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The Timeless Appeal Of Bronze in Two Special IWC Pilot Spitfire Watches

November 24, 2023 5 min read

The Timeless Appeal Of Bronze in Two Special IWC Pilot Spitfire Watches

Like any other lifestyle segment, the watchmaking industry is prone to regular comebacks in style and fashion. That comes as no surprise given its centuries-long history and an ever-increasing number of avid consumers. One of the latest examples is the return of bronze to the big scene.

A quarter of a century since the first ever bronze watch appeared on the scene, we are witnessing a returning trend of using bronze as a featured case material. That has not happened accidentally, of course. And it is not a short-lived fuss since the popularity of bronze watches has constantly risen for over a decade.

There are a number of reasons why this ancient material has taken the horology scene by storm. On this occasion, we'll discuss all of them and go into detail about two amazing IWC embodiments of everything bronze watches stand for - the IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Bronze and the IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601

Timeless masculine elegance all the way through - LEFT: IWC Big Pilot Spitfire IW503601 with MiLTAT Canvas Dark Grey Strap and RIGHT: IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph with MiLTAT Nylon Khaki Watch Band

 

Why is bronze so appealing to watchmakers and watch lovers alike?

Now, bronze is a special gem. An alloy existing in many different versions used for over six millennia must have plenty of aces up its sleeve. Those that stand out when it comes to watchmakers and watch lovers alike are durability and chameleon-like appearance, above everything else bronze entails.

Bronze watches are built to last. But, at the same time, they will constantly change their appearance. The secret to that lies in the fact that bronze oxidizes in time, and it changes uniquely, heavily influenced by the skin alkalinity of its owner and the environmental conditions he or she lives in. Moreover, they're genuine chameleons at home in virtually any style and occasion.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601

Military-style looks potential of IWC Spitfires put to a whole new level - LEFT: IWC Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601 paired with The AAF OD-41 Strap by HAVESTON, RIGHT: IWC Spitfire Chronograph paired with Q.R. Military Green Sailcloth Strap with leather lining

Those features make bronze watches an excellent choice for everyone who likes having a single watch for all occasions and, simultaneously, a tear-and-wear one that gradually changes its appearance. Another great thing about bronze is that it can easily be returned to its original state, regardless of how it changed over time.

Given the constantly rising number of sold bronze watches, watch lovers worldwide warmly welcomed such features. Due to that, the collection of bronze watches available steadily increases.

Further on, we'll discuss two unique IWC gems that take a special place in the bronze family. Before we move to a detailed review of the individual characteristics of the featured IWC bronze pair, let's briefly point out several important things related to bronze IWC uses for their watches.

 

A Special Kind of Bronze IWC Uses

As mentioned in the beginning, bronze is a special alloy whose composition can vary significantly. IWC uses a carefully selected one to produce their watches - aluminum bronze. The reason is it's as much as 50 percent harder than regular bronze, approaching the hardness of stainless steel. On top of that, it is significantly less allergenic, practically annulling issues users with sensitive skin may experience when wearing other types of bronze alloy.

Now, for our stars of the day, the Spitfire Chronograph and Perpetual Calendar, respectively.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601

Full-force business aesthetics of - LEFT: IWC Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601 and RIGHT: IWC Spitfire Chronograph, both enforced by MiLTAT Artisan Italian Handmade Leather Strap

 

IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Bronze

Like them or not, one thing is undeniable: bronze watches are stunners. This IWC bronze pilot chronograph is a love-at-first-sight. The timeless elegance of its bronze case combined with a green dial is an aesthetic pleasure par excellence. In addition, the Spitfire cockpit-inspired physical appeal is a magnet to all vintage-looking watches, particularly those who love pilot watches that radiate a unique patina vibe. Now, what's pumping under the hood of this beauty?

It's another premier feature for IWC Pilot's Chronographs: first-time use of a movement from IWC's 69000 caliber family. Namely, this Spitfire Bronze Chronograph is powered by a 69380 Calibre in-house built IWC movement.  The automatic, self-winding movement boasts a 46-hour Power Reserve, housed in a 41mm diameter, 15.3mm, and 0.6 bar/60meter water-resistant bronze case with a fixed bezel.

IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Bronze

Another elegant business-looking side of the IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph in combo with Black Griffon Handcrafted Italian Leather Strap

IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Bronze

Casual Vibe of IWC Spitfire Chronograph complemented by MiLTAT RAF N7 3-D Military Grey Woven Nylon Strap

IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Bronze features three subdials, a convex sapphire crystal glass with an anti-reflective coating on both sides. Finally, it comes with small hacking seconds and hours, minutes, and seconds chronograph functions.

 

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601

Just when we thought nothing could surprise us regarding IWC perpetual calendar watches, here comes the first-ever bronze version in all its glory. A dominant 46.2mm diameter case of 15.4mm height radiates masculinity. However, being so craftily and elegantly designed, it sits firmly on the wrist and is very comfortable to wear.

IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Bronze pairs 22mm Orange Firewave FKM rubber watch strap by Strapcode

With this FIREWAVE FKM rubber strap in a vibrant Burnt Orange, the IWC Bronze Perpetual Calendar Spitfire takes on an unexpected pop of color and sporty charm.

IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Bronze pairs 22mm Ash Green Firewave FKM rubber watch strap by Strapcode

Paired with a subtle Ash Green FIREWAVE strap, the IWC Bronze Perpetual Calendar Spitfire takes on a more earthy aesthetic. The natural tone accentuates the watch's rugged refinement.

This bronze perpetual calendar Spitfire is powered by an automatic, self-winding 52615 Calibre, an in-house movement with a 168-hour Power Reserve. The dark green dial is packed with features and yet perfectly readable. It's protected by a convex Sapphire crystal glass with an anti-reflective coating on both sides. There are four subdials, and the perpetual calendar is displayed in date, day, month, and year digits, complemented with perpetual moon phases for both hemispheres.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601

Casual vibe of IWC Big Pilot Spitfire IW503601 aided by MiLTAT Zulu Nylon, Tan Brown Strap

The list of features for this IWC Big Pilot Spitfire is completed by a 6-bar water resistance, a screw-in crown, and a see-through Sapphire crystal glass back. The icing on the cake is that this stunner is limited to only 250 pieces. Given all the listed features, it is no wonder this IWC Big Pilot Spitfire has been one of the most sought-after bronze watches ever since its release and instantly became a collector's item.

 

Before conclusion

Before we wrap it up, let's discuss one question that often arises when IWC watches are concerned: Why are IWC watches so expensive, and are they worth it? To shed some light on the first part of the question, there are three significant reasons: impeccable craftsmanship, the quality and durability of materials used, and the ravishing aesthetics. The answer to whether they are worth it depends, if not solely, then primarily, on the depth of the future owner's pocket and how willing they are to invest in an individual watch.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601

The vintage appeal of Spitfires yields an utterly great combo with modern-style rubber straps. Right: IWC Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601 and Black FKM rubber watch strap, Left: IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph and White Raised Center FKM Rubber Strap

 

In summary

In the end, bronze watches speak for themselves. They are special-looking, and their patina vibe is unique in every way, directly impacted by their owner's physicality and living environment. The two watches featured here, the IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Bronze and the IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Spitfire IW503601, are shiny examples of what bronze watches are all about.

 

Written by S.K., images by Toni

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