IWC Spitfire Mark XVI is the worthy successor of the popular Spitfire Mark XV timepiece. At the same time, it is mechanically and technically identical to its sibling – Pilot’s Watch Mark XVI. Like all models from the Spitfire watch line, it owes its name and also pays tribute to the legendary British Spitfire aircraft that was especially useful during the Second World War.
Spitfire Mark XVI watch is housed in a mid-sized 39 mm case that is a millimeter larger in diameter than its predecessor Mark XV. The round case is crafted from high-quality stainless steel and it is only 11.5 mm thick. The case carries a thin fixed bezel, also crafted from steel. The watch is protected on both sides by convex sapphire glasses with antireflective coatings. It is secured against displacement that can occur due to drastic changes in air pressure. The water-resistance of the case is assured to 60 meters (200 feet). Further, a soft iron inner case below the case back protects the movement against strong magnetic fields, which is so prevalent in the modern world.
Mark XVI is powered by an efficient and reliable Caliber 30110 mechanical movement. The movement is actually an IWC-modified ETA 2892 movement and it has also been incorporated in some other IWC’s exquisite models, such as Aquatimer Automatic 2000 and Pilot’s Watch Mark XVI. The self-winding movement built on 21 jewels provides 42 hours of power reserve when fully wound and produces 28,800 vibrations per hour. The Swiss-made movement supplies the watch with the usual set of functions (hour, minute and second), as well as with a date function.
The Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches offered two models of Spitfire Mark XVI. The first one with the referent number IW325502 is secured to the wearer’s wrist with a brown alligator leather strap with white stitching, whereas the model IW325505 boasts an elegant bracelet made of stainless steel. The version with a strap is more affordable and it can be bought for approximately $4,000, while the model attached to a five raw bracelet comes with the retail price of $5,500, but it can be found on the internet for about $5,000.
The Perfect Combination of Form and Function
Spitfire Mark XVI boasts an extremely legible silver-plated dial. It does not only owe its name to Spitfire because the color of the dial evokes associations with the fuselage of the famous fighter and reconnaissance plane, while the propeller-like hour and minute hands reminisce of the Spitfire’s propeller blades. HM hands are filled with luminescent material from shaft to tip for the best legibility under all kinds of lighting conditions.
At the 12 o’clock position, there is a trademark of Pilot’s watches – the arrowhead index. The dial also features raised Arabic numerals and hour markers at the quarter hour and a countdown scale at the outer rim.
A little date window is situated traditionally at the 3 o’clock position. The date can be quickly adjusted by unscrewing the crown and pulling it to the first position.
IWC from Schaffhausen began producing the Spitfire watches in 2003. Today, this line comprises three exceptional timepieces. Besides the Mark XVI, there are Spitfire Chronograph and Spitfire Double Chronograph.