A History of IWC and Breitling Pilots’ Watches

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A History of IWC and Breitling Pilots’ Watches

Post by koimaster » December 2nd 2020, 12:21am

When longtime IWC head honcho Georges Kern left his position at Richemont to become CEO of Breitling, some saw it as the latest salvo in the two Swiss brands’ historical duel for horological supremacy in the air. Here we explore in depth how both brands have made their marks on the history and evolution of pilots’ watches.

In contrast to dive watches, pilots’ watches do not have to meet any objective criteria. Good legibility under all light conditions is generally all that’s needed, and good design makes the watches what they are. A pilots’ watch looks like a pilots’ watch. But it’s precisely the design that shows the different approaches to pilots’ watches by IWC and Breitling. Both brands base their own unique designs on their long traditions and histories. In the case of IWC, the company relies heavily on its Big Pilot’s Watch from 1940, which it, and other companies like A. Lange & Söhne, supplied to the German Air Force.

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1946-2006

“Your heart was warm and happy

With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day and in every way

Now forever and ever after."
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