Tuesday, January 26, 2016

IWC Schaffhausen - Big Pilot’s Watch (Ref. IW500912) & Pilot’s Watch Chronograph (Ref. IW377709 & IW377710)

In 2016, IWC Schaffhausen celebrates the 80th anniversary of the start of Pilot’s Watch production: the company delivered its first Special Pilot’s Watch in 1936. It was the beginning of a passionate relationship between IWC and aviation. Just 4 years later came the Big Pilot’s Watch (52-calibre T.S.C.), the first observer’s watch from IWC.

It was to leave its mark on an entire genre. With a case measuring 55 millimetres in diameter, the timepiece had an extra-long leather strap that allowed it to be worn over a flying suit. The dials were black, with large, radium-coated Arabic luminescent numerals and line markings to show the minutes and seconds. The propeller-like hands and central seconds hand were also coated with luminescent material. The large triangle with the single point on either side, a characteristic feature of pilot’s watches today and probably used for the first time on German observer’s watches, was situated below the chapter ring at “12 o’clock”. In 2006, when IWC revived the Big Pilot’s Watch tradition, the designers had integrated the triangular index in the chapter ring and left out the figure “9”.
Big Pilot’s Watch (Ref. IW500912)
In the new 2016 collection, the company takes a step back towards the roots of its original Big Pilot’s Watch and has given the Big Pilot’s Watch(Ref. IW500912) a discreet optical makeover. The triangular index has been returned to its original position below the chapter ring, thus making it more prominent, and the “9” also returns to its original position. Apart from this, the numerals appear a little bolder and the 5-minute markings slightly slimmer. Overall, the dial appears more harmonious and is uncannily similar to the 1940 original. The Big Pilot’s Watch comes with the tried and tested cockpit design, which was inspired by the 1940s models, when the watch was an indispensable aid for pilots when navigating. Cockpit instruments are well known for being simple and offering optimum legibility. A perfect example of this is the cockpit of the Junkers Ju 52.
An engraving of the legendary aircraft graces the back of the Big Pilot’s Watch and reminds us of a legend that lives on in the current Pilot’s Watch collection. The Santoni straps are made of black calfskin and the perfect complement for the watch. With this Big Pilot’s Watch, IWC uses the calfskin strap produced by the shoe manufacturer for the first time ever.
The IWC-manufactured 51111 calibre unites some of the greatest achievements in the art of watchmaking. Within no time at all, the spring-mounted rotor and Pellaton pawl-winding system build up a power reserve of over 7 days. The power reserve display at “3 o’clock” informs the wearer of the time remaining until the movement comes to a stop. The Big Pilot’s Watch has a date display at “6 o’clock” and the central seconds that is indispensable for aviation navigation purposes. The original timepiece, the Big Pilot’s Watch (52-calibre T.S.C.), even bore the designation “Seconde Centrale” (S.C.) in its name. The 46-millimetre case, waterresistant to 6 bar, encloses a soft-iron inner cage that protects the movement against magnetic fields. Apart from this, the Big Pilot’s Watch is equipped with a striking cone-shaped crown, harking back to those pioneering days of aviation when pilots were obliged to set and wind their watches while wearing gloves in unheated or open cockpits.

With its clear, iconic design and state-of-the-art technology, the Big Pilot’s Watch continues to impress in 2016. On the black dial, the designers have restored the historic triangle and the “9” to their established positions. In the case of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph, IWC’s designers have done away with the triple date display and small numerals on the outer chapter ring.

In 2016, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph (Ref. IW377709/ IW377710) comes with a single date and day display, following the designers’ decision to do away with the triple date display. They also opted to omit the small 5-minute numerals on the outer chapter ring. The reason for this is simple: IWC Schaffhausen wants to reinstate the dial in a form that is characteristic of the classic pilot’s watch: clearly organized, with excellent legibility no matter what the visibility.
The robust 79320-calibre chronograph movement functions as a stopwatch with aggregate timing up to 12 hours. With its soft-iron inner case, it is optimally shielded against the influence of external magnetic fields.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph, which is water-resistant to 6 bar, is available with either a calfskin strap by Santoni (Ref. IW377709) or an elegant, newly designed stainless-steel bracelet (Ref. IW377710). Two-tone textile straps, inspired by the historic Nato straps, are now also additionally available for the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph.

Technical details
Big Pilot’s Watch (Ref. IW500912)

Functions
Power reserve display
Date display
Central hacking seconds

Movement
IWC-manufactured calibre 51111
Frequency: 21,600 A/h | 3 Hz
Jewels: 42
Power reserve: 7 days (168 h)
Winding: Automatic
Glucydur® beryllium alloy balance
Breguet spring

Case, dial and strap
Stainless-steel case, black dial, black calfskin strap by Santoni, stainless-steel folding clasp
Glass: Sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant: 6 bar
Diameter: 46 mm
Height: 16 mm
Soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields
Screw-in crown
Glass secured against displacement by drops in air pressure
Special back engraving

Pilot’s Watch Chronograph (Ref. IW377709 & IW377710)

Functions
Date and day display
Stopwatch function with hours, minutes and seconds
Small hacking seconds

Movement
Calibre 79320 Mechanical chronograph movement
Frequency: 28,800 A/h | 4 Hz
Jewels: 25
Power reserve: 44 h
Winding: Automatic

Case, dial and strap
Ref.  IW377709: Stainless-steel case, black dial, black calfskin strap by Santoni, stainless-steel pin buckle
Ref. IW377710: Stainless-steel case, black dial, stainless-steel bracelet with fine-adjustment clasp
Glass: Sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant: 6 bar
Diameter: 43 mm
Height: 15 mm
Soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields
Screw-in crown
Glass secured against displacement by drops in air pressure
Special back engraving

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