IWC, Watch Reviews

IWC Demonstrates Its Manufacturing Expertise With a New Spitfire Line

At the SIHH 2019, IWC presented a new Spitfire line in the Pilot’s Watches collection. 

To celebrate the unique engineering expertise of the designers of the legendary British fighter aircraft, all Spitfire watches feature IWC-manufactured calibres. The design is inspired by the puristic instrument design of the Mark 11. The iconic navigation watch was produced in Schaffhausen for the Royal Air Force from 1948 and was worn by many of the pilots and navigators serving at that time.​

The Spitfire, designed by Reginald J. Mitchell, is one of the most sophisticated developments in the history of aviation.The iconic shape of the legendary British fighter aircraft is the result of a perfectly functional design; its elliptical wings not only make the Spitfire extraordinarily agile and easy to manoeuvre, they also give it its unique silhouette. The characteristic instrument design of IWC’s Pilot’s Watches was likewise the result of engineering to the specific requirements of military aviation.


The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire (Ref. IW503601) features a perpetual calendar and is limited to 250 watches. The 52615 IWC-manufactured calibre has a power reserve of seven days. The heavy-duty components of the Pellaton winding are made from wear-resistant ceramic. The perpetual calendar identifies different month lengths and leap years automatically and will work until 2100 without needing any correction. Since all displays are perfectly synchronised, the watch can be easily adjusted via the crown. The double moon display shows the moon in the correct position in the northern and southern hemisphere and takes 577.5 years to require adjustment by one day. The see-through sapphire glass back allows the user to view the highly embellished IWC-manufactured calibre.


The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight” (Ref. IW395501) combines the patented Timezoner mechanism with an IWC-manufactured automatic movement and is limited to 250 watches. This special edition is dedicated to the “Silver Spitfire –The Longest Flight” project. It has been specially developed for pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones to coincide with their flight around the world in a Spitfire. The watch can be set to a different time zone by means of a simple rotational movement of the bezel. The hour hand, the 24-hour display and the date rotate automatically at the same time. The 24-hour display has been designed as a rotating disc beneath the dial. This means that the dial moves closer to the front glass, making it easier to read. The newly developed 82760 IWC-manufactured calibre has a Pellaton winding with components made from wear-resistant ceramic and boasts a power reserve of 60 hours.


With the Pilot’s Watch UTC Spitfire Edition “MJ271” (Ref. IW327101), IWC has integrated the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) function into an IWC-manufactured calibre for the first time and this model is limited to 271 watches. Used in aviation for all communication and navigation purposes, the UTC function makes it easy to set a second time zone. When turning the crown when in its central position, the hour hand moves forward or backward in hourly increments. If the dial crosses the International Date Line, the date display changes automatically. The time in the wearer’s home country can be read via the curved UTC display in the top half of the dial. The 82710 IWC-manufactured calibre has a Pellaton winding with ceramic components and boasts a power reserve of 60 hours.


For the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire (Ref. IW387901 and IW387902), IWC has integrated a chronograph movement from the 69000 calibre family into its pilot’s watches for the first time. IWC is presenting its first Pilot’s Chronograph with a movement from the 69000 calibre family and a reduced case diameter of just 41 millimetres. This calibre family, which was presented for the first time in 2016, is one of the most important developments in IWC-manufactured movements in IWC’s early history. The 69380 IWC manufactured calibre is a robust chronograph movement with a classic column wheel design. The stopped hours and minutes are displayed on the two subdials at “9 o’clock” and “12 o’clock”. The pawl-winding system, which winds up on both sides, boasts a power reserve of 46 hours. An inner cage made from soft iron protects the movement against magnetic fields.