The history of the IWC Pilot is traceable back to 1936 with the introduction of the Special Watch for Pilots. In the 1940’s, IWC continued to produce watches for aviators, namely for military use. However, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that IWC created a dedicated collection called the Pilot. Since then, the brand has created a number of different variations within the collection, from the Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph in 1992 to the Big Pilot’s Watch in 2002 and beyond.
IWC unveiled its first Special Pilot's watch in 1936. This timepiece had an anti-magnetic escapement and a rotating bezel with an arrowhead index for immediate legibility. The original Special Pilot's watch set the standard for the timepieces in the Pilot's collection today. The Mark 11, first manufactured in 1948, is the most well known pilot watch in IWC's collection. This timepiece was initially produced for the Royal Air Force and was used by them for over thirty years. The Mark 11 features a soft inner case made of iron that houses the movement and protects it from the interference of magnetic fields. The Big Pilot's watch, first released in 1940, is the largest wristwatch or 'deck watch' IWC has ever produced.
One of the notable attributes of this timepiece is the central hacking seconds, which allow pilots and navigators to coordinate their watches down to the second with the most refined precision. In 2002 IWC restored the Big Pilot's glory with a next generation model. This timepiece couples innovation with tradition, a classic design, a forward-looking 7-day movement, Pallaton automatic winding, and a power reserve display. In 2007 a new watch joined the Pilot collection, the Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph Edition Top Gun. The design of this timepiece contains titanium controls and a high-tech ceramic case. Another feature of this model is the split seconds hand, which is used to measure time simultaneously while the stopwatch hand runs. In addition, there is a push-button located at the 10 o'clock position, which when pressed again, synchronizes the stopwatch and split-seconds. This feature allows the wearer to record an infinite number of intermediate and lap times.
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