By James Njau
First introduced in 1936, the IWC Pilot watches were initially designed for civil aviation purposes. True to their nature, the tough and robust IWC Pilot watches were resistant to temperature changes. To this day, these iconic watches remain to be one of the most sought-after pilot watches in the world.
One of the very first Swiss watchmakers to produce a series of luxury watches, IWC or International Watch Company, was founded by Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Known primarily for its Pilot watches, IWC marries the Swiss watchmaking heritage with modern engineering technology to produce top-notch, luxury watches.
It was Jones’ two sons, Hans Ernst and Rudolf, who came up with the idea of making the first IWC Pilot watches. Both of them were avid aviation enthusiasts, and this motivated them to create a watch that would be suitable for the aviation industry.
So, What Makes the IWC Pilot Watch Ideal for You?
It is perfect for travelling. The IWC Pilot watch is ideal for people who are always on the road. Although initially meant for pilots, these watches ensure you get full accuracy of time when you are travelling. In addition, these watches are known for their capability to withstand changes in air pressure and acceleration that come along with the aviation profession.
It is remarkably well designed. Looking elegant with a hint of rugged charms, the IWC Pilot watches can take your fashion statement to new heights. If you want to get a watch that will always look good on you even after using it for three decades or so, consider getting this watch.
It is comfortable to wear. Some watches may not be comfortable to wear, either too heavy or too big. However, the IWC pilot watch is different. The strap — whether it’s stainless steel, leather or textile — is usually adjustable in length. This provides maximum comfort to the wearer.
It is a good investment. IWC Pilot watches do not only look good, but they also retain their value over time. Because of the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship, the IWC Pilot watch can serve you for many years without getting damaged.
Our Top 6 Picks for IWC Pilot Watches
IWC Pilot Chronograph Spitfire Green Textile Strap
Made of stainless steel, the IWC Pilot Chronograph Spitfire has a diameter of 41mm and boasts a beautiful black dial. Running on the in-house automatic, self-winding Calibre 69380 movement, this Pilot watch offers a powerful 46 hours of power reserve.
On its dial, you will see three-chronograph sub-dials with hours, minutes and seconds functions, along with luminescent hands and indexes. The date and day windows are likewise visible at the 3 o’clock position. Water-resistant up to 60 metres, this watch is suitable for weekend camps or flying adventures. A green textile strap complements this suave pilot watch.
IWC Pilot Antoine de Saint Exupery Chronograph Edition
The IWC Pilot Antoine de Saint Exupery Chronograph Edition timepiece comes in a 43mm stainless steel case and brown dial. Powered by the automatic, self-winding Calibre 79320 movement, this robust watch has 44 hours of power reserve.
The brown dial displays three sub-dials for chronograph functions, luminescent hands and hour markers, as well as the date and day windows at 3 o’clock. Water-resistant to up to 60 metres, this Pilot watch looks sophisticated with its matching brown calfskin leather strap with beige stitching.
IWC Pilot Top Gun Chronograph
Handsome in all its 44.5mm all-black ceramic case and matching black textile strap, the IWC Pilot Top Gun Chronograph is a force to be reckoned with. The black dial features the three chronograph sub-dials and the day and date display, together with luminescent hands and Arabic numerals.
Driven by the IWC-manufactured 69380 calibre movement, which is automatic and self-winding, this pilot watch offers 46 hours of power reserve. Manufactured using corrosion-resistant materials for jet pilots, the IWC Pilot Top Gun Chronograph ensures you get the best value for your money in this suave-looking and durable watch.
IWC Pilot Chronograph Spitfire Stainless Steel
With a 43mm stainless steel case, this is another variation of the IWC Pilot Chronograph Spitfire that deserves a place in your watch collection.
It has a slate-coloured dial with luminescence and features a stainless steel bracelet. The chronograph sub-dials are visible against a black dial, with luminescent hands and Arabic numerals. This watch has a soft-iron case for protection against magnetic fields. It ensures finer details of time as it indicates the day and date on the dial. The automatic, self-winding Calibre 79320 movement drives this watch, giving it a robust 44 hours of power reserve.
IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar
Boasting an 18K 5N gold case and a diameter of 46.2mm, the IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar is big in style and performance. Besides being water-resistant, it has a 168-hour power reserve, courtesy of the in-house automatic, self-winding Calibre 52850 movement.
The brown dial with luminescence features the Annual Calendar function with month, date and day display. The sapphire glass secures the watch against displacement by drop in air pressure. A beautiful brown calfskin leather strap finishes this robust pilot watch. Limited to 250 pieces.
IWC Pilot Top Gun Automatic
Another variation from the Top Gun Series is this IWC Pilot Top Gun Automatic watch. Simple and understated in design, this watch features a 41mm ceramic case with a matte black dial and a matching black textured strap.
The minimalist analogue dial displays the luminescent hands and Arabic hour markers, with a date display at 3 o’clock. Besides having a 72-hour power reserve, it operates with a frequency of 28800 vph. The glass of this watch is secured against displacement by drop in air pressure. Other interesting features include the anti-reflective coating on both sides and a soft-inner case for protection against the magnetic field. It is also water-resistant up to 60 metres.
Perfect for people who like travelling, these watches feature high-quality materials and top-notch Swiss watchmaking craftsmanship. The timeless, rugged designs make the IWC Pilot watches one of the sought-after, classic men’s watches around.
Interested in another luxury watch brand? Check out our story on Panerai and its iconic Radiomir collection here.