Tuesday, April 2, 2013

IWC Pilot's Ref. 3254-01 The Jubilee Fliegeruhr

IWC Schaffhausen Fliegeruhr Ref.3254
The Fliegeruhr vintage Pilot's Reference IW3254-01 is one of the 6 models produced to celebrate 140 years of the IWC Company, formed in 1886. The very first IW3524 hit the market towards the end of 2008 and came in two versions: a standard stainless steel model 3254-01; and limited and numbered platinum model 3254-05 of 500 pcs run. Interestingly, the limited set of all six legendary Jubilee models in platinum were also available for a mere $241,000.

The Fliegeruhr is the re-make of the 1938 ‘military pilots’ issue in a 44mm steel case with a bi-directional pilot bezel. The function of the bezel is rather utilitarian and simplified to basic 'time marker' purposes. The accent is purposely directed to the black matte 'military' dial with luminescent Arabic numerals and matching hands.

The sapphire crystal with antireflective coating is almost flat – making telling the time under bright light easy. This is one detail where IWC effortlessly combines a vintage feel and look with modern technology.

For a watchmaker -as well as a passionate watch enthusiast - the feast for eyes comes from the 'under' side: the finely finished in-house movement Cal 98300 looks, feels and performs just as one would expect form IWC. The 18 Jewels manual wind movement is adjusted to 5 positions. The low beat movement [18,000 bph] is robust and reliable yet loaded with details to impress: extended regulator for precision time adjustment, an elegant ratchet click spring and "a turtle neck' click for very smooth winding and rubies encapsulated in gold setting - just to mention a few.

To their credit, unlike other Swiss makers, IWC correctly rates water resistance in bars, not in meters. While the pilots watches are not really designed to be submerged, a 6 bar rating is plenty to keep the moister, rain and splashes out of the movement.
There is hardly anything not to like with the IW3254-01. However, if I am allowed to be overly picky, I would like to see another set of casing clamps which would hold the case ring firmly in position. This function is currently performed by the case back itself.
"You are now the owner of a beautiful new example of IWC tradition" is IWC’s message to the Pilot's owner. And I can't agree more - combining an historical look and importance with the new in-house approach, featuring the best qualities of the brand, is something worth celebrating.
Whether you are a professional pilot looking for a retro look, or someone who wears a suit all day long or who even someone who wears jeans and a shirt, IW3254-01 is one of those rare pieces which would blend equally well with your attire. Satisfaction guaranteed!

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