Inside the official start of the “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight” expedition in Goodwood

IWC Schaffhausen and the Boultbee Flight Academy, in collaboration with Aviation Adventures Ltd, have
celebrated the official start of the “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight”
expedition in Goodwood. To the roaring applause of more than 400 guests, the
carefully restored and polished Spitfire aircraft embarked on its unprecedented
flight around the world. IWC supports the mission as its main partner and
official timekeeper.

Over the last two years, more than a dozen specialists have worked to restore an
original Spitfire MK IX aircraft, which was originally built in Castle Bromwich back in
1943. Following several successful test flights in July, the “Silver Spitfire” finally took
off from Goodwood Aerodrome today, beginning its much-anticipated
circumnavigation of the globe. Piloting the iconic British aircraft, on the first leg of its
journey, is Matt Jones, co-founder of the Boultbee Flight Academy.

“I am excited to witness the start of the expedition,” said Christoph Grainger-Herr,
CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “Never in the history of aviation has a Spitfire embarked
on such a long and arduous journey. I wish Steve Boultbee Brooks, Matt Jones and
the entire ground crew every success.”

“The last few months have been intense, and full of activity. Now we’re thrilled that
we can finally begin our great adventure and share the glory of the Silver Spitfire with
the rest of the world. It’s a massive undertaking, and a huge privilege to be involved
in such a project. Now it’s time to make history,” added Boultbee Brooks, before the

On Sunday evening, ahead of the flight, IWC hosted a private dinner with the two
pilots and their crew at Goodwood House. Today, about 400 guests gathered on the
Goodwood Estate for a big farewell party. The funfair atmosphere included live
music, an air show and other attractions.

Amongst the guests were British actress
Rosamund Pike and former Formula One™ star David Coulthard, both IWC brand
ambassadors, as well as other celebrities, including British TV and radio presenter
Dermot O’Leary and British actors Finn Cole and Taron Egerton. When the “Silver
Spitfire” eventually took to the skies, it was accompanied by three two-seater
Spitfires and the Royal Air Force.

On the flight around the world, the two British pilots will cover more than 43,000
kilometres and visit 30 countries. The route will initially take them to Iceland, and
from there to Canada and the USA. A total of approximately 100 flight segments will
be needed to complete the mission from start to finish. During their journey through
the different time zones, Boultbee Brooks and Jones will wear the Pilot’s Watch
Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight” (Ref. IW395501). As the official
watch of the expedition, this timepiece makes it possible to set the time to a different
time zone by simply turning the bezel to the desired location.

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