Big Pilot. IWC makes Little Prince versions of their Pilot’s watches across the board, and the defining features are a charming engraving of the young fictional royal on the caseback and a rich midnight blue dial. This dial softens the Big Pilot, toning down the military aesthetic just a touch. The other notable design tweaks on this 2016 version are the welcome return of the number nine on the dial, balancing out the seven-day power reserve indicator on… Read More