On August 5, 2019, British pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones took off from the Goodwood Aerodrome in a lovingly restored 1943-built Spitfire, with a unique silver-chrome finish. They would cover more than 43,000km to circumnavigate the globe. The mission “The Silver Spitfire – The Longest Expedition” would take four more months to complete with stops in over 20 countries including the UAE.
Swiss luxury brand IWC, which has been making Pilot’s Watches since the 1930s was one of the primary sponsors of the expedition and the “official timekeeper.” The brand from Schaffhausen has now unveiled a commemorative limited edition bronze cased-timepiece to honour the achievement of the two pilots.
The watch is called the Big Pilot’s Big Date Spitfire “Mission Accomplished” riffs on the classic Pilot’s watch design that was adapted from the tool watches IWC made for the German Luftwaffe during the Second World War. This particular watch is based on the Big Pilot's Watch Big Date Edition "150 Years" from 2018, which was the first Big Pilot to feature the namesake big date complication.
The timepiece has an imposing 46.2 mm bronze case and is fitted with a khaki green dial. The case is water-resistant to 60 meters and the sapphire crystal atop the dial is secured against any sudden drop of air pressure in the cockpit. A large date aperture looks over the dial at the 12 o’ clock position; the rest of the design is consistent with the look of IWC’s Pilot’s line.
The titanium caseback has an engraving to commemorate the successful mission. Ticking beneath is the hand-cranked manufacture Caliber 59235, which has a power reserve of 8 days. The power reserve indicator is located on the back of the watch and is visible through a porthole on the caseback. The movement is further placed within a soft-iron inner cage to protect it from the effects of magnetic fields on the watch’s accuracy.
Paired with a brown calf leather strap, the Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Spitfire Edition “Mission Accomplished” (Ref. IW510506) is limited to 500 pieces.