Christian Knoop, is the MVP and Creative Director of IWC Schaffhausen. And I’ve had the honour (and immense pleasure) of wearing, in this gentleman’s presence, all of the Swiss brand’s new Pilot’s prototypes within their most natural environment: the Aviation Museum of Air Force Center Dübendorf. That was right after my visit to the IWC headquarters in Schaffhausen, the previous day.
How does it feel to be the first woman worldwide to try them on, prior to their world debut at the #SIHH2016? Amelia Earhart alert, I’m telling you.
[And, of course, I wasn’t alone in this adventure – where the past meets the future. I had two partners in crime with me, my sleek Volvo XC60 and a heroic Junkers Ju-52 old-timer.]
Let’s start, then. “Tower, this is Maverick, requesting a fly by”.
About the brand new IWC Pilot’s Collection
IWC has been quite busy over the last few years updating all of its loved lines, including my beloved Portofino and Portuguieser collections. And last year the brand even presented a full lineup of eight (gorgeous, if I may add) diver’s watches.
For 2016, IWC introduces a massive undertaking, since it has revamped, refreshed, and added to its already popular collection of pilot’s watches. This most famous of this Swiss brand’s timepieces first came to the collection in about in 1936.
The new Pilot’s Watch line ranges from the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch offered in both 48 and 55 mm sizes to a new Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII and the brand-new Pilot’s Watch Automatic in a 36 mm size – perfect for both women and men. And this collection of more than 20 individual timepieces includes something for everyone in a large range of sizes, complications, and case materials ranging from stainless steel to gold.
My three absolute favourites among them:
- the BIG PILOT’S WATCH ANNUAL CALENDAR EDITION “LE PETIT PRINCE”
- the BIG PILOT’S WATCH PERPETUAL CALENDAR EDITION “ANTOINE DE SAINT EXUPÉRY”, and
- the PILOT’S WATCH MARK XVIII TOP GUN MIRAMAR
And let me tell you one thing: with these watches, IWC has returned to the pure, function-driven pilots watches of years past, while keeping in sight the future, almost daring it.
About the Aviation Museum
The Air Force Center Dübendorf & JU-AIR is located just north east of Zürich. And there is the Swiss Aviation Museum that displays around 40 aircrafts that have been used by the Swiss Air Force. Among them, a Junkers Ju-52 in full flying condition, plus a World War II P-51 Mustang.
The history of Swiss military aviation and defense aircraft literally comes to life here and one can see how fast technology has changed, from the wooden biplane to the interceptors flying at sonic speed. And when you stand between the machines, sit in the cockpit of a Pilatus P-3 flight simulator or in a Boeing-737, you are carried back in time to an era when each flight was an exciting adventure.
All in all, it’s a fantastic space, very well designed, and not just for aviation fans. Being a history lover, I absolutely enjoyed every minute spent there. Especially because of getting that close to Aunt Ju, that masterpiece of an aircraft, you can see on some of the images. See, based at the Air Force Center Dübendorf is also JU-AIR that has given many people the opportunity to enjoy unique flying experiences on board its four Junkers Ju-52 old-timer airplanes since 1983.And, by the way, once within the premises, one could also try the 747-300 “Airforce one” Flight Simulator, available, as I was told, beginning of 2017. That will be the largest flight simulator ever built – within an original cockpit.
[All images shot with my Olympus Pen EPL-7.]