For IWC Schaffhausen's 2021 offering of new watches, the luxury watchmaker is championing one of its all-time classic designs. The Pilot Watch. With five iterations showcased at this year's Watches & Wonders virtual exhibition, IWC knows a thing or two about manufacturing precise, robust instruments for the cockpit.
Now, the Swiss watchmaker is re-establishing its iconic designs for the contemporary wearer; while keeping functionality and versatility at the core of its approach. Below, we take you through the five new watches for IWC in 2021 include what has changed and what characteristics have stayed the same.
The Big Pilot
Staying true to the history of The Big Pilot as an aviation watch, the next chapter of this iconic design continues to champion style and function in the best way it knows how. This particular iteration features an ergonomic 43mm stainless steel case and an ingeniously simple quick-change system for a variety of strap options. With the newly developed EasX-Change System, wearers can quickly and easily adapt the watch to any style, activity or environment. For those who admire the inner workings of a timepiece, the clear back sapphire case allows the movement to be visible at all times.
At time of writing, the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is powered by the IWC-manufactured 82100 calibre. Fully wound, the movement stores 60 hours of power – perfect for those moments when you're off-the-grid.
Big Pilot Watch Shock Absorber XPL
After eight years in development, the Big Pilot Watch Shock Absorber XPL is finally here and it has not disappointed. The watch features one of the most advanced anti-shock systems, which was created out of the brand's new division, IWC Experimental, a department designed to push the limits of engineering. The patented SPRIN-g PROTECT system is able to protect against extreme impact – successfully surviving accelerations in excess of 30,000g.
The casing on the Big Pilot Watch Shock Absorber XPL is made of Ceratanium®; which allows the watch to remain lightweight and scratch-resistant as well as incredibly durable. The bidirectional pawl winding system is able to hold a power reserve of 120 hours.
Pilot's Watch Chronograph 41
The Pilot's Watch Chronograph has always been celebrated for its powerful durability and extreme versatility. The 2021 model takes it one step further; presented in a compact 41mm stainless steel case with the simple quick-change strap system. The cockpit instrument-inspired design on the front and clear sapphire case display on the back can be complemented by either a calfskin, rubber in a variety of colours or stainless steel band. A sports watch in all its forms.
Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar
Originally developed by legendary watchmaker, Kurt Klaus, the new Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar is reimagining this classic design for a contemporary market. Each model features the latest internal mechanics for synchronised precision and a sapphire case with a clear back to witness the decorated movement. This Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar has always been heralded for its groundbreaking single crown operating design; which is both simple and precise.
Driven by the IWC-manufactured 52615 calibre, the Pellaton automatic winding system also offers a seven-day power reserve.
Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun Edition
Designed and engineered for the most extreme of aviation conditions, the new Top Gun Edition watches feature unique cases made of specially formulated sand-coloured ceramic to be one of the hardest materials on the planet. Fitted with the IWC-manufactured 52615 calibre, Pellaton winding, two barrels and a seven-day power reserve; a soft-iron inner cage effectively shields the movement from the effects of magnetic fields. The ultimate security shield.