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.