The IW379108 watch was introduced in 2012 in a red gold case and has remained virtually identical since then. A steel version was presented in 2015, and the only new feature in the model that IWC introduced in 2016 is the brown calfskin strap by Santoni, with its orange lining.
The digital date and month display is practical, very legible, and a good match to the overall pilot’s watch aesthetic. It has four discs that at certain moments move all together at the same time, and to achieve this, the movement stores a reserve of energy that is used at the end of each month when the date and month discs advance, and likewise at the end of the year when the leap year disc also moves.
The watch takes account of the different length of February in leap years, and it will only need adjustment in 2100 which would normally be a leap year but, to fine-tune the earth’s calendar, will in fact have a 28-day February. If the watch stops, the calendar can be set using the crown.
One of the nicest features of this watch is the analogue chronograph display on the top subdial, that displays elapsed minutes and hours in the most natural, easiest-to-read way possible. Chronograph seconds are shown by the customary central second hand. The chronograph has the flyback function, so that the chronograph can be reset to zero without having to stop it first.
The watch is powered by the in-house self-winding 89801 movement, with 474 components and a power reserve of 68 hours. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz). The oscillating weight is in the shape of a Spitfire, visible through the sapphire caseback. The watch has the stop-seconds function for precision time-setting. The stainless steel case is 46 mm in diameter and 17.5 mm thick, water resistance 6 bar.
Price and reference
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Spitfire, reference IW379108, costs €33,000 incl. tax, £23,950 incl. VAT. Available from April 2016.