New for 2012 is the IWC Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month. You may be familiar with the IWC Top Gun Collection, in honour of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School - techy and exciting stuff. Now IWC produce a piece at the other end of the aeronautical scale - a tribute to the iconic Spitfire, the plane described by those who flew her as the "closest to perfection, ever".
The piece will be IWC's first Pilot's Watch to feature a perpetual calendar, digital date and a stopwatch display. A Perpetual Calendar takes into account the variation of the days in each month, and also leap years using a marvellous mechanical memory comprising of several hundreds of parts which quite literally count 1,461 days - or four years. On this piece the leap year is indicated in a small aperture at 6 0'clock.
The IWC Calibre 89800 inside has a few functional innovations - in order that the complex disc system required to advance the three digital displays does not drain the power or effect the amplitude, a power-saving mode kicks in, storing up energy released as each nightly date change occurs, power which will be used when the system is under most strain, at the end of each month and year - think of it as a horological KERS system. A trick feature, but then IWC have been pioneers of digital displays for more than 100 years.
On the sun-burst slate dial everything is neat, legible, functional and balanced. Another innovation, the stopwatch function which times the seconds using the central chronograph hand, has its hours and minutes displayed on a totalizer at 12 o'clock, and it is a flyback chronograph enabling a quick reset to zero - features which combine to produce ultra fast/read at a glance usefulness, features which lead IWC to describe this piece as a "watch-within-a-watch". Quite.
The automatic Calibre 89800 produces a more than generous power reserve of 68 hours and has a unique winding rotor in the shape of a Spitfire, which can be viewed through the sapphire crystal caseback. Housed in an 18 carat red gold 46mm case, the IWC Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month comes presented on a brown alligator leather strap.
A Fan of Pilot's Watches? - then you really must meet the Bremont Watch Company.