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
The crowd at last week’s unveiling of IWC’s 2016 Pilot’s collection was a a who’s who of Sydney’s movers and shakers – you could barely order an IWC-themed cocktail (our pick was the Miramar, in case you were wondering) without bumping into a fêted restaurateur, world famous fit-blogger, rugby player, Olympic hopeful or one of the many exquisitely cheekboned/ roughly jowelled models. It was the first time the new IWC Pilot’s collection was on display in Australia, and it was the perfect opportunity to find out what people thought of the latest models like the revamped Big Pilot, the brand new Automatic 36, and of course, the classic Mark XVIII. So, with microphone in hand, that’s exactly what we did. Spoiler alert – 2016 is going to be a big year for IWC. With thanks to IWC Australia, Monika Radulovic and Gregory Jewellers.
It was roundly considered the uncontested crowd pleaser of SIHH in Geneva, and now IWC’s revamped new Pilot’s collection is set to impress in Australia. Last Thursday, IWC pulled out all the stops to celebrate the local launch of the 2016 Pilot’s Collection. It was an elegant affair, the room full of memorabilia evoking the golden age of aviation, and the crowd looked the part. But the real sting in the tail of the strict dress code noted on the invitation? “IWC watch or no watch.” Thankfully those with naked wrists didn’t miss out for too long, as after the initial formalities were dispensed with, the new collection started to make its way onto admiring wrists. And this collection is set to stun for all audiences. From the biggest Big Pilot all the way down to the Automatic 36. Miss Universe Australia, Monika Radulovic, was particularly taken with this more petite take on the classic Flieger. On the other hand, Bianca Cheah, the entrepreneur behind Sporteluxe, preferred the larger men’s models – her husband was quick to point out that she’s been known to ‘borrow’ his Top Gun Chronograph. The Mark XVIII received universal acclaim for it’s simple, clean aesthetic and ability… Read More
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 release of the year, pairing the brand’s in-house column-wheel chronograph movement with stacked totalisers at the top of the dial with the bezel-controlled second time zone, demonstrated in the below video. If you’ve ever been frustrated fiddling with crowns, this bezel is a revelation. The spring mounted city ring is a joy to use. It’s a patented IWC system that builds on technology initially pioneered and developed by Michael… Read More