The largest number of new watch releases this year at the SIHH 2016, came without a doubt from IWC. Not only the brand redesigned some of their most iconic watches within the Pilot's collection, but they also presented a watch that is definitely worth talking about. The new IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph ref. IW395001, is the first worldtimer in the world, that permits the user to set a new time zone using just the bezel. The hour hand, 24-hour display and the date also move automatically. No other watch manufacturer has ever succeeded in making a world time watch that is so simple, practical and elegant. The new IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph ref. IW395001 features a stainless-steel case measuring 45 mm in diameter and 16.5 mm in thickness, a black dial and black calfskin strap by Santoni with a stainless-steel folding clasp. Furthermore, this new watch is the only watch that enables the user to set another time zone together with the date and 24-hour hand, in a single movement.
All you need to do is push the bezel down, turn it to the desired time zone and release. It’s as simple as that. The movement is conveyed synchronously 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 correctly, regardless of whether the watch is advanced or turned back, and whether the 24-hour hand passes midnight. The watch movement and the advance of the minute hand, however, are not affected, which has the advantage that the watch shows the correct time even after repeated functional tests. Press, rotate and release: setting the world time with a mechanical wristwatch could not be easier than with the city ring. And since only one time of day is shown, it is impossible to mix up the different zones. For example, if you wish to know whether you are calling your business associate in Tokyo or Mexico City during office hours or at night, you simply turn the city in question to the top of the dial and then back. The same thing applies to air travelers and pilots: no matter how often they change time zones, they can quickly show local time and then revert to home time.
For the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph, IWC’s engineers have combined and further developed a number of technologies. The city ring itself was adopted from the Worldtimer display: on the polished black ceramic rotating bezel are the names of 24 cities, from London via New York to Tokyo and Dubai, each representing one of the international time zones. Those countries with summer time are indicated on the rotating bezel by a small “S”. The inscription “UTC” below “London” shows the current Universal Time Coordinated. The sprung rotating bezel concept was first used for the Porsche Design Ocean 2000 in the 1980s. It ensures that the bezel rotates only when pushed down and is thus protected against inadvertent rotation. If you wish to set the watch to a new time zone, simply press down the city ring —the bezel— with thumb and index finger, turn the desired time zone to “12 o’clock” and release. It is important that pressure is exerted on two opposite sides. Only then can the lock be released smoothly and the bezel turn in both directions. When the ring is released, a spring ensures that it returns to its original position. This mechanism is an extremely effective means of ensuring that the time zone is not moved inadvertently. The detents on the rotating bezel ensure that it locks into precisely the desired position, or into the “S” necessary for showing summer time.
A system like the external/internal rotating bezel, now part of the IWC Aquatimer watch line, provided IWC’s engineers with a means of connecting the bezel with the gear train inside the watch. Rotating the city ring advances or turns back the white hour hand in one-hour steps and shows the time in the desired time zone. At the same time, the black and red 24-hour hand on the inner 24-hour ring shows whether it is night or day. Finally, should you cross the International Date Line, the date also advances or reverts by one day, depending on the direction in which the bezel moves. Since the hour wheel is connected directly to the 24-hour hand and the date advance, all the displays can only be moved at the same time. In other words, turning the city ring immediately sets three displays in motion. For connoisseurs, the world time watch has long been one of the most useful functions on the Pilot’s Watches. Now it is particularly easy to operate. The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph also solves the problem of summer time. It is often forgotten that not all time zones on the planet recognize summer time. There are countries that do not make the change. Some states in the southern hemisphere put their clocks back at precisely the time those in the northern half of the globe are putting theirs forward. If you wish to see what the time is in Rio with a conventional time zone watch, it is almost certain to be wrong. For this reason, the rotating bezel has a small “S” to indicate the names of cities that recognize summer time, such as London and New York. IWC Schaffhausen has been awarded a patent for this particular display function.
With its black city ring, dial and Santoni calfskin strap, the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph retains the colour coding of the classic Pilot’s Watch, the white displays providing a highly legible contrast. Thanks to the new IWC in-house automatic calibre 89760 —with 39 jewels and which provides a power reserve of 68 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph—, this model has an innovative display that provides the user with a fast, intuitive means of displaying stopped times between 1 minute and 12 hours. The hours and minutes recorded by the stopwatch can be read off on the totalizer at 12 o'clock —like a second watch within the watch— where both hours and minutes for the chronograph function are displayed. Stopped times up to 60 seconds are shown by the central stopwatch hand. The integrated flyback function allows wearers to return the running stopwatch hand to zero and to start another timing sequence immediately.
Engraved into the back of the stainless-steel case, which is water-resistant to 60 meters, is a depiction of a Junkers Ju 52, the aircraft which, in the 1930s, brought the world closer together. Back in those days, the aircraft was by far the most common civilian aircraft and was airborne in all continents. No wonder it has a place of honour on the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph.
The new IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph ref. IW395001 is equipped with a black calfskin strap by Santoni —with the traditional orange liner just like their shoes— and fitted with a stainless-steel folding clasp. The watch comes with a convex sapphire crystal that have been treated with anti-reflective coating on both sides for optimum readability.
On the wrist, the watch wears slightly smaller than its actual size but a little bit high on the wrist due to its thickness. The bezel is definitely an amazing part of this watch and the following pictures will show you how different can the bezel look depending on where the light is hitting it.
For the price, it really can't get much better. This is a watch that ticks all the boxes and one of the coolest and most practical watches released this year at the SIHH 2016 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève.
Sticker Price $11,900 USD. For more info on IWC click here.