One of the most iconic timepieces, IWC’s Big Pilot’s Watch, has been given a contemporary new look.
When it comes to unmistakable men’s watches, IWC’s Big Pilot’s Watch is often one of the first to spring to mind. Bold, striking, and unashamedly masculine, the Big Pilot’s Watch was reintroduced in 2002 and became an instant contemporary classic, leaving its mark on timepieces produced by other Maisons in the years that followed, including fellow German watchmakers Lange & Söhne and Wempe.
With its striking conical crown, strap with four rivets, and open and legible dial, no other model expresses the essence of IWC’s aviator watches like the Big Pilot’s Watch. Its uncompromising functional design, in the style of an easy-to-read cockpit instrument, was inspired by a 1940s military observation watch. The oversized crown is another detail the modern Big Pilot’s Watch shares with its historical ancestor; it originally allowed pilots to operate their watch even when wearing their padded flight gloves.
Now, IWC introduces a faithful new take on the classic watch design, without either a date window or a power reserve display, but complete with an ergonomic 43-millimetre stainless steel case. Available with either a black or blue dial, the new Big Pilot’s Watch is powered by the IWC-manufactured 82100 calibre with Pellaton winding, which is visible through a sapphire glass back.
A user-friendly EasX-CHANGE system, which enables the wearer to quickly and easily change the strap and adapt the watch swiftly to different surroundings or activities; as well as comprehensive strap options in calf leather, rubber and stainless steel, establishes the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 as the quintessential modern utility sports watch, ready for adventures in the air, on land and by water.
Three references are available: Ref. IW329301 features a stainless steel case, black dial, rhodium-plated hands, and a brown calf leather strap; while Ref. IW329303 boasts a stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands, and blue calf leather strap; and the Ref. IW329304 is presented with a stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands, and stainless steel bracelet.
Powering the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is the IWC manufactured 82100 calibre. The automatic movement has been engineered with a focus on maximum precision and reliability. It features the highly efficient automatic winding system developed by Albert Pellaton, which uses the rotor’s smallest movements in either direction to wind the mainspring.
Components like the automatic wheel or the pawls that mesh with it are made of virtually wear-free zirconium oxide ceramic. The manufacturing of such small ceramic parts presents a huge engineering challenge. When fully wound, the mainspring stores 60 hours of power. The movement has been elaborately decorated with circular graining and can be observed through a sapphire glass back.
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