You might have seen a watch that looks a lot like this before. The design has been around since 1948, when IWC were commissioned by the Royal Air Force to create a tough and legible timer that would stand up to the rigours of dog fights in Spitfires – what we know today as the Mark XI.
Now, with a team of two pilots about the take a silver Spitfire around the world, IWC thought it high time to bring back the iconic design with a few modern additions, such as the Calibre 32110 movement. It’s produced in-house at IWC and has been made to withstand large magnetic fields and keep ticking for up to 72 hours.
This movement is packed into an incredibly wearable 39mm stainless steel case, with a soft iron inner cage that helps protect the movement from magnetic fields. This was a big problem for Spitfire pilots, as their engines would produce strong magnetic forces that could seriously affect the time-telling ability of a watch.
Now that most of us don’t fly Spitfires, anti-magnetism might not seem as important – but there are magnets everywhere in our lives. From your phone case to the clip that seals your work bag, all can invisibly damage your watch.
We first saw this incredible model at SIHH last month in Geneva, where its incredible simplicity made it stand out from everything else. The addition of patina to the lume on the hands and at 12,3, 6 and 9 gives the watch a subtly aged feel, hinting at its illustrious history.
Pair the wearable size with its incredibly comfortable, green NATO strap and this becomes a great watch to wear everyday. And there will be no need to worry about scratches thanks to the super scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass.
IWC Pilot’s watch Automatic Spitfire
Now check out another release from SIHH 2019, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo”…