The Pilots: IWC Greats Return

You might not be an actual pilot, but you can still wear a pilot watch.

BY Lestari Hairul | Jan 28, 2016 | News

Photographs from IWC

Don’t be sad if your childhood ambitions of being a pilot didn’t materialise. Now that you’re older and more moneyed, you can come just a wee bit closer to that dream by obtaining a Pilot’s watch of your own.

After the Portugieser’s 75th anniversary last year, it’s now time for the Pilot’s watches of the IWC portfolio to take centre-stage. And shine they do well, with a massive new collection that will suit a wide variety of needs and predilections.

Entry level Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 (pictured above) is the smallest at 36mm in diameter for the daintier wrists. Small too is the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII which has a diameter of 40mm, for those who want a piece of the much-vaunted Mark standard.

Shrank by a millimeter from its predecessor the Mark XVII, which was significantly bigger than the classic aviator’s watches of old that stood at 36mm.

It looks cleaner, with the triple date display removed to just the single essential present.

It continues on to the rest of the watches in the 2016 collection. A return to authenticity, to the standard issues designed to military specs that needed the watches to be practical in field conditions.

Reduction in case diameters and removal of extraneous elements are changes running prominently through the collection highlighting the simplicity of form.

But not sacrificing the elegant elements of course. Calfskin straps with a well-worn-looking patina from Santoni are available for most of the Pilot’s watches.

IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48

That’s not to say that heft went out the door. Also returning to its historical roots, the hefty Big Pilot’s Heritage Watches 55 and 48 are the behemoths of the collection; classic observer’s watches at 55mm and 48mm.

The tech remains modern with features like a sliding clutch to protect from overwinding, and a soft-iron inner case to protect against magnetic fields.

Them magnets man, messing things up.

IWC Timezoner Chronograph

And speaking of tech, the new Timezoner Chronograph is what you really need if you don’t rely on your phone to tell your time. And timezones.

With fingers on the locking bezel and a quick flick of the wrist, you frequent travellers get a new timezone, time of day and date.

A small selection of what’s on offer, there’s also new watches feature in the long-running Antoine de Saint Exupéry and Le Petit Prince collections with updated aesthetics, and updates to the TOP GUN series.

Now what’s that about your long-dashed pilot dreams again? You mightn't have a plane but with something close to standard issue, a guy can dream.

Available at IWC boutiques and authorised retailers from April 2016.