Georges Kern, the long-term head of IWC, left his position at Richemont as the CEO of Breitling when some people regarded it as the supremacy of two Swiss brands in watchmaking The latest move in the historical duel. We decided to review the Breitling Navitimer replica and the IWC Pilot replica side by side, they are both great tool watches but offer something very different. Therefore, if you are wondering which one is best for you, we hope this review helps you sort through what you really want from an aviation watch. Both brands base their own unique designs on their long traditions and histories. In the case of IWC, the company relies heavily on its Big Pilot’s Watch replica from 1940, which it, and other companies like A. Lange & Söhne, supplied to the German Air Force.
Breitling Navitimer Replica
The replica Breitling Navitimer is instantly recognisable, though we can no longer say unique, not if you have seen the Sinn 903. The reason being that in the 70’s Breitling was going through a very difficult moment in their business.
Quartz watches were gaining traction during that time, as they were much cheaper than mechanical watches and the popularity hit Breitling’s sales hard. The company had to sell off a lot of their intellectual property, including the rights to designs of the Breitling Navitimer replica.
The guy who brought it was a German pilot called Helmut Sinn, who then went on to produce the Sinn 903, which is effectively a Breitling Navitimer replica built by a different company. It has slightly different features of course, it is not exactly the same, but when you compare the watches side by side, you will notice how similar they are.
You might be wondering, should I buy a watch that is just a copy of another I can buy for less money? We do not think the Sinn should take anything away from the Navitimer. For one thing, the Navitimer is still the original version. For another, the Navitimer’s movement is far superior, with a 70-hour power reserve and a smoother chronograph operation.
One of the legendary aviator watch models, the Breitling Navitimer replica watch is also one of the brand’s best sellers. The Navitimer is a luxury watch disguised as a piece of mechanical art. Part of the standard kit in many Air Forces around the world, the Navitimer is known for functionality, reliability, and good looks. The Navitimer is so trusted by pilots that it became the official watch of the AOPA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Older models of Navitimer replica watch have a shield with wings instead of the Flying B logo.
On the wrist
Current versions of Navitimer are available in stainless steel, gold and steel with leather straps. The case diameter ranges from 42 mm to 46 mm for the classic edition and 48 mm for the GMT edition. Navitimer is iconic, whether vintage versions or modern, and works best for those with a commanding presence and large stature.
Who wears it best?
As well as devoted fans, Breitling also cultivates brand ambassadors that range from sports starts to musicians and adventure seekers. John Travolta is a devoted Navitimer fan and owns several editions, and he is famously a pilot as well as an actor, so he probably uses the functionality of the watch. Gordon Ramsay and James Martin, both celebrity chefs, also sport the Navitimer replica watch on their wrists. Funnyman John Lovitz and basketball star Rajon Rondo are also known to wear the Navitimer proudly and often.
IWC Big Pilot Replica
IWC Pilot stands for International Watch Company, and they do business under the name IWC Schaffhausen. A luxury Swiss watch manufacturer, IWC celebrated their 150th birthday in 2018 and it is quite impressive to realize that the company was founded during the time of Abraham Lincoln and the end of the American Civil war. The replica IWC Pilot model was introduced in the 1970’s and was commissioned by the German government for their military pilots to wear. The German pilots requested large watches, which is the reason the vintage pilot watch cases are 55 mm in diameter.
There is a great episode from Hodinkee that takes you through some of the main IWC Pilot replica watches straight from John Mayer’s collection, and at 8 minutes, 15 seconds you will see the vintage 55 mm pilot watch we are talking about. A stunning piece, stripped down, very practical, the only real design feature being a blue steel hand, which was not added for design but instead to protect the watch from potential corrosion.
The IWC Pilot replica watch is a very good choice if you like simple, functional design in your luxury watches. Born in 1936, the first IWC Pilot replica watch was produced with the intention of pleasing the civil aviation market. The first model was robust, resistant to extreme temperatures and was anti-magnetic.
Throughout its rich history, the IWC Pilot watch added features and function as technological advancements and market demand increased. Notably, the first Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph replica from IWC debuted in 1992 and was the first double for the brand. Other notable models include the Mark XII, the UTC, the Spitfire and, of course, the iconic Big Pilot.
Some of the newer models have started to move away from the resemblance to aircraft instrument panels, which you can read about in John Mayer’s open letter to IWC, but if you go for the vintage models then you will be better off buying a classic watch that has maintained excellent appeal and value.
Taking flight with their first pilot watch in 1936 and eventually supplying Britain’s Royal Airforce as well as Germany’s Luftwaffe, IWC has established themselves as a cockpit must-have as well as a stylish luxury timepiece. With a commandingly large crown and face resembling aviation instrument panels, the IWC Pilot was dramatically overhauled in 2016 to feature a larger diameter, simplified time and date display for increased legibility.
On the wrist
Featuring a commanding presence with a simplified display and oversized dial, the IWC Pilot in both vintage and modern editions belongs on an aviator’s wrist as much as it belongs in the boardroom. Much simpler looking than the Breitling Navitimer, the IWC Pilot replica watch has a minimalist design, which is easier to read at a glance. An attractive silver finish available with metal or alligator leather band can be found in multiple colours. The smaller diameter makes it more wearable than the Navitimer and the buckle on the strap features a squared-off design that is quite smart.
Who wears it best?
Perhaps the most famous IWC fan is Formula 1’s British sensation Lewis Hamilton, who owns a Big Pilot. Actor Sterling K. Brown also favours the IWC Pilot replica watch in the Antoine De Saint Exupéry edition while Tom Cruise owns several IWC Pilot editions. Of course, musician John Mayer, mentioned previously, is a big fan with a large collection of IWC replica watches including several Pilot models.
IWC and Breitling interpret the pilots’ watch in different ways. IWC uses an iconic model from its past and rolls out a homogeneous collection of pilots’ replica watches with unmistakable features. Different colors and materials transform the lines and push them in different directions for an elegant or military look.
Breitling chooses another path. This brand continues to offer and produce its pilots’ replica watch icon, the Navitimer replica watch. Variations are offered with special editions in which the company creates a feeling of greater elegance or modernity through its use of different colors and materials. Breitling has also created collections that are inspired by contemporary or military designs. Bracelets and straps also provide numerous possibilities to modify the design. More information, please visit our latest replica watches listing, we are the largest and most reliable replica of luxury watches store, copy watches such as Rolex, Patek Phillippe, Panerai, Cartier, Hublot, IWC, Tag Heuer and more.