IWC Schaffhausen has launched the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire, inspired by the functional design of historic “mil-spec” watches. One model has a titanium case and a black dial; the other features a bronze case and a military green dial. Both have a titanium case back, engraved with the iconic Spitfire airplane, and a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields.
The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire (Ref. IW329701) features a case, case back and crown made from lightweight and robust grade 5 titanium. The dark grey matte colour results from an elaborate surface treatment in which the components are first polished and then sandblasted.
The design of the black dial was inspired by historical observation watches. Only the minutes and seconds are printed in white on the outer ring, while the hours appear smaller and in a more discreet grey print on the inner ring.
Traditionally, this layout made it easier for pilots and navigators to read the minutes and seconds at just a glance. They needed this information to perform tasks like celestial navigation during visual flights. The distinctive field watch design is complemented with a brown calfskin leather strap with contrast stitching.
The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire (Ref. IW329702) features a bronze case and crown as well as a titanium case back. Alongside copper, the bronze used by IWC also contains aluminium and iron. This specific composition makes the alloy around 50 per cent harder than standard bronze.
Additional characteristics include the material’s exceptional biocompatibility and its ability to develop a unique patina over time, which will give each timepiece a distinct character and look of its own. The warm colour of the bronze harmonises with the military green dial and the gold-plated hands. Both the hands and hour markers have been coated with a luminescent material to facilitate readability at night. The timepiece is fitted with a green buffalo leather strap with a unique texture.
At work inside the case is the IWC-manufactured 82100 calibre movement. This high-end automatic movement has been engineered with a focus on maximum precision and reliability. It features the efficient winding system developed by IWC’s former technical director Albert Pellaton during the 1950s, which uses the slightest movements of the rotor in either direction to wind the mainspring.
Other components, like the automatic wheel or the pawls, are made of virtually wear-free zirconium oxide ceramic. When fully wound, the mainspring holds a power reserve of 60 hours.