IWC Schaffhausen has unveiled the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Tourbillon Markus Bühler with a striking aviation inspiration.
Lovers of IWC’s aviation watches have reason to rejoice with the watchmaker’s newest release. Probably no other timepiece from IWC Schaffhausen’s Pilot’s Watches collection has achieved such a cult status among collectors as the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Markus Bühler from 2008. This original version was inspired by a unique piece Markus Bühler created for a competition in the final year of his watchmaker apprenticeship at IWC and the rest, so they say, is history.
The timepiece is the long-awaited successor to the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Markus Bühler from 2008, IWC’s new Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Tourbillon Markus Bühler features a characteristic aircraft turbine motif that’s been integrated into a flying minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
Limited to 51 pieces, this new interpretation of the “Markus Bühler” watch impresses with its polished platinum case, glossy black dial and black Cordovan leather strap. The new addition is powered by the IWC-manufactured 82905 calibre with its blackened components visible through the sapphire glass back.
In a tourbillon, the balance and escapement are housed in a small cage that rotates around its axis once per minute. The higher its mass and inertia, the more energy it takes to keep the mechanism in motion. Weight reduction is, therefore, the primary focus in any tourbillon construction. For this reason, the turbine of the new model was machined from a lightweight titanium alloy, with each of the twelve minuscule blades polished by hand.
To avoid the turbine adding additional weight to the mechanism, Bühler used it as the upper part of the tourbillon cage, replacing the regulator. As a result, the eye-catcher on the dial also has a technical function: the hairspring attaches to the underside of one of its blades, and the watchmaker can adjust the zero crossing of the balance by turning the turbine. In addition, the pallet lever and the escape wheel were treated with Diamond Shell technology, a special coating that reduces friction and improves the energy flow in the movement.
The 43-millimetre case and the crown of the new release are crafted from platinum, with the former elaborately finished by hand with polished surfaces around the bezel and the horns. The black lacquered, glossy dial has been imprinted with white numerals and features applied indices filled with Super-LumiNova while a black Cordovan leather strap with Markus Bühler’s signature printed on the inner side complements the design.
Powering this Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is the IWC-manufactured 82905 calibre, the Pellaton winding system of which has been reinforced with ceramic components and builds up a power reserve of 80 hours in the mainspring. The plates, bridges and the rotor, visible through the sapphire case back, are blackened with a PVD coating, then laser-engraved and finally rhodium-plated in the engraved areas.
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