Limited editions and collaborations are no new things these days, with one seeming to pop up nearly every time you look at the news and for this IWC Pilot for The Rake and Revolution is no different. Well, sort of.
It is often the case that collectors lament the disparity between what they are looking for and what brands ‘think’ they want, often resulting in watches that end up ultimately as failures. That being said, once in a while you do get pieces that really shine, and with this IWC Pilot, I’d have to say that it is certainly the case.
It’s quite simple really, of all the times new models have been successful, it has always come down to the attention to detail. When Wei Koh, the founder of The Rake and Revolution Magazine wanted to create a special piece from his brand, he worked with IWC to make sure that every detail was executed well.
IWC’s rich history producing military timepieces acted as the starting point, with this utilitarian aesthetic really forming the backbone of the brand’s design language today. Specifically, the Mk 11, issued to the British Royal Air Force in the late ’40s and early ’50s was the main inspiration behind this Pilot watch. The Mk 11 is perhaps the most iconic military watch that IWC has ever produced and despite a few re-editions, this specific model is the one to get.
The most amazing thing about this watch is that they chose to go against the market, and size it at 36mm, making it faithful to the original sizing of the Mk 11. Though it might seem small to some, the long lugs really add presence to the feel of the watch and wears larger overall. Without wanting it to be just another reissue, Wei and IWC decided to use a British Racing Green dial with a bronze case and I must say, the combined colors really work well.
On top of this, they even went so far as to commission George Cleverly, one of England’s most esteemed shoemakers to produce the NATO straps. The material? Russian reindeer hide that was salvaged from a shipwreck in 1786. Yup, even the strap is special, and over 200 years old.
One nice thing about bronze watches is that it’ll develop a patina over time as it oxidizes. This oxidation can be removed easily, but it is part of the joy of a watch like this. Paired with the reindeer strap from George Cleverly, and you get a seriously rugged watch that is also special, with only 150 pieces made. I can confidently say that the team at IWC and the Rake/Revolution Magazine really knocked this one out of the park.