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IWC Big Pilots Heritage Unworn Bronze IW501005
TOP
IWC Big Pilots Heritage Unworn Bronze IW501005
$15,100
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
107
UK
IWC Pilot Chronograph
TOP
IWC Pilot Chronograph
$3,600
Seller
Daniele Trissi
13
US
IWC Pilot Double Chronograph Antoine de Saint Exupéry Limited
TOP
IWC Pilot Double Chronograph Antoine de Saint Exupéry Limited
$8,495
Free shipping
Seller
AJ Watches
60
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph 43mm - IWC Warranty
IWC Pilot Chronograph 43mm - IWC Warranty
$4,250
Seller
Atlantic Watch Exchange Co. LLC
 
US
IWC Pilot Mark Le Petit Prince
IWC Pilot Mark Le Petit Prince
$3,699
Seller
Delray Watch Supply
 
US
IWC Pilot Mark
TOP
IWC Pilot Mark
$2,150
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
$7,500
Seller
AZAD WATCH NYC
 
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph
IWC Pilot Chronograph
$4,695
Seller
Pave LLC
 
US
IWC Limited Edition Platinum Big Pilot 103/500 NEW
TOP
IWC Limited Edition Platinum Big Pilot 103/500 NEW
$29,850
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
IWC Pilot Der Flieger Chronograph IW3706
IWC Pilot Der Flieger Chronograph IW3706
$3,499
Seller
Phigora
97
US
IWC : Pilot's Mark XVIII :  IW327001 :  Stainless Steel
IWC : Pilot's Mark XVIII : IW327001 : Stainless Steel
$2,950
Seller
BernardWatch.com
164
US
IWC Big Pilot Slow Beat
IWC Big Pilot Slow Beat
$9,950
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
5
US
IWC Pilot Mark Heritage Titnaium - IWC Warranty
IWC Pilot Mark Heritage Titnaium - IWC Warranty
$3,750
Seller
Atlantic Watch Exchange Co. LLC
 
US
IWC 378601 Pilot Split Second Ceramic LIMITED (26299)
IWC 378601 Pilot Split Second Ceramic LIMITED (26299)
$8,900
Seller
European Watch Company
82
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun
$7,900
Seller
Kronopassion
13
US
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
$8,000
Seller
AZAD WATCH NYC
 
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph
IWC Pilot Chronograph
$5,295
Seller
Pave LLC
 
US
IWC Spitfire Ardoise Dial Leather Mens Watch
IWC Spitfire Ardoise Dial Leather Mens Watch
$8,750
Seller
Golda Co.
11
US
IWC Big Pilot Platinum IW500202 46mm Limited Edition
IWC Big Pilot Platinum IW500202 46mm Limited Edition
$23,500
Free shipping
Seller
Chronostore
111
US
IWC Pilot's Double Chronograph Top Gun IW3799-01
IWC Pilot's Double Chronograph Top Gun IW3799-01
$8,450
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
195
US
IWC stainless steel Mark XVI
IWC stainless steel Mark XVI
$3,500
Seller
Paul Duggan Co., Inc
55
US
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII - Le Petit Prince - IWC Warranty
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII - Le Petit Prince - IWC Warranty
$3,450
Seller
Atlantic Watch Exchange Co. LLC
 
US
IWC Big Pilot's Top Gun Perpetual Calendar IW502902 Cermaic...
IWC Big Pilot's Top Gun Perpetual Calendar IW502902 Cermaic...
$21,999
Seller
Phigora
97
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Mens Automatic Watch IW501901
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Mens Automatic Watch IW501901
$14,560
Seller
Luxury Bazaar
38
US
IWC Pilot’s Watch Hand-Wound 1936 Vintage Series
IWC Pilot’s Watch Hand-Wound 1936 Vintage Series
$6,500
Seller
Kronopassion
13
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph
IWC Pilot Chronograph
$4,950
Seller
Pave LLC
 
US
IWC Big Pilot 7 Day Power Reserve White Gold Slate Dial
IWC Big Pilot 7 Day Power Reserve White Gold Slate Dial
$13,500
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
5
US
IWC : Pilot's Mark XVIII :  IW327001 :  Stainless Steel : NEW
IWC : Pilot's Mark XVIII : IW327001 : Stainless Steel : NEW
$3,395
Seller
BernardWatch.com
164
US
IWC Pilot's Spitfire Chronograph IW3878-03
IWC Pilot's Spitfire Chronograph IW3878-03
$13,500
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
195
US
IWC Pilot IW387808 Steel Manual Winding Men's Watch(18176)
IWC Pilot IW387808 Steel Manual Winding Men's Watch(18176)
$7,299
Free shipping
Seller
Chronostore
111
US
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII - Black Dial - Bracelet - IWC Warranty
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII - Black Dial - Bracelet - IWC Warranty
$4,250
Seller
Atlantic Watch Exchange Co. LLC
 
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire UTZ TZC IW325102 Stainless Steel Automatic
IWC Pilot Spitfire UTZ TZC IW325102 Stainless Steel Automatic
$2,699
Seller
Phigora
97
US
IWC IW502618 Big Pilot OrangePerpetual Calendar SS LIMITED...
IWC IW502618 Big Pilot OrangePerpetual Calendar SS LIMITED...
$25,500
Seller
European Watch Company
82
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
$11,500
Seller
Kronopassion
13
US
IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph IW3880-02
IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph IW3880-02
$7,950
Seller
WatchBox
55
US
IWC Mark XVIII
IWC Mark XVIII
$4,150
Seller
Tarrytown Jewelers
 
US
IWC Pilots  Midnight Blue Dial Automatic IW377714 Mens WATCH
IWC Pilots Midnight Blue Dial Automatic IW377714 Mens WATCH
$4,070
Free shipping
Seller
Interwatches
51
US
IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar Edition "Le Petit Prince" IW5027-03
IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar Edition "Le Petit Prince" IW5027-03
$28,950
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
195
US
IWC Pilot Worldtimer Black Dial Automatic  IW326201
IWC Pilot Worldtimer Black Dial Automatic IW326201
$6,199
Free shipping
Seller
Chronostore
111
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Rose Gold
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Rose Gold
$15,750
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
5
US
IWC : Classic Pilot's Chronograph :  IW371704 :  Stainless Steel
IWC : Classic Pilot's Chronograph : IW371704 : Stainless Steel
$4,425
Seller
BernardWatch.com
164
US
IWC IW387805 Pilots Chronograph Edition Antoine de Saint...
IWC IW387805 Pilots Chronograph Edition Antoine de Saint...
$15,300
Seller
European Watch Company
82
US
IWC Pilot's UTC Antoine de Saint Exupery
IWC Pilot's UTC Antoine de Saint Exupery
$4,950
Seller
Kronopassion
13
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph
$8,200
Seller
Golda Co.
11
US
IWC Pilot World Time
IWC Pilot World Time
$7,600
Seller
Tarrytown Jewelers
 
US
IWC Pilots Chronograph
IWC Pilots Chronograph
$4,950
Seller
WatchBox
55
US
IWC Pilot's Antoine de Saint Exupery Limited Edition IW3201-04
IWC Pilot's Antoine de Saint Exupery Limited Edition IW3201-04
$4,950
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
195
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph IW387808 Stainless Watch
IWC Pilot Chronograph IW387808 Stainless Watch
$7,299
Free shipping
Seller
Chronostore
111
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Antoine de Saint Exupéry
IWC Pilot Chronograph Antoine de Saint Exupéry
$12,950
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
5
US
IWC : Spitfire Flyback Chronograph :  IW387804 :  Stainless Steel
IWC : Spitfire Flyback Chronograph : IW387804 : Stainless Steel
$5,870
Seller
BernardWatch.com
164
US
IWC IW501902 Big Pilot's Top Gun Miramar, Ceramic & Titanium
IWC IW501902 Big Pilot's Top Gun Miramar, Ceramic & Titanium
$11,500
Seller
FeelGoodWatches, Inc.
US
IWC Reference Iw3706 Stainless Steel Watch Leather Strap Mint
IWC Reference Iw3706 Stainless Steel Watch Leather Strap Mint
$3,550
Seller
Jonathan's Fine Jewelers
9
US
IWC Pilot Doppel Chronograph 3711 18k Gold Vintage Very RARE
IWC Pilot Doppel Chronograph 3711 18k Gold Vintage Very RARE
$12,700
Seller
Class-Watches
 
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun
$9,250
Seller
Tarrytown Jewelers
 
US
IWC Pilots  Black Dial Automatic IW377709 Mens WATCH
IWC Pilots Black Dial Automatic IW377709 Mens WATCH
$3,750
Free shipping
Seller
Interwatches
51
US
IWC Pilot Top Gun Edition IW3880-01
IWC Pilot Top Gun Edition IW3880-01
$7,950
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
195
US
IWC Pilot IW3713-19 Stainless Steel Men's Watch  (17942)
IWC Pilot IW3713-19 Stainless Steel Men's Watch (17942)
$4,499
Free shipping
Seller
Chronostore
111
US
IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 46mm
IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 46mm
$10,950
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
5
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar Men's Automatic Watch IW501902
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar Men's Automatic Watch IW501902
$13,815
Seller
Luxury Bazaar
38
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph JU-AIR Edition
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph JU-AIR Edition
$8,500
Seller
Kronopassion
13
US
IWC : Pilot 36mm :  IW324002 :  Stainless Steel : NEW
IWC : Pilot 36mm : IW324002 : Stainless Steel : NEW
$3,670
Seller
BernardWatch.com
164
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.