Flying and soaring in the sky is the dream for many people since childhood, but for most people, to fly an airplane is only a dream, like hanging in the sky, can not be achieved. However, wearing Pilot’s Watch and dreaming of yourself in the cockpit is more easy to achieve, and Pilot’s Watch usually has a clear and concise dial, reliable anti-vibration and anti-magnetic properties, even chronograph and second time zone design, no wonder in both domestic and foreign, Pilot’s Watch is very favorite to fans.
In the watch field today, IWC is well-known for Pilot’s Watch. IWC has developed and produced Pilot’s Watch since 1930, except produced the famous Mark military watch for British during World War II, also accepted German Luftwaffe air force, designed a big Beobachtungs-Uhren (Observer’s Watch or simply B-Uhr).
The large dial and luminous hands of B-Uhr are praised by pilots, the performance is even better than Mark. Mark XI produced between 1948 and 1984 is the first official Pilot’s Watch formally adopted by Royal Air Force certification, now is searching by enthusiastic collectors. Mark XII and Mark XV follow the creative features of Mark XI, although they use the Jaeger LeCoultre and ETA self-winding movements respectively, but still without losing the traditional and modern charm, have the majority of supporters. Flieger Chronograph and UTC of IWC can be said as Pilot’s Watch with chronograph and second time zone performance, adding swinging looks to IWC Pilot’s Watch.
Among IWC Pilot’s Watches, B-Uhr produced for German Air Force Luftwaffe has the most unique legendary qualities and distinctive characters. World War II was Unprecedented fierce, and victory or defeat became increasingly apparent in aerial combat, so German Air Force demanded a lot of accurate Pilot’s Watches. Among them, B-Uhr was favorite to pilots, five watch factories supplied for it, including A. Lange & Sohne, IWC, Laco, Stowa, and Wempe. The movement performance and dial of different watch factories of course has a slightly difference, but the following have in common: 55 mm case engraved with FL 23883, convenient to wear gloves and operate the crown, Stop seconds, Indirect center seconds, Breguet balance springs, black dial, luminous time scale and hands, no shock resistance and so on. In addition, the 55 mm B-Uhr is more than the average watches, it is often tied outside of the flight suit with a longer belt. After compared, IWC B-Uhr is the most favorite one to collectors, and then A. Lange & Sohne.
B-Uhr movement produced by Stowa.
IWC produced 1200 pieces of 52SC movements for B-Uhr (the representative Center Second, the full name of 52T-19 H6 SC), and about 1000 pieces are made into B-Uhr. 52 SC movement is in the size of diameter 19 lignes (43.15 mm), height 6 mm, 16 jewels, vibration frequency of 18,000 bph, with swan-neck regulator. The inside devices of IWC B-Uhr have magnetic soft iron, can withstand the high magnetic environment in the cabin, but do not have waterproof and anti-shaking performance.
IWC published the limited edition of Big Pilot’s Watch Ref. 5002, one hand is to show respect to B-Uhr during World War II, another hand is to demonstrate its leading skills in pilot’s watches. This IWC re-edition watch, under the traditional appearance, there are a lot of advanced designs: 46 mm stainless steel case with crashworthiness, anti-temperature and antu-magnetic properties (generally from 4800 A/m to 32,000 A/m); the black dial agaist time scale and pointer that coated with Superluminova, showing high identification; in addition to anti-glare performance of sapphire crystal mirror, also have the ability to stand air pressure changes; 60 meters water resistance, large center second hand and fast-adjusting date display which convenient for modern, fully demonstrate the characteristics of Pilot’s Watches: strong, reliability and oriented performance.
In addition, Big Pilot’s Watch Ref. 5002 uses Calibre 5011 movement which modified from IWC Calibre 5000 (used for Portugieser 2000), the special Pellaton winding system (invented by the IWC watchmaking genius Albert Pellaton in the end of 1940s) has the pawl winding mechanism to prevent the gear from reversal, it can turn the most subtle wrist movements to kinetic energy, so its power reserve up to 7 days (168 hours), and the condition of kinetic energy can be shown in the small dial in 3 o’clock position. In fact, the spring of Big Pilot’s Watch can provide 8 days kinetic energy, but IWC has designed a special stopping device, if the watch has no further winding after running seven days, it will automatically stop after seven days, to ensure the watch runs in accurate operation.
Today, Big Pilot’s Watch is no longer only designed for combat pilots, but IWC retains the specialities of B-Uhr, buffalo leather strap and the Rivet which is generally similar to mark, although no need to tie the watch to the flight suit. Together with the high-contrast black dial which is designed to read time easily in the cabin without bright lights, the large crown to facilitating wearing and operation, it can be said that IWC spares no effort to retain the old styles of B-Uhr. And we also can listen to it to tell us about the touching and moving story of air combat in the blue sky through the small chronograph on wrist.