IWC Introduces the Pilot’s Watch Laureus Edition 2021 in Blue CeramicUpgraded for a good cause.
Long an annual tradition for IWC – now in its 15th consecutive year in fact – the “Laureus Sport for Good” edition is back once again in its usual blue livery that echoes the emblem of the eponymous charity with the IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition ‘Laureus Sport for Good’.
Each annual Laureus edition sees IWC facelift one of its watches, from the classical Portofino to the sporty Pilot’s Watch, typically in a simple fashion with the addition of a blue dial – good enough but not quite great. This year the brand is doing something a bit more special with its entry-level aviator’s watch, which gets a blue ceramic case in a first for the brand.
As is typical of the IWC Pilot’s Watch, the new Laureus edition is simple, coherent and appealing. But it offers a bit more with the tone-on-tone case and dial, making it slightly more special than the standard Pilot’s Watches, or even past Laureus editions.
Though IWC used a similar formula for the Laureus edition of two years ago – that had a polished, black ceramic case instead – the latest edition is tangibly better. For one, a blue ceramic case is rare, having been utilised by only a handful of watchmakers, and it also looks pretty cool.
At the same time, the watch has been upgraded in technical terms. It houses the new, five-day cal. 32111, which is derived from the cal. 32115 first seen in the ultra-shock resistance Big Pilot XPL.
Both are in turn modified versions of the cal. 32110 that IWC launched two years ago in the base-model Spitfire. The cal. 32111, for instance, has been reworked to increase the power reserve from three to five days.
IWC’s 32000 family of movements is in turn derived from the workhorse movement developed by Valfleurier, the movement maker owned by Richemont, but customised and upgraded for IWC. Another calibre from the same base is the Cartier 1847 MC, which is visible more elementary in its construction and finish, while also having a shorter power reserve.
The Laureus edition also sees its water resistance is increased from the 60 m of the standard Pilot’s Watch to 100 m, an uncommon move in the watch industry – the new Omega Moonwatch retains its 50 m water resistance, for instance, despite a thorough revamp – but a useful upgrade, since water resistance deteriorates over time as rubber gaskets age.
Add to that the fact that this edition will number only half as many watches as the previous edition in black ceramic, and the new Laureus is a better buy, quite a good one in fact. Priced at CHF6,900, it costs around 10% more than the regular-production Top Gun edition in black ceramic. That’s still a substantials sum for a workmanlike, entry-level model, but reasonable enough given the specs and materials, especially considering it helps support a good cause.
That said, the watch does have a weakness: the case size. It’s a large 41 mm, though it will look smaller due to the dark case and dial. But it’s still a shortcoming, particularly from a design perspective, as the date window now sits too far from the edge of the dial, breaking the circle formed by the Arabic numerals. It’s even more pronounced because the date disc is in white. A smaller case would have helped in avoiding that, or failing that, removing the date altogether.
An interesting back
Founded by Daimler and IWC’s parent, Richemont, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation brings sport to disadvantaged youth around the world, and currently runs more than 250 programmes in over 50 countries.
Each year IWC organises a drawing competition open to children who take part in Laureus programmes. They submissions are then shortlisted by IWC, with the winner being decided by a public vote on the Laureus website.
Last year’s winner was Melissa Mejía Castilla, a 12-year-old from Columbia. Titled Vivir en Armonía – “living in peace” in Spanish – her drawing depicts with 10 people dressed in different colours with their arms around each others’ shoulders around a warm campfire.
Her drawing is reproduced on the case back, as is tradition for the Laureus edition. It’s rendered in two shades of grey, so its backstory will only be known to insiders.
Key Facts and Price
IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition ‘Laureus Sport for Good’
Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 11.4 mm
Material: Blue ceramic
Water resistance: 100 m
Movement: Cal. 32111
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 120 hours
Strap: Blue rubber with leather inlay
Limited edition: 750 watches
Availability: Now at IWC boutiques, online store, as well as retailers
For more, visit IWC.com.
Correction September 2, 2021: The cal. 32111 is based on a Valfleurier calibre and not the ETA 2892 as stated in an earlier version of the article.Back to top.