In the year of the Pilot’s Watches, IWC presents new Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Spitfire that features some unusual complications, such as large digital date and month apertures and a perpetual calendar complication.
The Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Spitfire is housed in a stainless steel case which measures 46mm in diameter and 17.5mm in thickness. The case is crafted meticulously by hand and the final result is a vibrant interplay of shiny, silky matte and structured surfaces.
The first complication I would like to mention is the digital display of the date and month in extra-large numerals. The calendar mechanism, which is programmed up to 1 March 2100, even takes the leap day of 29 February every four years in its stride. The perpetual calendar can be set easily via the crown and it will not need intervention by a watchmaker until 2100, the year that breaks with the conventional 4-year cycle and will not be a leap year.
The new IWC timepiece requires a complex mechanical powerhouse in order to move up to four digital display discs synchronously. That is possible thanks to a separate cache of energy known as the quick-action switch. Every night, when the date display moves forward, the sophisticated design taps off a little power and stores it away. The extra energy stored in this way is then discharged accurately at the end of the month when the date and month discs advance, as well as at the end of the year when the leap year disc also requires to move on.
Interestingly, the digital display of the date and month in extra-large numerals has a tradition at the Schaffhausen-based manufacturer. IWC integrated the Pallweber system into its first watches with digital hour and minute displays as early as 1885.
Perhaps one of the brand’s most outstanding achievements in the field of timekeeping is an analogue display of stopped times between 1 minute and 12 hours which are shown together on a single counter situated at the 12 o’clock position where they can be read off like the normal time of day.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Spitfire is equipped with the IWC-manufactured caliber 89801 mechanical chronograph movement with a double-pawl winding system and a flyback function which allows the chronograph to be reset to zero without having to be stopped first.
The self-winding mechanism consists of 474 individual components and it is capable to store enough energy to keep the watch ticking for at least 68 hours when fully wound. Furthermore, a soft-iron inner case protects the movement against magnetic fields and the front sapphire glass is secured against sudden drops in pressure.
The Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Spitfire (ref. IW379108) features a slate-colored dial with sun-pattern finish. The reverse side of the watch shows the rotor which takes the form of an elegant Spitfire silhouette and reveals the inner beauty of the mechanism through the sapphire glass back.
The watch comes with the new brown calfskin strap from Santoni which goes perfectly with a Pilot’s Watch.