By Meor Amri Meor Ayob
An interesting new watch from IWC that is now on show in SIHH2016 is the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph. At first glance, there appears to be some semblance in shape to an Oris diver or even a Zenith Stratos Flyback due to the thick bezel. However, the complication on this baby is so much more interesting.
As business travelers, we often find the merit of a GMT watch to be the most effective in keeping time. Despite the advantages of a GMT watch, to manipulate the GMT function would require handing the crown which inevitable means taking the watch off one’s wrist. IWC Schaffhausen has reduced that process by one step – the need to ever taking off the watch to adjust the GMT. Also, instead of manipulating a crown, IWC Schaffhausen has mechanically linked the GMT function directly to the bezel. What makes it even incredible is that the GMT function includes the hour hand, 24-hour display, and the date. This mean that to set a new time zone, a simple shift in the bezel is all that is required in making three functions adjust as well.
This mechanical concept is new and was built upon an original design by Michael Vogt. His design has the ability to set the time on a world time watch by turning the bezel which he showed during Baselworld 2014. His design was then purchased and further developed by IWC Schaffhausen.
The procedure is very simple. Push the bezel down; turn it to the desired time zone and release. The movement is mechanically linked to the hour hand and a smaller 24-hour hand that always shows whether it is day or night in the selected time zone. The date display is also synchronized. Anything else, such as the minute hand, is not affected. IWC Schaffhausen has also taken the effort to incorporate Daylight Saving Time (DST or Summer Time) for certain cities. For this reason, the rotating bezel has a small “S” to indicate the names of cities that recognize summer time.
The watch has a diameter of 45 mm and a height of 16.5 mm. A flyback chronograph, this watch is made out of stainless steel. The chronograph counter is located at 12 o’clock. The all-black dial and white markers and numbers make it very legible. The watch comes standard with a Santoni calfskin strap with orange leather lining and is water-rated to 60 meters. An interesting feature that is also unique to this watch is a glass secure mechanism that protects the sapphire crystal from separating away from the casing due to sudden changes in air pressure.
The engine that drives the watch is the new IWC manufactured 89760 calibre. Operating at a frequency of 4 Hertz or 28,800 vph, it uses 39 jewels. An automatic movement, the main springs can contain 68 hours of power reserve.
Engraved into the back of the stainless-steel case is the etching of a Junkers Ju 52, the aircraft which, in the 1930s, was the symbol of civil aviation.
I am impressed with the technology on this watch. I was made to understand that the price of this piece is USD11,900. If you are a frequent business traveler, this is definitely a mechanical watch you would want to have with you on your trips. For more info, please visit iwc.com
MEOR AMRI MEOR AYOB – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!!) on his own free time. His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western Watch Read his articles here