Earlier this year at SIHH, IWC put a strong emphasis on its entire Pilot’s Watch collection, releasing some pretty impressive, vintage-inspired pieces. The one that stands out in our minds – and is coming to stores now — is the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph. A sure-fire collector item with a big reach for today’s consumers, this watch incorporates important functions and technology that can’t be overlooked.
To begin with, this combined chronograph and world-time automatic watch is the first that enables the user to set a new time zone, including new time and date, via a twist of the bezel. Additionally, the black and red 24-hour hand indicates day or night on the inner 24-hour ring. This unusual feat – which while setting and changing does not affect the time — is made possible thanks to two resources.
The first factor enabling the making of this watch was the very smart purchase two years ago by IWC of Vogard’s patents and technology for the World Timer watch. Vogard’s World Timer patents cover the mechanical differential gearing technology that allows the wearer to adjust the time zone by releasing a lever on the side of the watch and turning the bezel. There is no need for pushers or crowns.
“The Vogard patent has been around for a decade, it has been used regularly and been proven. It makes sense for us to acquire this patent and technology rather that try to build something similar and to integrate the technology into our movements, “ says Georges Kern, CEO of IWC.
That is exactly what the brand has done with this new IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph (Ref. 3950). It has incorporated this technology with other feats — including the sprung bezel –for what could be the perfect pilot’s world-time chrono.
The sprung rotating bezel concept that is found in this new watch was developed in the 1980’s when IWC was creating the Porsche Design watches. The bezel was first conceived of for the Ocean 2000 watch and has since been used in IWC’s Aquatimer watches.
In this new Pilot’s world timer, the bezel is linked to a gear train inside the movement and rotating the city ring bezel transmits to the hour wheel, the 24-hour hand and the date advance wheel that all three displays should move back or forth by one hour increments.
There is an inner 24-hour ring that indicates day or night in the other time zone and the watch recognizes if/when the wearer crosses the International Date Line, advancing or returning the date by one day. The cities bezel – with 24 cities listed – also features a small “S” to indicate which world cities are in Daylight Saving time.
Naturally, being a pilot’s watch, it is extremely legible thanks to its matte black dial and large hands and numerals. It also offers some other key functions, including the ability to make calculations of speed or fuel consumption, and, of course, the column-wheel chronograph to measure time of events or flights, etc. The chronograph offers two counters for elapsed hours and minutes, but it also offers a flyback function. With 68 hours of power reserve, the 45mm watch retails for $11,900.