IWC Legitimacy for the The Longest Flight
The first round-the-world flight in a Spitfire took off from England on August 5th. Arrival is planned in December.
A specialist in pilot’s watches for 80 years, IWC has already honored the British Spitfire fighter several times in its watch collection. This year, however, it is taking a step forward by becoming a partner in the "Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight" expedition. Initiated by British aviators Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones, this will be the first round-the-world flight in a Spitfire.
Built in 1943 and with only about 50 hours of flight time to its credit, the plane that will be making the The Longest Flight has been dismantled, cleaned, repaired, disarmed, reassembled, and finally, hand polished with the same care a watchmaker applies to a luxury watch. Called Silver Spitfire, it took off on 5 August from Goodwood, in the south of England, for a 43,000 km loop around the world. Around 100 stopovers are planned, spread over more than 30 countries. On board, Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones will take turns. They will wear the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition "The Longest Flight" specially designed to accompany them on their world tour (picture above).
Montre d’Aviateur Timezoner Spitfire Édition « The Longest Flight », dos © IWC
Heritage and performance
The Spitfire was designed for intense short-range air raids, which means undertaking such a long flight is first and foremost a feat in itself. Beyond that, it also embodies a concern for preservation, a symbol of freedom and peace, and a nod to the history that this journey represents. The organizers' objective is twofold: to remind the general public of the essential role this engineering gem played for the Allies during World War II and for the return to peace, and to encourage vocations as new mechanics and engineers capable of maintaining and restoring the existing Spitfires so that they continue to delight today's airmen.
Spitfire, a new high-flying squadron
If one were to retain just one image of IWC from the SIHH 2019, it would be the gleaming Spitfire in the middle of the booth, and the standout visit paid by the two pilots of "The Longest Flight". Pilot’s watches are the star collection of 2019, and alongside the TOP GUN and Le Petit Prince lines, Spitfire is deploying a squadron of seven new models.
Pilot's Watch Chronograph Spitfire © IWC
Steel, bronze and Manufacture movements
While the IWC Spitfire collection is not new, it welcomes two aesthetic and technical innovations this year. IWC is introducing bronze as a new case material, alongside steel, and the dial colors diverge from the silver or gray of previous models to adopt black and olive green exuding a more vintage and military appearance, reinforced by beige Super-LumiNova®. Moreover, the watches retain the refined aesthetics inherited from the Mark 11 timepiece produced by IWC in 1948 for the Royal Air Force. On the movement side, all new Spitfires are powered by an IWC Manufacture caliber, which is a first.
Pilot's Watch Automatic Spitfire © IWC
In addition to the special edition "The Longest Flight" (see previous page), the new Spitfire line includes the bronze perpetual Calendar limited editions, driven by the IWC 52615 caliber; and the steel UTC Spitfire Edition "MJ271", representing the first time the UTC have been incorporated into an IWC in-house caliber. Moreover, the 41mm Spitfire Chronograph and Automatic Spitfire models, available in bronze and steel, respectively welcome – for the first time into their relatively “small” case – an IWC caliber from the 69000 line, and the new Manufacture caliber 32110 with 72 hours of autonomy.
With a clear emphasis on technology and development, IWC Schaffhausen has been manufacturing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. Its philosophy, based on a passion for watchmaking, aims to maintain a spirit of indefatigable initiative and impeccable craftsmanship.Find out more >
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