Flight of the pilot
IWC Schaffhausen’s museum curator David Seyffer seems perfect for his current role. His esoteric interests in judo, music and philosophy is matched by a mastery of languages ranging from German, English and Spanish, to Latin and old Greek. His career timeline also reveals a stately progression as a historian at Daimler Chrysler, and researcher at the University of Stuttgart.
In almost a decade at IWC, Seyffer discovered reams of information in the company archives. Of particular interest in the period circa 1930 was Ernst Jakob Homberger’s acquisition of the holdings of his brother-in-law and famed Swiss psychotherapist C.G. Jung. Around the same time, the sons of Homberger were sent to the best universities in Britain to be trained as pilots. When the sons eventually returned to Switzerland, they requested for pilot watches from their father – who duly obliged.
The recent issue of pilot watches by IWC Schaffhausen follow in that same lineage as its predecessors. A particular highlight is the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch, a recall of the famous 52mm Big Pilot Watch of 1940. For this year, two case sizes of the hand-wound Big Pilot timepiece are proposed; a 48mm (Ref IW510301; RM60,500) and 55mm (Ref IW510401; RM66,700). The latter is available in a limited run of 100 pieces, with sandblasted titanium giving the entire timepiece a weight of 150 grammes, lighter than its 1940 ancestor that was all of 183 grammes in stainless steel. Both of the 2016 novelties are also equipped with a friction clutch to prevent over-winding, while brown calfskin is the material of choice for the strap, attached to the spring bar with the exact same design of double rivets as it was in the historical pieces.