EVENT: IWC unveil the 2019 Pilot’s Collection at cosy winter speakeasy in Sydney, including the stunning Timezoner and Ceratanium TOP GUNAndrew McUtchen
Last night, IWC launched their new Pilot’s Collection at an intimate event in a venue dressed perfectly to capture the machismo, the aeronautical legacy and the overall class of the brand. The walls were adorned with pilot paraphernalia, the tables were festooned with dried native flowers and many wrists were adorned with IWC watches; the iconic Big Pilot a crowd favourite, with many variations in attendance. In a relatively short time, this striking model has earned icon status in IWC’s pilot stable — and last night, people voted with their wrists.
Stories about the brand and its watches abounded. Ex-AFL player (Sydney Swans, Richmond Tigers) and musician (check out Kayex on Spotify or Apple Music) Tom Derickx sat next to me at the dinner and spoke of his Mark XVIII, a small-sized watch for such a big guy, and said that he liked its slim profile and comfortable size for everyday wear as a carpenter and musician. “I wear it surfing, I wear it sleeping, I never take it off.” He proved the point by showing the tan line it had created. (The fact that he even has a tan line shows the stark difference between Melbourne and Sydney winter life by the way.)
Artist Alesandro Ljubicic took his Big Pilot off his wrist to show me the inscription on the back: ‘A X M’, a gift he received from his wife Monica on their wedding day. She has a matching, though smaller, version which she also wore on the night. Florian Gutsmiedl, Brand Director, also wore a Big Pilot. In his speech to welcome guests and announce the collection, he spoke of the new materials on show and of the ‘Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight’ endeavour, which is – upon successful completion – to be the longest voyage in a Spitfire ever undertaken.
The new collection glittered in showcases. While the bronze Perpetual Calendar with green dial, and shiny gold double moons is a feast for the eyes, for me, the Timezoner is still the standout, with its glossy ceramic bezel and impressive party trick of being able to change times to the city named on the bezel with a simple twist.
The appeal of this collection, in addition to the evergreen appeal of pilot style watches — with their superior legibility, bold classic styling and sexy nuances of contrast stitching, riveted bracelets and onion crowns and the like — is certainly the materials. Most interestingly, the proprietary ‘Ceratanium’ used on the Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium. But most reliably in the green dials and bronze cases, a combination that will never cease to appeal.