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A Brief History of the IWC Pilot's Watch

in Learn | Saturday, May 31. 2008

In the early 1900's aviation was revolutionizing the world, bringing us to new and exciting levels of discovery in the world and technology. The new form of travel brought many new challenges for watchmakers to tackle. With the higher altitudes came a slew of new advances to compensate for the new extreme conditions. Shatterproof glass, a rotating bezel, luminescent features and antimagnetic movement were all developed to offset the effects of this new environment. While IWC was not the only brand to make watches specifically designed for pilots, they have contributed some of the best and most innovative pilots watches to date.

IWC Mark XVIIn 1948 IWC introduced what has proven itself to be their most famous watch, the Mark 11, which was produced for almost 40 years. Most notably the watch's 89-calibre movement was the first to have an additional soft iron inner case which shields it from magnetic fields. Today the Pilot's Watch Mark XVI is continuing the tradition of greatness, with protection against magnetic fields and a glass secured against drops in air pressure, the Mark XVI is indeed a reliable companion for the everyday to the most extreme of conditions.

IWC Big PilotWith its introduction in 2002 the IWC Big Pilot has become the new must have pilots watch. It features one of the largest automatic movements in the world, calibre 51111. As its name indicates this is an oversized watch at just over 46mm wide with a height of 15.8mm. It is produced in stainless steel and white gold, recently a rose gold version was released as a limited edition of just 50 pieces.

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