A luxury Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen unveiled the Big Pilot’s Watch Shock Absorber XPL, the first watch to feature the brand’s patented new shock absorber system. Developed after an 8-year engineering journey, the SPRIN-g PROTECT system is based on a cantilever spring that hangs the movement inside the case. Thanks to its perfect form and the use of Bulk Metallic Glass (BMG), the spring protects the movement against the g-forces generated during impacts on the watch. A protected movement has survived accelerations in excess of 30,000 g. The XPL in the name of the timepiece stands for “experimental” and refers to the IWC Experimental engineering division.
The spring inside the Big Pilot’s Watch Shock Absorber XPL has been designed to evenly spread the stress across its length and width. A sophisticated manufacturing process makes Bulk Metallic Glass more elastic than conventional metals. An ultralightweight titanium casing ring lowers the mass that the shock absorber must hold. A unique crown system with a winding stem allows the movement to displace independently of the case. The IWCmanufactured 32115 calibre used for this watch is a custom-made lightweight construction. Components like the base plate are made from a high-tech aluminium alloy used in the aerospace sector. The bidirectional pawl winding system builds up a power reserve of 120 hours.
The case geometry is inspired by the iconic shape of the Big Pilot’s design but is given a futuristic surface treatment. The case is made of Ceratanium®, an IWC-developed material based on a proprietary titanium alloy. It is as light and robust as titanium but at the same time similarly hard and scratch resistant as ceramic. The components are milled from bars and fired at high temperatures in a kiln. The surface assumes the characteristics of ceramics and gets its unique matte black finish. The stealthy black design is complemented with a black dial, a technical anti-reflective coating on the front glass, and a black rubber strap with leather inlay.
The annual production of the Big Pilot‘s Watch Shock Absorber XPL will be limited to 10 pieces per year and 30 pieces in total.