IWC Spitfire Double Chronograph Watch was named after the legendary British fighter and reconnaissance plane of all time. The striking timepiece owes more than its name to this outstanding aircraft. The silver-colored dial evokes associations with the elegant fuselage of its namesake, while the shape of its five hands reminisces of the legendary fighter’s propeller blades.
Since 2003, IWC from Schaffhausen started producing the Spitfire watch line that is the part of the Pilot’s Watch series. Besides the Spitfire Double Chronograph, there are two more timepieces that owe their names to this British plane with the lasting cult status: the Spitfire Chronograph and the Spitfire Mark XVI.
Double Chronograph is housed in a round case crafted from stainless steel. Its masculine case measures 44 mm in diameter and 17.1 mm in thickness. This Spitfire timepiece is animated by the Caliber 79230 mechanical chronograph movement based on the well-known ETA Valjoux 7750 (the same movement has been incorporated in Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium and Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition Top Gun).
The Rattrappante Functionality
The watch features a chronograph split-seconds hand, also known by its French name – rattrapante. In other words, it is actually a double chronograph functionality. Unlike a common chronograph, the split-seconds chronograph has two hands that start simultaneously. To help distinguish them, one hand is red. The split-seconds hand can be stopped independently using a third push button which is situated at the 10 o’clock position, while the stopwatch hand continues to run. This allows recording two separate times, exact to the second, within any given minute. When you push again the button at the 10 o’clock, the rattrappante or split-seconds hand simultaneously catches up and is synchronized with the other hand. Thus, you can repeat the process as often as you desire. That can be quite useful if you plan to record two separate events that start at the same time.
The self winding movement, built on 29 jewels, preserves sufficient 44 hours of power reserve when fully wound and oscillates at the frequency of 28,800 beats per hour.
The case of Spitfire Double Chronograph watch is domed on both sides by convex sapphire crystals with antireflective coatings. Additionally, the glass is specially secured against the eventual air pressure drops that can occur during a flight. The case construction provides water resistance to 60 meters (200 feet) below water surface. On the right side, the case incorporates a screw-in crown and two usual chronograph push buttons which do their usual start/stop functionality, as well as resetting the chronograph. As I already mentioned, there is a third push button, located on the left side of the case, which operates with the rattrapante functionality.
Also, the case back is encrusted with the engraving of the famous Spitfire plane.
The Three-dimensional Dial
The silver-colored dial features three sub-dials. Two chronograph counters for measuring 12 hours and 30 minutes are situated at 6 and 12 o’clock positions and they boast black-nickelled surfaces, whereas a small (hacking) seconds counter is located at the 9 o’clock position. There is also a day/date display at the 3 o’clock position. The dial features extremely legible white Arabic numerals as hour markers, except for the quarter hour where the hour markers are, and an arrowhead index at the 12 o’clock position. The center of the dial is elevated and the three-dimensional nature of the dial is clear if you look at the watch from an oblique angle. For the best visibility under low light conditions, the hour and minute hands are filled with luminous materials.
IWC Spitfire Double Chronograph (with the referent number IW371806) is attached to the wearer’s wrist with a brown calfskin strap. If you want to become a proud owner of this IWC timepiece named after the most successful British fighter and reconnaissance plane, you will have to pay less than $10,000.