IWC Unveils A Special Blue Ceramic Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good”
This blue beauty is the 15th special edition that IWC has released to support the work the advocacy group.
You know that uncanny feeling when you are discussing a movie, a type of food, or a vacation destination, and suddenly your timeline is flooded with ads targeted to those same subjects? Even though you were talking, not Googling?
Well, I’ve been thinking about pilot watches a lot recently. And now IWC Schaffhausen has just announced the fantastic new, blue ceramic Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good.” It’s like IWC is reading my mind. Is it inception or destiny? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Why have I been thinking about pilot watches so much? Something about their inherent functionality (a pilot needs a timepiece that’s legible, easy to adjust, and that displays time in more than one time zone) is appealing in these uncertain times – an age where we want security but also a return to adventure.
Of course, when you think of pilot watches, IWC immediately springs to mind. The brand’s association with aviation goes back to 1936, with the reference 436 Mark IX. In 1940, IWC produced the reference 431, a 55mm military navigator’s watch, also known as “B-Uhr.” This watch featured bold, stylized Arabic numerals on its spartan dial design.
The B-Uhr (short for “Beobachtungs-uhren” and means, literally, “observation watches”) evolved into the legendary Mark XI, which was manufactured for the Royal Air Force in 1951. Like its predecessor, it had a dark dial with luminous contrasting numbers for extra legibility on night flights. But the Mark XI measured in at a more wrist-friendly 36mm.
Over the years, IWC has more than earned its bona fides in the pilot’s arena. But not content to rest on its laurels, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good” earns its place in the canon and advances the very concept of what a pilot’s watch should look and feel like in the 21st century
Time for Change
Laureus Sport for Good was established in 2000 by Richemont and Daimler, with IWC becoming a Global Partner in 2005. The foundation brings together people who share a belief in the power of sport to break down barriers, engage with others, and change the world for the better.
Every year, IWC and Laureus Sport for Good celebrate the achievements of sportsmen and women at the Laureus World Sports Awards. This year’s ceremony honored Lewis Hamilton, who clinched a record-matching seventh Drivers’ Championship late last year, driving for IWC’s longstanding partner, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. The Englishman is also known for his stance on racial justice and social and environmental issues.
Laureus believes in the integrative force of sport, harnessing it to advance social change and provide better prospects for disadvantaged children and teenagers. Likewise, IWC believes in pushing things forward.
Introducing the IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good”
Signaling a good foundation, the Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good” shares characteristics with the Mark XI from 1951. Like the minimalistic dial design and a similar case shape and crown.
More significantly, however, IWC is, for the first time, using a 41mm, scratch-resistant blue ceramic case. This finish complements the dial’s trademark Laureus blue. The caseback also features a charming engraving of the artwork of the winner of a drawing competition that IWC organizes each year within all the worldwide programs of Laureus Sport for Good.
Like earlier iterations (this is IWC’s 15th collaboration with Laureus), the Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good” is powered by the automatic, self-winding 32111 calibre, which beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph (4.0 Hz) and boasts a power reserve of 42 hours.
The overall aesthetic effect reinvents the idea of what a pilot watch should look like, but it also reminds me of the matte black-on-black timepieces IWC produced for Porsche Design in the late 1970s. Like those revolutionary watches, the unique design and materials of the “Laureus Sport for Good” edition will appeal to a younger generation of collectors.
The Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good” (ref. IW328101) is available now at IWC boutiques, authorized retail partners, or online via IWC’s website.
Limited to 750 pieces, the Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good” is priced at $6,250. For more information, visit the IWC website.
(Images © IWC Schaffhausen)