In 2019, Jones and Brooks partnered with IWC Schaffhausen on their long-held dream to fly an original Spitfire around the world. IWC supported the successful record-breaking expedition, titled “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight”, as the primary partner and official timekeeper.
Getting underway in August 2019 and lasting four months, the trip covered 43,000 kilometres and visited over 20 countries. The Spitfire flown by the two pilots was marked MJ271 and was originally built in 1943 in Castle Bromwich. For the expedition, it was stripped down and painstakingly restored. Every component was lovingly polished by hand to achieve a brilliant sheen, giving the plane its dazzling silver appearance.
After leaving Goodwood Aerodrome, the 76-year-old Silver Spitfire journeyed across the icy expanse of Greenland, glided over New York’s majesty, before then crossing the United States to reach Las Vegas and the California sun. From there, the Spitfire flew north to Canada and Alaska, before heading westward into Russia. In Japan, the team dodged a typhoon before slowly making their way across Asia, from the humidity of Myanmar to the vibrant colours of India. After a brief rest in Abu Dhabi, they finally made their way home to Europe, visiting Italy and the Netherlands, before finally landing back in the UK.
As they journeyed through the different time zones, Brooks and Jones wore the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight” (Ref. IW395501). Featuring a bezel that can be set to feature the time in a different zone This special timepiece was the official watch of the expedition.