Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen told me:
"Alexander, we will be presenting a full fleet of Pilot’s Watch novelties that exemplify our engineering prowess and our material expertise. Our new Spitfire line is made using exclusively IWC-manufactured calibres. In the new TOP GUN line, we are using Ceratanium® for the first time in a Pilot’s Watch, giving rise to a completely jet black double chronograph. Last but not least, our special editions honouring the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry novella Le Petit Prince demonstrate our top-flight skills in the field of haute horlogerie.”
Today I can only offer you a sneak preview.
These are the watches that are no longer embargoed...
During SIHH 2019 in Geneva IWC Schaffhausen will be presenting a new Spitfire line, a new TOP GUN line and "Le Petit Prince" special editions.
SPITFIRE: All watches are now fitted with IWC-manufactured calibres
A highlight of the new collection is the IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition "The Longest Flight" (ref. IW395501). For the first time ever at IWC, it combines the patented Timezoner mechanism with an entirely automatic IWC-manufactured movement.
This 250 pieces 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. Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones are hoping to make aviation history with the first round-the-world flight in a Spitfire. In summer 2019, the two British pilots will cover more than 43,000 kilometres - divided into around 150 segments - and around 30 countries in the iconic aircraft.
The colour scheme of the watch design, with its stainless steel case, its black dial and its green textile strap, is reminiscent of the cockpit of 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 ceramic and boasts a power reserve of 60 hours.
This is the new IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire (ref. IW387902). IWC is presenting its first Pilot’s Chronograph with a movement from the 69000 calibre family and a reduced case diameter of 41 millimetres.
The bronze case, the olive green dial and the brown calf leather strap give this chronograph a unique character. Over time, the bronze develops a special patina, making each and every watch a unique piece.
The 69000 calibre family, first introduced in 2016, constitutes one of the most important developments in IWC-manufactured movements in IWC's early history. Now, for the first time, IWC has incorporated a member of this calibre family into its Pilot’s Watches. The 69380 IWC-manufactured calibre is a robust, reliable and high-precision 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". It also features a date and day display. The pawl-winding system, which winds up on both sides, boasts a power reserve of 46 hours.
TOP GUN: Featuring IWC’s exclusive Ceratanium®, this is our first ever completely jet black Pilot’s Watch.
The TOP GUN watches, which IWC Schaffhausen has been producing since 2007, take their name from the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program in the U.S. Navy. This training programme provides the best Navy pilots with flying and tactical training.
The new TOP GUN line sees IWC make use of the innovative new material Ceratanium® for the first time in a Pilot’s Watch; and in the shape of the IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium (ref. IW371815), the company is bringing to market its first ever pilot's watch to be completely jet black.
Developed by IWC Schaffhausen, Ceratanium® is a material combines the advantages of titanium and ceramic in a groundbreaking new composition. The patented material is as lightweight and unbreakable as titanium and at the same time as hard and scratch-resistant as ceramic. It is also characterised by its excellent skin compatibility, its high degree of corrosion-resistance and its matte black colour. This has enabled us to create our first completely black design, without a coating, including all watch components such as push-buttons or pin buckles. Ceratanium® is a trademark of IWC Schaffhausen, registered in numerous countries throughout the world.
The double chronograph has an integrated split-seconds hand mechanism for simultaneously measuring short periods of time. It is powered by the 79230 calibre with self-winding mechanism and boasts a power reserve of 44 hours. The watch, with its black dial and black hands, sits on a rubber strap and textile inlay.
LE PETIT PRINCE: Among the products to be unveiled by IWC will be the first Pilot's Watch to feature a constant-force tourbillon and the first case to be made from hard gold.
The IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition "Le Petit Prince" (ref. IW590303) is the first pilot's watch from IWC to feature a constant-force tourbillon. It is available with a hard gold case and is limited to 10 watches.
This is the first time IWC has produced a watch with hard gold, a special new version of red gold. The microstructure of the alloy is modified in a sophisticated manufacturing process. Hard gold is therefore significantly harder and around 5 to 10 times more wear-resistant than conventional red gold. As a result, the material is perfectly suited to the large case and the crown of a Big Pilot’s Watch.
As the tension in the spring of a mechanical wristwatch slackens over time, less force is transferred to the escapement via the dial train, which in turn decreases the amplitude of the balance. This has a negative impact on the precision of the watch. The patented constant-force mechanism separates the escapement from the direct flow of force from the dial train and with every second re-tensions a balance spring, which serves as a temporary store of energy and transfers absolutely even force pulses to the escape wheel. Integrated into a tourbillon, which also eliminates the influence of gravity on the oscillating system, the result is extraordinary precision.