Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

#IWCHeritage: The Heritage of IWC Pilot’s Watches

#IWCHeritage: The Heritage of IWC Pilot’s Watches

[Music] when I think of IWC I think of pilots watches and that’s in no small part down to the fact the manufacturer have been producing them since 1936 today David and I are gonna dive a little deeper into two classic historic pieces the reference four three six mark nine and the four three one big pilot I was wondering David if you could give us an insight into how the mark nine came to be produced and what the connection is with London where we are today it’s very interesting to know this watch probably was born in Croydon or Croydon Airport one of the sons of the owner of IWC in the 1930s he lived in London and then he started to be trained a pilot he took his first pilot’s lesson and we know that in 1933 he made his official British pilot license in the year 1936 he convinced his father we believe to produced the first pilot’s watch for IWC it was produced with shatterproof glass what would the other design considerations of the day if we look at the dial the original catalog says it should be very convenient for the pilot to easily read the time it has to be anti-magnetic don’t ask me why it should be anti-magnetic because in those cockpits we do not have magnetic field around but it was to show that it’s kind of a tool watch in those days and when it comes to the four three one big pilot could you give a certain insight into why it’s so large and how it was designed you mentioned the size that’s quite important here inside we have a pocket watch movement and it was mandatory because back in those days the bigger the movement the more precise the movement was and this was made for navigators in airplanes the four three one big pilot was obviously designed for pilots to wear over their jackets when flying an area that’s often not appreciated is the benefits of its navigational precision if you’re taking consideration you’re flying with 200 or 300 miles back in those days you’re running one or two seconds out so you maybe miss your airport you are aiming for 50 or 60 miles which is very very devastating it’s a clear dial to easily read the exact time and you will know exactly your position when you fly for example over the ocean it’s amazing to see that the watches from the 1930s still hold the same DNA in Orchard’s we see today you [Music]

Reader Comments

  1. Most so-called “pilot’s watches” really aren’t of much utility for a pilot; kind of like a “diver’s watch” only being water resistant to 30 meters. As both a professional pilot and a watch enthusiast, I’d be happy to offer insights as to what a modern pilot (or traveler) wants in their watch.

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