In the wonderful world of haute horlogerie, it’s often presumed that the most complex, most meticulous of timepieces should be married with a precious metal case; surely a specimen with such high-effort movements – with a price to match – should likewise be matched with a material worthy of its stature. That said, it’s time to reconsider stainless steel, which, surprisingly, can offer something more premium materials like gold or platinum just can’t complete with: sheer utility and practicality – a fact perhaps only a certain breed of watch collectors, who value design and movement above all else, can appreciate.
For for the benefit of such aficionados, Swiss IWC is putting a new spin on a modern classic: its Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month – originally released in a 18k red-gold case in 2012 – will soon be re-introduced in a sleek, steel version. The move makes sense: it is, after all, a practical, no-nonsense sport watch inspired by vintage pilot watches.
Whether you’re a fan of the new case or not, the beauty and exactitude of the Spitfire speaks for itself. The watch frames a dial which offers the unique layout of IWC’s house-own caliber 89801 automatic movement. The mechanism combines indication of the time with a 12-hour flyback chronograph as well as a perpetual calendar. As the name of the watch suggests, the perpetual calendar complication offers indication of the date and month via digital windows that display the information on discs. This offers enhanced legibility as well as a welcome symmetry to the dial. The leap-year indicator for the perpetual calendar is discreetly contained within the lower running seconds subsidiary dial. With 68 hours of power reserve, the movement can be observed through the sapphire crystal display window on the rear of the case. Note the “airplane-inspired” design on the automatic rotor.
On the wrist, the IWC Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month watch sits at a bold 46mm wide and impressive 17.5mm thickness. By means a small watch, but it does come from a brand with a big character.
As a non-limited edition model, this watch combines IWC’s sense of refined style, talent at producing masculine sport watches and in-house ability to develop complicated mechanical movements – a piece worthy of any collection worth it’s salt.