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IWC Pilot’s watches are the quintessential aviation timepiece, famous all over the world for their precision, cutting-edge technique, and unmistakeable cockpit-style appearance.
The first IWC Pilot’s watch was made in the ‘30s with civil aviation in mind. It was particularly robust, designed to resist fluctuations in temperature within a range of -40 to 40 degrees Celsius, and antimagnetic. In 1949, IWC created a special Pilot’s watch for the Royal Air Force, the legendary Mark 11, which was used by Commonwealth military forces until 1981.
In 1992, IWC Pilot’s watches became famous worldwide when the brand launched its Double Chronograph at the Baselworld Watch Fair, followed by the Chronograph Ceramic. Produced using zirconium dioxide, a particularly modern material, this latter model features a hi-tech ceramic case which is as hard as sapphire and practically indestructible.
Today, IWC Pilot’s watches still feature the striking conical crown which distinguished the earliest models, harking back to the pioneering days of nascent aviation when pilots had to face extreme conditions in the cockpit. The crown was especially big so as to ensure that even wearing gloves, it could be easily gripped in order to set and wind the watch.
In their appearance, Pilot watches are reminiscent of the instruments found in the cockpit of an aircraft, with luminescent hands and numerals which stand out against a black background and pared-back dial design. One particular feature that is unique to these aviator cockpit-style watches is the white triangle at 12 o’clock. This ensures precision time-reading, as, with even the barest of glances, the position of the hands can be easily identified.
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