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IWC Mark 11 RAF-issued British military pilot's watch Cal. 89
TOP
IWC Mark 11 RAF-issued British military pilot's watch Cal. 89
C$ 12,419
Free shipping
Seller
A Collected Man
9
UK
IWC Pilot Mark
TOP
IWC Pilot Mark
C$ 4,939
Free shipping
Seller
SLS TIME
94
US
IWC Le Petite Prince Pilot Chronograph IW377714
IWC Le Petite Prince Pilot Chronograph IW377714
C$ 5,074
Seller
WearingTime LLC
 
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire UTC
IWC Pilot Spitfire UTC
C$ 5,345
Seller
Aaron Faber Gallery
 
US
IWC Pilot Mark
IWC Pilot Mark
C$ 3,992
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
21
US
IWC Big Pilot's Perpetual Calendar ANTOINE DE SAINT EXUPERY
IWC Big Pilot's Perpetual Calendar ANTOINE DE SAINT EXUPERY
C$ 26,926
Seller
BlackTagWatches
65
US
IWC Big Pilot Bronze Limited Edition IW501005
IWC Big Pilot Bronze Limited Edition IW501005
C$ 17,123
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
85
US
IWC TOP GUN Pilot Double Chrono Split Second Day-Date Black 46mm
IWC TOP GUN Pilot Double Chrono Split Second Day-Date Black 46mm
C$ 10,757
Seller
Time Trade & Trust
 
US
IWC Split Second Der Doppelchronograph
IWC Split Second Der Doppelchronograph
C$ 43,298
Seller
VALOBRA Jewelry & Antiques
 
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Petit Prince - Factory Warranty - NEW
IWC Pilot Chronograph Petit Prince - Factory Warranty - NEW
C$ 6,698
Seller
Watch Exchange Co.
88
US
IWC Big Pilot
TOP
IWC Big Pilot
C$ 15,222
Free shipping
Seller
SLS TIME
94
US
IWC Flieger Chronograph Pilot's Watch IW3706
IWC Flieger Chronograph Pilot's Watch IW3706
C$ 3,246
Seller
WearingTime LLC
 
US
IWC : Spitfire Flyback Chronograph :  IW387804 :  Stainless Steel
TOP
IWC : Spitfire Flyback Chronograph : IW387804 : Stainless Steel
C$ 7,374
Seller
BernardWatch.com
234
US
IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 46mm
IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 46mm
C$ 14,816
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
21
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph
IWC Pilot Chronograph
C$ 6,224
Seller
BlackTagWatches
65
US
IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage
TOP
IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage
C$ 18,578
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
397
UK
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII Edition Le Petit Prince
TOP
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII Edition Le Petit Prince
C$ 5,800
Seller
Private Seller
CA
IWC Mark Xviii Iw327002 Stainless Steel
IWC Mark Xviii Iw327002 Stainless Steel
C$ 3,917
Seller
OCWG Inc.
40
US
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII - 327011 - Factory Warranty - NEW
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII - 327011 - Factory Warranty - NEW
C$ 5,074
Seller
Watch Exchange Co.
88
US
IWC Pilot Mark 18
TOP
IWC Pilot Mark 18
C$ 4,397
Free shipping
Seller
SLS TIME
94
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph
IWC Pilot Chronograph
C$ 5,683
Free shipping
Seller
Fine Watch Bank
23
US
IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph "Le Petit Prince" IW3777-14
IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph "Le Petit Prince" IW3777-14
C$ 6,021
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
274
US
IWC Big Pilot Slow Beat
IWC Big Pilot Slow Beat
C$ 13,463
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
21
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Saint Exupery THE LAST FLIGHT Limited
IWC Pilot Chronograph Saint Exupery THE LAST FLIGHT Limited
C$ 14,207
Seller
BlackTagWatches
65
US
IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph iw377717 Le Petit Prince
IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph iw377717 Le Petit Prince
C$ 6,698
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time LLC
130
US
IWC BIG PILOT LE PETIT PRINCE BLUE LIMITED EDITION 1000
IWC BIG PILOT LE PETIT PRINCE BLUE LIMITED EDITION 1000
C$ 15,966
Seller
Time Trade & Trust
 
US
IWC Doppelgraph Top Gun Ceramic Pilot Watch, 46 mm
IWC Doppelgraph Top Gun Ceramic Pilot Watch, 46 mm
C$ 11,433
Seller
Watches 24 Seven, LLC
37
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph 377714 - Factory Warranty - New 2018
IWC Pilot Chronograph 377714 - Factory Warranty - New 2018
C$ 5,784
Seller
Watch Exchange Co.
88
US
IWC Pilot Mark 18
IWC Pilot Mark 18
C$ 4,249
Free shipping
Seller
SLS TIME
94
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month
IWC Pilot Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month
C$ 35,883
Free shipping
Seller
Fine Watch Bank
23
US
IWC Big Pilot IW5004-01
IWC Big Pilot IW5004-01
C$ 12,110
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
274
US
IWC Big Pilot 7 Day Power Reserve White Gold Slate Dial
IWC Big Pilot 7 Day Power Reserve White Gold Slate Dial
C$ 18,266
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
21
US
IWC Automatic Big Pilot's Watch TOP GUN Miramar IW501902
IWC Automatic Big Pilot's Watch TOP GUN Miramar IW501902
C$ 13,260
Seller
BlackTagWatches
65
US
IWC Big Pilot’s Stainless Steel Automatic Men's Watch IW500901
IWC Big Pilot’s Stainless Steel Automatic Men's Watch IW500901
C$ 10,540
Seller
Midtown Watch
23
US
IWC IW388001
IWC IW388001
C$ 9,336
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time LLC
130
US
IWC Big Pilot Le Petit Prince Midnight Blue Dial Automatic 7...
IWC Big Pilot Le Petit Prince Midnight Blue Dial Automatic 7...
C$ 14,877
Seller
Watches 24 Seven, LLC
37
US
IWC IW5009-16 Big Pilot "LE PETIT PRINCE" Blue Dial (28059)
IWC IW5009-16 Big Pilot "LE PETIT PRINCE" Blue Dial (28059)
C$ 12,042
Seller
European Watch Company
134
US
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
C$ 13,937
Free shipping
Seller
SLS TIME
94
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph
IWC Pilot Chronograph
C$ 6,359
Free shipping
Seller
Fine Watch Bank
23
US
IWC Pilot Top Gun Edition IW3880-01
IWC Pilot Top Gun Edition IW3880-01
C$ 10,757
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
274
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Antoine de Saint Exupéry
IWC Pilot Chronograph Antoine de Saint Exupéry
C$ 17,522
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
21
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph
IWC Pilot Chronograph
C$ 13,260
Seller
BlackTagWatches
65
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Blue Le Petit Prince 43mm
IWC Pilot Chronograph Blue Le Petit Prince 43mm
C$ 5,411
Seller
Alux Watches
25
US
IWC Big Pilot's Watch IW500916 Le Petit Prince
IWC Big Pilot's Watch IW500916 Le Petit Prince
C$ 16,582
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time LLC
130
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun 7 day Automatic Ceramic 48mm
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun 7 day Automatic Ceramic 48mm
C$ 13,524
Seller
Watches 24 Seven, LLC
37
US
IWC Big Pilot Spitfire, Annual Calendar
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Spitfire, Annual Calendar
C$ 21,636
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph
C$ 11,636
Free shipping
Seller
SLS TIME
94
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph "The Last Flight"
IWC Pilot Chronograph "The Last Flight"
C$ 15,181
Free shipping
Seller
Fine Watch Bank
23
US
IWC Pilot's Top Gun Miramar Chronograph IW3880-02
IWC Pilot's Top Gun Miramar Chronograph IW3880-02
C$ 9,404
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
274
US
IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Black Leather Straps Automatic Men...
IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Black Leather Straps Automatic Men...
C$ 16,102
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Warehouse USA
39
US
IWC BIG Pilot Automatic 7 Days Power Reserve IW500912
IWC BIG Pilot Automatic 7 Days Power Reserve IW500912
C$ 14,343
Seller
BlackTagWatches
65
US
IWC Pilot Double Chronograph
IWC Pilot Double Chronograph
C$ 8,800
Seller
Ancaster Jewellers
CA
IWC IW500916 Big Pilot "LE PETIT PRINCE" Blue Dial (28544)
IWC IW500916 Big Pilot "LE PETIT PRINCE" Blue Dial (28544)
C$ 13,328
Seller
European Watch Company
134
US
IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph Black/Leather 2016 - IW377709
IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph Black/Leather 2016 - IW377709
C$ 5,682
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
54
US
IWC Pilot's Watch Mark XVIII 40mm iw327003 Antoine de Saint...
IWC Pilot's Watch Mark XVIII 40mm iw327003 Antoine de Saint...
C$ 4,810
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time LLC
130
US
IWC Pilot Mark
IWC Pilot Mark
C$ 5,074
Free shipping
Seller
SLS TIME
94
US
IWC Pilot
IWC Pilot
C$ 8,281
Free shipping
Seller
Fine Watch Bank
23
US
IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph IW3717-13
IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph IW3717-13
C$ 14,816
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
274
US
IWC Pilot Double Chrono Antoine De Saint Exupéry Limited...
IWC Pilot Double Chrono Antoine De Saint Exupéry Limited...
C$ 12,881
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Warehouse USA
39
US
IWC Pilot Double Chronograph Edition Le Petit Prince
IWC Pilot Double Chronograph Edition Le Petit Prince
C$ 13,395
Seller
BlackTagWatches
65
US
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IWC Pilot's Watches: Pioneers in Aviation

Pilot's watches are IWC's specialty. The Swiss manufacturer has been producing high-quality pilot's watches since 1936, including the classics that make up the Mark series. Currently, they offer around two dozen different pilot's watch series.

Highlights

  • Pilot's watch tradition goes back to 1936
  • Trendy 46-mm Big Pilot watch
  • Mark XVIII, a classic pilot's watch
  • Ceramic, red gold, and stainless steel cases
  • Special editions: Spitfire, Top Gun, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Creating Pilot's Watches in Schaffhausen for Over 80 Years

The International Watch Company, also known as IWC, presented their first pilot's watch in 1936. Since then, IWC has been considered the pioneer in developing and manufacturing pilot's watches.
The original watch from 1936 had a diameter of 37.5 mm, making it relatively large for its time. This special watch had a finely ridged bezel with marker needle, enabling the wearer to record short periods of time. Not all planes were equipped with a fuel indicator in the 1930s, so pilots kept track of the flight time via the watch bezel. This allowed them to monitor the flight time, fuel consumption, and cruising range. Large, light-colored Arabic numerals and a black dial define the look of this special watch. The decentralized seconds is located at six o'clock. The escapement is protected against magnetism, which can negatively impact a timepiece's precision. Many features of this original watch are still being used today. Current pilot's watches have stark color contrasts and luminous hands to make them more legible, and many have streamlined designs featuring protection against magnetism.
The 52-caliber T. S. C. Big Pilot's Watch (reference number 431) followed in 1940 with an impressive 55-mm diameter case. IWC delivered this timepiece to the German Air Force. It was not the watch's size, but rather the rest of its design, that has influenced the look of classic pilot's watches to this day. Black/white dial contrast, sword hands, stick indices, Arabic numerals, and a triangle at 12 o'clock all remain typical design features of classic pilot's watches.

Big Pilot

The watch from the 1940s was succeeded by the Big Pilot. IWC has been producing this 46-mm stainless steel watch with a black dial since 2002. The watch isn't as big as its predecessors, but its new size is more practical. The 55-mm cases were meant to be worn over flight suits and weren't created for everyday civilian use. The Big Pilot has a seven-day power reserve thanks to a long mainspring and a special winding mechanism, the Pellaton winding system. It's named after its inventor, Albert Pellaton, who was the technical director at IWC for many years. In 1950, he patented this new technology whereby an automatic watch is wound bidirectionally by the natural movements of the wearer's arm. The round power reserve display is located at three o'clock.

From the Mark 11 to the Mark XVIII

One of IWC's top pilot's watches, the Mark XVIII, has its roots in 1948. IWC introduced the simple pilot's watch Mark 11 in that year; a watch that served as the Royal Air Force's service watch for 30 years. The name "Mark" comes from the RAF as well; the British used the term to refer to all interchangeable air force equipment that came from different manufacturers. In 1981, the RAF gradually phased out the Mark 11. By that time, IWC had made 8,000 timepieces for the military and 1,500 for civilian use. In 1994, IWC presented the watch's successor and switched to using Roman numerals for the name Mark XII.
The Mark XVIII, with a diameter of 40 mm and a thickness of 11 mm, has been available since 2016. Visually, it's not too different from the Mark 11. The wide sword hands, which replaced the older baton hands, immediately catch the eye. However, IWC made some concessions to keep the watch technologically up to date: The watch features a date display and an automatic movement instead of the legendary manual Caliber 89.
IWC also produces the Pilot's Watch Automatic 36. It's modeled after the Mark XVIII in terms of design, but has a smaller case diameter of 36 mm.

Pilot's Chronograph

The Pilot's Watch Chronograph isn't as minimalistic as the Mark XVIII. The 43-mm watch features a stopwatch function as well as three subdials. The small seconds at nine o'clock catches the eye thanks to a small red seconds hand standing out against the black/white color scheme. Its caliber, caliber 79320, is based on the popular Valjoux 7750 movement produced by the world's largest ébauche manufacturer, the ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse (ETA).

Dedicated to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

One of IWC's series is dedicated to the pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince. The Frenchman was presumed dead in 1944 after disappearing during a reconnaissance mission while flying his Lockheed P-38. The series has a distinctive retro touch and the watches stand out with their characteristic blue or brown dial. They all come with a brown calfskin strap. The watches' case backs feature Saint-Exupéry related engravings, such as a P-38 or a portrait of the man himself. The collection also features a split-seconds chronograph. With this chronograph, you can time intervals while continuing to time another event.

Honoring the Spitfire

The Spitfire series pays homage to the most well-known pursuit plane from the Second World War. The case back features an engraving of the plane's silhouette from a bird's eye view. Most Spitfire watches can be identified by a slate gray dial.

Top Gun: The US Navy's Fighter Pilots

IWC entered the era of jet planes with their Top Gun series. The name refers to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, more commonly known as Top Gun. Top Gun is also the name of a successful 1986 film starring Tom Cruise. The watches in the Top Gun series all feature a ceramic case, setting them apart from the other pilot's watches. The backside features an engraving of the Top Gun logo. The series also includes variations on other well-known IWC pilot's watches, such as the Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun, based on the Big Pilot. The case, strap, crown, and dial are completely black, while the hands, numerals, and stick indices are white.

Buying Advice

Do you want an authentic pilot's watch? IWC has been producing pilot's watches for civilian and military use since the 1930s. Very few Swiss manufacturers have a connection to aviation like IWC does. Their most significant competitor in this regard is Breitling.
If you want to stay trendy with a larger watch, then the 46-mm Big Pilot is a good choice. New versions made of stainless steel cost around 10,000 euros. If you prefer a red gold case, then the Big Pilot from the Spitfire series costs a total of 21,000 euros new.
Some of these pilot's watches also offer special complications. The Timezoner Chronograph can display multiple time zones. The Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar from the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry series has a perpetual calendar and perpetual moon phase display and shows the date, day of the week, month, and year.
The Mark XVIII is much less complicated; it features only one complication, a date display. The watch closely resembles the legendary Mark 11 used by the RAF. New, you can buy a simple Mark XVIII for around 3,500 euros. A vintage Mark 11 from the 1950s costs double that. The original Mark 11 had a diameter of 36 mm, but pilot's watches that size have become rare. IWC brought back the standard 36-mm size with their Pilot's Watch Automatic 36. New, it costs between 3,000 and 4,000 euros.

IWC: Success After a Rocky Start

IWC was manufacturing watches well before their first pilot's watches were made in 1936. However, they had a bit of a bumpy start. Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841 - 1916), an American, founded the International Watch Company in 1868 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Jones wanted to produce watches cheaply in Switzerland and sell them for profit in the United States. However, expensive import taxes prevented this from being a successful business model. After switching owners multiple times and declaring bankruptcy twice, IWC remained in the hands of the Rauschenbach and Homberger families from 1880 to 1978. IWC was heavily affected by the Quartz Crisis and again switched owners. Since 2000, the company has been a part of the Richemont Group along with other luxury brands such as A. Lange & Söhne, Cartier, and Panerai.

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