A week with IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire (Reference IW326802)

by Andy Green

Released earlier this year at SIHH 2019, IWC’s latest collection of Spitfire pilots watches all feature for the first – time in-house manufactured calibres. With seven new references ranging from simple time-only functions, all the way to perpetual calendars, 2019 marked a significant year for the brand. Today, we’re taking a look at the IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire, in bronze.

Just a glance at the IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire, and there’s no mistaking this bronze watches heritage, which draws inspiration from the original IWC Mark 11- a definitive Pilot’s watch, with legitimate military provenance.

First Impressions

If you’re on the hunt for a unique take on the iconic Pilot’s watch and want an in-house movement with impressive power-reserve, look no further. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire is a robust and well-proportioned take on the quintessential military classic.

The Case

The sandblasted bronze case serves up an interesting texture, and attractive take on bronze. The case is warm with a golden sheen, especially under sunlight, where it becomes quick playful with the light. As you might expect, the bronze case is designed to patina over time, and develop a distinctive look reflecting the owner’s wear pattern. The press piece provided was well worn, having already developed its own unique patina. And being bronze, after just a few weeks of wear, you’ll begin to notice the uniqueness and individuality present itself. The steel caseback features an engraved Spitfire – a reminder of the timepieces namesake.

At 39mm in diameter and 10.6mm in height, the Bronze Automatic Spitfire sits neatly on the wrist. Although a little long in the lugs, it does wear slightly larger than you’d expect but is by no means obtrusive. IWC proudly highlight the smaller case as a demonstration of the brand has taken note of market shifts towards smaller, more wearable timepieces. Having seen plenty of bronze watches fallen victim to impracticable large cases, it’s fantastic to see IWC take note.

Powering the Bronze Automatic Spitfire is IWC’s new in-house manufactured movement, the 32110 calibre. Offering up 72 hours of power reserve, IWC have designed the Calibre Family 32000 to be rugged and reliable. By using silicon components for the first time on the escape wheel and pallet level, IWC has increased overall wear-resistance and improving the movement’s longevity.

Should you find yourself frequenting a cockpit, you’ll also be pleased to know that the Bronze Automatic Spitfire also has a soft-iron inner case for protection from magnetic fields.

The Dial & Hands

The dial and large hands are legible thanks to the sapphire glass crystal with anti-reflective coating on either side, ensuring utmost clarity. The Red ‘SPITFIRE’ text reminds you that this is a special watch, and serves up a subtle pop of colour on the otherwise low-key dial.

The real standout feature of the Bronze Spitfire Automatic is the olive green dial, which at times is a dark forest green, at others a much brighter green. Even in full sun, the dial maintains its vibrancy, appearing to have a matt finish. The dial has a mixture of both white and cream luminescence which pairs nicely with the warm bronze case.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the increasing popularity of bronze watches with green dials. However, the IWC Spitfire Automatic in Bronze is one of the best executions of the popular combination that we’ve seen.

The brown calfskin strap complements the warm green dial and brings earthy tones to the party. The strap is comfortable, and tapers down from 20mm between the lugs, before meeting the bronze buckle. It’s a great option for colder months, but come summer, I’ve got a feeling that the Spitfire would take nicely to fabric strap, especially given the 6 bar water resistance.

Final thoughts

Having not been a massive fan of bronze watches in the past, I was genuinely surprised how attached I became to this timepiece over the several weeks it was in my care. The fun, no-fuss and robust design make for an attractive package. Remembering the in-house movement, you’re getting a Pilot watch with a whole lot of character for the money.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire Specification

Case Diameter : 39.0 mm case and a thickness of 10.6 mm
Dial: Green dial with luminescence
Case: Bronze case, Sapphire glass, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Movement: 32110 Calibre
Power Reserve: Approx 72 hours
Functions: Hours and minutes with central hacking seconds in the centre. Date indication at 3 o’clock. 
Water Resistance: 6 ATM

Australian Retail Pricing : $7,500.00

Availability : Available now 

Local Authorised Dealers :

  • Brisbane – The Hour Glass
  • Melbourne – IWC Boutique, Kennedy ,Watches of Switzerland and Anton Jewellery
  • Sydney – Gregory Jewellers , Swiss Concept, Watches of Switzerland and The Hour Glass
  • Perth – Kennedy Crown and Watches of Switzerland

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