Written by Alisha De Fazio
On August 5 2019, two British Pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones embarked on their first ever round-the-world flight in a beautifully restored Spitfire. As the main partner and official timekeeper of the “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight” expedition and to honour the four-month-long record flight around the world, that covered more than 43,000 kilometres, IWC has unveiled a new 500 piece limited edition timepiece – Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Spitfire Edition “Mission Accomplished” (Ref. IW510506).
Keeping in tune with IWC’s fleet of Pilot’s Watches, unveiled at SIHH 2019, the new Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Spitfire Edition “Mission Accomplished” (Ref. IW510506) comes in a large yet refined 46.2mm bronze case (a material which develops a unique patina over time) with an earthy green dial. The striking conical crown on the right side of the case screws down to ensure water resistance upto 6 bar and in terms of its design, harks back to the pioneering days of aviation. The large size of the crown allows wearers to set and wind their watch even when wearing thick gloves or in the context of pilot’s – a padded flight suit.
There are two elements in particular though that stand out the most for me about this new release. Firstly the large digit date at “12 o’clock”. This is represented by a double date ring, one for the 10s and a second one for the 1s. Secondly, the Power reserve indicator which is located on the back of the watch and visible through a porthole in the titanium case back. Is it a new design directive for IWC? Will we be seeing more of this in the future? Only time will tell. But for now all I can say is it’s quite refreshing. The gold plated hands and brown calfskin strap rounds of the full military, utilitarian look.
Inside this stunning and resilient watch is an IWC manufactured hand wound 59235 calibre, which can run for up to 8 days when fully wound. With its soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields and sapphire glass secured against sudden falls in air pressure, the Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Spitfire Edition “Mission Accomplished” (Ref. IW510506) has all the credentials of a watch designed for flying. A unique engraving on the case back commemorates the successful completion of the “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight” expedition, which IWC supported as the primary sponsor and “Official Timekeeper”.