IWC – the International Watch Company – is a luxury watch brand with an impressive 140-year history. It was founded in Switzerland in 1868 by Florentine Ariosto Jones, an American watchmaker from Boston. As the director of what was at the time the largest watchmaking company in the U.S., he had a vision of bringing two very different worlds together in order to create sophisticated watches for the U.S. market: the undeniable skill of Swiss craftsmen along with modern American technology. Over the decades, the company grew and continued to innovate, producing a long list of iconic watches, from the Portuguese series to the world’s first digital watches and the revolutionary titanium bracelets. For 2016, the company plans to release two limited-edition watches, both based on the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch that was designed and produced for the military in the 1940s. The new IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage 55 and 48 pay homage to the original and feature a few modern touches as well. The 55 offers a more faithful interpretation of the vintage model with the same 55 mm diameter, but just like the 48 model, it is thinner and more lightweight. Both watches are water resistant to 60 meters and come with a Faraday cage that enhances the magnetic resistance and protects them from radio frequency interference and electrical fields. In terms of design, the spirit of the 1940s watch is kept intact, with some contemporary details adding unique style. There’s the lightweight titanium case with a sandblasted finish, a subsidiary seconds dial on the 55 and a date display on the 48, with the latter also featuring a small viewing port at the back. The black and beige tones along with the delicate blue accents on the hands beautifully complement the brown leather straps adorned with retro-style rivets. Both the IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage 55 and 48 will be limited-edition, produced in 100 and 1000 pieces respectively. Admirers of the brand and fans of the original watch can get a closer look at the two models at the SIHH 2016 in Geneva.

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