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IWC Big Pilot Bronze
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Bronze
AU$ 17,161
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
47
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph
TOP
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph
AU$ 15,990
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
IWC Pilot Mark XV Spitfire limited adition
IWC Pilot Mark XV Spitfire limited adition
AU$ 6,200
Seller
Private Seller
AU
IWC 2017 IWC Pilot Midnight Mark XVIII 40mm Le Petit Prince...
IWC 2017 IWC Pilot Midnight Mark XVIII 40mm Le Petit Prince...
AU$ 4,522
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
 
US
IWC Fliegeruhr Mark XII
IWC Fliegeruhr Mark XII
AU$ 5,779
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
126
DE
IWC Mark XI 6B/346 RAF Pilots Wristwatch c.1951
IWC Mark XI 6B/346 RAF Pilots Wristwatch c.1951
AU$ 10,785
Free shipping
Seller
Finest Hour Vintage Military Timepieces & Collectibles
 
UK
IWC Big Pilot’s Annual Calendar  "Antoine De Saint Exupery"
TOP
IWC Big Pilot’s Annual Calendar "Antoine De Saint Exupery"
AU$ 41,022
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
361
UK
IWC Pilot Chronographe
IWC Pilot Chronographe
AU$ 8,361
Seller
Finewatches.ch
 
CH
IWC Pilot Chrono yr. 2016 B&P MINT conditon
IWC Pilot Chrono yr. 2016 B&P MINT conditon
AU$ 5,998
Seller
Orlando Watch Company
 
US
IWC 3713 Double Chronograph Rattrappante
IWC 3713 Double Chronograph Rattrappante
AU$ 6,186
Seller
Getwatch Srls
 
IT
IWC Big Pilot DFB Edition
IWC Big Pilot DFB Edition
AU$ 21,130
Seller
Uhrwerk-Bielefeld
19
DE
IWC Pilot Spitfire UTC
IWC Pilot Spitfire UTC
AU$ 4,332
Seller
Oliver Smith Jeweler
 
US
IWC Classic Pilot Chronograph Black Day Date 42mm 3717 3717-01...
IWC Classic Pilot Chronograph Black Day Date 42mm 3717 3717-01...
AU$ 5,722
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
 
US
IWC Fliegeruhr
IWC Fliegeruhr
AU$ 13,267
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
126
DE
IWC Pilot's Top Gun Double Chronograph IW3799-01 Watch with...
IWC Pilot's Top Gun Double Chronograph IW3799-01 Watch with...
AU$ 9,264
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
12
US
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 12,860
Seller
van Hell Juweliers
NL
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun
AU$ 16,355
Seller
Finewatches.ch
 
CH
IWC Flieger Pilot Chronograph 3706
IWC Flieger Pilot Chronograph 3706
AU$ 3,500
Seller
Saan Marco Orologi D'epoca
 
IT
IWC Top gun Ref. IW3799
IWC Top gun Ref. IW3799
AU$ 11,867
Seller
Henry´s Auktionshaus AG
DE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar inkl. 19% Mwst.
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar inkl. 19% Mwst.
AU$ 15,465
Seller
Helmut Seidl GmbH
7
DE
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW371701
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW371701
AU$ 6,170
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
IWC Classic Pilot Mark XVI Black 39mm Stainless Date IW325501...
IWC Classic Pilot Mark XVI Black 39mm Stainless Date IW325501...
AU$ 3,724
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
 
US
IWC Fliegerchrono  Keramik
IWC Fliegerchrono Keramik
AU$ 12,372
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
126
DE
IWC Pilot's Chronograph IW3717-01 Watch with Leather Bracelet...
IWC Pilot's Chronograph IW3717-01 Watch with Leather Bracelet...
AU$ 4,732
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
12
US
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 24,336
Seller
van Hell Juweliers
NL
IWC Pilot Chronograph Automatic 42mm full set ref371701
TOP
IWC Pilot Chronograph Automatic 42mm full set ref371701
AU$ 5,128
Seller
Private Seller
 
BE
IWC Fliegerchronograph 3777-14 Le Petit Prince unworn box papers
IWC Fliegerchronograph 3777-14 Le Petit Prince unworn box papers
AU$ 7,324
Seller
Watch-Lounge.de
221
DE
IWC Mark XVIII Edition Tribute to Mark XI (Limited Edition)
IWC Mark XVIII Edition Tribute to Mark XI (Limited Edition)
AU$ 7,244
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
57
LV
IWC Fliegeruhr
IWC Fliegeruhr
AU$ 6,511
Seller
Gioielli Srl
6
IT
IWC Watch Mark XII IW324101
IWC Watch Mark XII IW324101
AU$ 5,983
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
IWC MINT Men's IWC Big Pilot Black 7-Day 46mm 5004 5004-01...
IWC MINT Men's IWC Big Pilot Black 7-Day 46mm 5004 5004-01...
AU$ 10,920
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
 
US
IWC Fliegeruhr Sondermodell Saint Exupery
IWC Fliegeruhr Sondermodell Saint Exupery
AU$ 27,185
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
126
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun IW5019-01 Watch with Textile Bracelet...
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun IW5019-01 Watch with Textile Bracelet...
AU$ 10,996
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
12
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph
IWC Pilot Chronograph
AU$ 6,023
Seller
Guardian Of Time
470
UK
IWC Mark XVII
TOP
IWC Mark XVII
AU$ 4,094
Seller
Private Seller
 
UK
IWC Big Pilot Grosse Fliegeruhr " Le Petit Prince " box papers
IWC Big Pilot Grosse Fliegeruhr " Le Petit Prince " box papers
AU$ 14,812
Seller
Watch-Lounge.de
221
DE
IWC Pilot Spitfire UTC
IWC Pilot Spitfire UTC
AU$ 4,477
Seller
Pfandhaus SCHUMACHERS Braunschweig GmbH
9
DE
IWC 萬國 (IWC) IWC Big Pilot Chronograph Top Gun IW388001 (NEW)
IWC 萬國 (IWC) IWC Big Pilot Chronograph Top Gun IW388001 (NEW)
AU$ 13,012
Seller
D & J Watch and Jewelry Ltd.
HK
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW377701
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW377701
AU$ 6,793
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
IWC 2017 SERVICED IWC Double Chronograph Pilot Black 46mm...
IWC 2017 SERVICED IWC Double Chronograph Pilot Black 46mm...
AU$ 9,322
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
 
US
IWC Fliegerchrono
IWC Fliegerchrono
AU$ 6,023
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
126
DE
IWC Pilot's Double Chronograph IW3778-01 Watch with Leather...
IWC Pilot's Double Chronograph IW3778-01 Watch with Leather...
AU$ 8,530
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
12
US
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII Edition “Le Petit Prince”
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII Edition “Le Petit Prince”
AU$ 5,209
Seller
Guardian Of Time
470
UK
IWC Pilot Chronograph
TOP
IWC Pilot Chronograph
AU$ 6,674
Seller
Private Seller
 
DE
IWC Big Pilot Grosse Fliegeruhr top condition german papers
IWC Big Pilot Grosse Fliegeruhr top condition german papers
AU$ 13,184
Seller
Watch-Lounge.de
221
DE
IWC Pilot Mark With Papers
IWC Pilot Mark With Papers
AU$ 4,665
Seller
SADAN Watches Since 1969
TR
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Dark Brown Automatic IW327003
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Dark Brown Automatic IW327003
AU$ 4,519
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
36
HK
IWC Watch Mark XVIII IW327007
IWC Watch Mark XVIII IW327007
AU$ 5,983
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
IWC 2017 IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Automatic Black Ceramic 46mm 7...
IWC 2017 IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Automatic Black Ceramic 46mm 7...
AU$ 13,321
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
 
US
IWC Pilot Steel Mark XI
IWC Pilot Steel Mark XI
AU$ 11,073
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
144
UK
IWC Classic Pilot's Automatic Chronograph IW3717-04 Watch with...
IWC Classic Pilot's Automatic Chronograph IW3717-04 Watch with...
AU$ 5,198
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
12
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun
AU$ 13,837
Seller
Guardian Of Time
470
UK
IWC Fliegerurh
TOP
IWC Fliegerurh
AU$ 6,023
Seller
Private Seller
 
IT
IWC Pilot Mark XVI top condition box and papers
IWC Pilot Mark XVI top condition box and papers
AU$ 6,347
Seller
Watch-Lounge.de
221
DE
IWC Der Flieger Pilots Chronograph Steel Automatic Watch 3706
IWC Der Flieger Pilots Chronograph Steel Automatic Watch 3706
AU$ 4,598
Seller
Jewels in Time
26
US
IWC Mark XV Steel
IWC Mark XV Steel
AU$ 5,209
Seller
Pfandhaus SCHUMACHERS Braunschweig GmbH
9
DE
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW389001
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW389001
AU$ 13,958
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Dark Grey Automatic IW387802
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Dark Grey Automatic IW387802
AU$ 9,937
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
36
HK
IWC Pilot’s Mark XVIII Edition “le Petit Prince” – Iw327004
IWC Pilot’s Mark XVIII Edition “le Petit Prince” – Iw327004
AU$ 5,128
Seller
Mall of the Watch
569
MC
IWC Pilot's Automatic Chronograph IW3717-04 Watch with...
IWC Pilot's Automatic Chronograph IW3717-04 Watch with...
AU$ 5,665
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
12
US
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IWC Pilot's Watches: Pioneers in Aviation

Pilot's watches are IWC's specialty. The Swiss manufacturer has been producing high-quality pilot's watches since 1936, including the classics that make up the Mark series. Currently, they offer around two dozen different pilot's watch series.

Highlights

  • Pilot's watch tradition goes back to 1936
  • Trendy 46-mm Big Pilot watch
  • Mark XVIII, a classic pilot's watch
  • Ceramic, red gold, and stainless steel cases
  • Special editions: Spitfire, Top Gun, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Creating Pilot's Watches in Schaffhausen for Over 80 Years

The International Watch Company, also known as IWC, presented their first pilot's watch in 1936. Since then, IWC has been considered the pioneer in developing and manufacturing pilot's watches.
The original watch from 1936 had a diameter of 37.5 mm, making it relatively large for its time. This special watch had a finely ridged bezel with marker needle, enabling the wearer to record short periods of time. Not all planes were equipped with a fuel indicator in the 1930s, so pilots kept track of the flight time via the watch bezel. This allowed them to monitor the flight time, fuel consumption, and cruising range. Large, light-colored Arabic numerals and a black dial define the look of this special watch. The decentralized seconds is located at six o'clock. The escapement is protected against magnetism, which can negatively impact a timepiece's precision. Many features of this original watch are still being used today. Current pilot's watches have stark color contrasts and luminous hands to make them more legible, and many have streamlined designs featuring protection against magnetism.
The 52-caliber T. S. C. Big Pilot's Watch (reference number 431) followed in 1940 with an impressive 55-mm diameter case. IWC delivered this timepiece to the German Air Force. It was not the watch's size, but rather the rest of its design, that has influenced the look of classic pilot's watches to this day. Black/white dial contrast, sword hands, stick indices, Arabic numerals, and a triangle at 12 o'clock all remain typical design features of classic pilot's watches.

Big Pilot

The watch from the 1940s was succeeded by the Big Pilot. IWC has been producing this 46-mm stainless steel watch with a black dial since 2002. The watch isn't as big as its predecessors, but its new size is more practical. The 55-mm cases were meant to be worn over flight suits and weren't created for everyday civilian use. The Big Pilot has a seven-day power reserve thanks to a long mainspring and a special winding mechanism, the Pellaton winding system. It's named after its inventor, Albert Pellaton, who was the technical director at IWC for many years. In 1950, he patented this new technology whereby an automatic watch is wound bidirectionally by the natural movements of the wearer's arm. The round power reserve display is located at three o'clock.

From the Mark 11 to the Mark XVIII

One of IWC's top pilot's watches, the Mark XVIII, has its roots in 1948. IWC introduced the simple pilot's watch Mark 11 in that year; a watch that served as the Royal Air Force's service watch for 30 years. The name "Mark" comes from the RAF as well; the British used the term to refer to all interchangeable air force equipment that came from different manufacturers. In 1981, the RAF gradually phased out the Mark 11. By that time, IWC had made 8,000 timepieces for the military and 1,500 for civilian use. In 1994, IWC presented the watch's successor and switched to using Roman numerals for the name Mark XII.
The Mark XVIII, with a diameter of 40 mm and a thickness of 11 mm, has been available since 2016. Visually, it's not too different from the Mark 11. The wide sword hands, which replaced the older baton hands, immediately catch the eye. However, IWC made some concessions to keep the watch technologically up to date: The watch features a date display and an automatic movement instead of the legendary manual Caliber 89.
IWC also produces the Pilot's Watch Automatic 36. It's modeled after the Mark XVIII in terms of design, but has a smaller case diameter of 36 mm.

Pilot's Chronograph

The Pilot's Watch Chronograph isn't as minimalistic as the Mark XVIII. The 43-mm watch features a stopwatch function as well as three subdials. The small seconds at nine o'clock catches the eye thanks to a small red seconds hand standing out against the black/white color scheme. Its caliber, caliber 79320, is based on the popular Valjoux 7750 movement produced by the world's largest ébauche manufacturer, the ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse (ETA).

Dedicated to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

One of IWC's series is dedicated to the pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince. The Frenchman was presumed dead in 1944 after disappearing during a reconnaissance mission while flying his Lockheed P-38. The series has a distinctive retro touch and the watches stand out with their characteristic blue or brown dial. They all come with a brown calfskin strap. The watches' case backs feature Saint-Exupéry related engravings, such as a P-38 or a portrait of the man himself. The collection also features a split-seconds chronograph. With this chronograph, you can time intervals while continuing to time another event.

Honoring the Spitfire

The Spitfire series pays homage to the most well-known pursuit plane from the Second World War. The case back features an engraving of the plane's silhouette from a bird's eye view. Most Spitfire watches can be identified by a slate gray dial.

Top Gun: The US Navy's Fighter Pilots

IWC entered the era of jet planes with their Top Gun series. The name refers to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, more commonly known as Top Gun. Top Gun is also the name of a successful 1986 film starring Tom Cruise. The watches in the Top Gun series all feature a ceramic case, setting them apart from the other pilot's watches. The backside features an engraving of the Top Gun logo. The series also includes variations on other well-known IWC pilot's watches, such as the Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun, based on the Big Pilot. The case, strap, crown, and dial are completely black, while the hands, numerals, and stick indices are white.

Buying Advice

Do you want an authentic pilot's watch? IWC has been producing pilot's watches for civilian and military use since the 1930s. Very few Swiss manufacturers have a connection to aviation like IWC does. Their most significant competitor in this regard is Breitling.
If you want to stay trendy with a larger watch, then the 46-mm Big Pilot is a good choice. New versions made of stainless steel cost around 10,000 euros. If you prefer a red gold case, then the Big Pilot from the Spitfire series costs a total of 21,000 euros new.
Some of these pilot's watches also offer special complications. The Timezoner Chronograph can display multiple time zones. The Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar from the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry series has a perpetual calendar and perpetual moon phase display and shows the date, day of the week, month, and year.
The Mark XVIII is much less complicated; it features only one complication, a date display. The watch closely resembles the legendary Mark 11 used by the RAF. New, you can buy a simple Mark XVIII for around 3,500 euros. A vintage Mark 11 from the 1950s costs double that. The original Mark 11 had a diameter of 36 mm, but pilot's watches that size have become rare. IWC brought back the standard 36-mm size with their Pilot's Watch Automatic 36. New, it costs between 3,000 and 4,000 euros.

IWC: Success After a Rocky Start

IWC was manufacturing watches well before their first pilot's watches were made in 1936. However, they had a bit of a bumpy start. Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841 - 1916), an American, founded the International Watch Company in 1868 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Jones wanted to produce watches cheaply in Switzerland and sell them for profit in the United States. However, expensive import taxes prevented this from being a successful business model. After switching owners multiple times and declaring bankruptcy twice, IWC remained in the hands of the Rauschenbach and Homberger families from 1880 to 1978. IWC was heavily affected by the Quartz Crisis and again switched owners. Since 2000, the company has been a part of the Richemont Group along with other luxury brands such as A. Lange & Söhne, Cartier, and Panerai.

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