SpaceX meets Schaffhausen: a look at the four IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph “Inspiration4” watches

Watches flying in the world’s first universal orbital space mission are about to be auctioned to support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

When the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center’s 39A launch site on September 16, 2021, its manned dragon flexible capsule made history and became the first orbital space flight with ordinary citizens. .

Crew members Jared Isaacman, Sian Proctor, Hayley Arceneaux and Christopher Sembroski not only received astronaut wings that day, but also completed the fifth highest orbital space flight in history. Specifically, it achieved an orbital altitude of 364 miles, which is the highest orbital altitude since the space shuttle mission STS-103 in 1999.

The role of IWC
With the advent of privatized spaceflight, we face an interesting dilemma. Omega watches are one of the only watches qualified for flight by NASA astronauts. However, with the introduction of private aerospace companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin, future astronauts and space tourists are increasingly likely to wear watches to enter the space of their choice.

In the Inspiration4 mission, IWC worked with Commander Jared Isaacman to provide a special edition pilot watch chronograph for the four-person crew.

Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, said in a press release: “From our founder, Florentine Ariosto Jones, completely changing the watchmaking industry from the United States to Switzerland, to our endless desire for innovation, IWC is a pioneering company. We are very proud to work with the Inspiration4 mission, which shares many common values ​​with us, together to create history and raise funds for such a beautiful cause.”

To commemorate this important moment, IWC launched four IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Inspiration4” special edition watches. These 44.5 mm watches feature a stunning white ceramic case and a unique dark blue lacquered dial with stars painted on them, representing a vast space experience.

Hidden behind the solid titanium caseback with the Inspiration4 logo is the IWC internal 69380 self-winding movement. This movement has a 46-hour power reserve, which is shorter than the two-day, 23-hour, and 3-minute mission duration, but it is worth noting that the automatic watch will not automatically wind in a zero-gravity environment. This means that the crew must unscrew the crown and manually wind the movement during the mission.

All four watches are engraved with the name and mission value of the crew of Inspiration4. Sian Proctor chose “Prosperity”, Chris Sembroski chose “Generosity”, Hayley Arceneaux chose “Hope”, and Commander Jared Isaacman chose “Leadership”.

These best luxury watches are equipped with white leather and rubber straps with stainless steel folding buckles. Of course, they are not standard production models, but the general public does have the opportunity to purchase them through charity auctions.

In metal
Thanks to our friends at IWC, all four pilot chronograph versions of “Inspiration4” went to our US office for personal experience and shooting. It is not possible to play a space watch every day. Oops, this may be the first and last time in my life I have come into contact with a timepiece that has experienced human space flight.

At first impression, these watches feel otherworldly! The white ceramic case and strap contrast sharply with the rich blue dial, which is even more impressive.

On the wrist, these pieces feel very strong. But what do you expect from a watch worn in space? In addition, I think astronauts are not too worried about installing watches under the cuffs of their suits because they focus on legibility and ease of use.

The three-register chronograph keeps track of the elapsed hours, minutes and seconds, and displays the day of the week and the date at the three o’clock position. The watch is also equipped with a sapphire glass crystal, which prevents displacement caused by a drop in air pressure and protects the movement from the harsh environment of space-in addition, the crown is tightened to protect the internal mechanism. Finally, IWC placed a soft iron inner shell similar to a Faraday cage to prevent magnetic fields.

A good career
There are good reasons for the multi-day Inspiration4 space mission. In fact, the mission was named “Inspiration4” in part to increase awareness and funding of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The crew member Hailey Arsen is a physician assistant and a pediatric cancer survivor at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. .

The best part? All four models of IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Inspiration4” are being auctioned to support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The CharityBuzz online auction starts now and will run at 3pm Eastern Time until November 10.