IWC’s Big Pilot forges its timeless allure. Barring limited edition models, the beloved watch is minimal by design yet larger than life, and effortlessly modern in spite of its heritage underpinnings.
Running on the pocketwatch movement Cal. 52 T.S.C, the original IWC Big Pilot Replica measured a whopping 55mm in diameter. In the 12 o’clock position was a luminous military triangle with a small dot on either side, flanked by large sans serif typeface numerals. Additional features included luminous sword hands and a huge cone-shaped crown, so that pilots could use the watch whilst wearing gloves.
IWC launched an official successor to their famously outsized watch from decades ago. Underpinned by the same design principles that informed the original model, it ran on in-house Caliber 5011 and featured a modified case size of 46mm along with a small seconds subdial. Modern touch-ups notwithstanding, a vintage classic had been reborn.
Multiple iterations of the IWC Replica Swiss Made would follow, some featuring larger diameters, date windows, and unique case materials. The luxury Swiss brand also updated the movement along the way, in accordance with the latest advancements.Then and now, the piece remains forever synonymous with purity, exploration, and minimalism.
The Big Pilot Collection
Asserting itself as a timeless force once again, IWC’s latest Big Pilot Collection goes back to the basics in all the best ways. That is to say, the new Best IWC Big Pilot 43 Replica takes direct inspiration from the 1940 original, eschewing the sub-dial and date window in favour of a heritage-inspired layout.In the space between these extremes is the new Big Pilot’s Watch with its 46mm case, stunning monochromatic dial, date window, and small seconds sub-dial. Here’s a closer look.
The Big Pilot 43
Featuring large numerals and a triangle at 12 o’clock, the new Copy Big Pilot 43 harkens back to its iconic predecessor whilst nevertheless retaining a modern sensibility. The 43mm case size feels just right on the wrist. To gaze upon the minimalist dial, meanwhile, is to look into the very soul of aviation-based horology itself. It’s amazing what the absence of a date window or sub-dial can do.
For your consideration are three separate models, each one striking in its own way. Choose between a black dial with brown calfskin strap, a blue dial with blue calfskin strap, or a blue dial with stainless steel bracelet. Under the skin is an in-house automatic 82100 calibre with 22 jewels and a 60-hour power reserve. It can be viewed through the sapphire glass on the exhibition caseback.
The Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar
Every bit as reliable and precise as it looks, the new IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Replica Watches harmonises various sub-dials and traditional elements within its 46.2 mm case of stainless steel. Similarly eye-catching is the aforementioned movement, visible through the sapphire case back. Whereas most Big Pilot watches employ a minimalist template, this one comes loaded with eye-catching detail and extra functionality.
The Big Pilot’s Watch
Available in four 46.2mm iterations, the new IWC Replica Watch pulls from the best of all worlds. Its clean and luminous dial with a triangle at 12 o’clock, large numerals. However, the small seconds subdial and date window pick up where immediate predecessors left off. Our personal favourite is the version with the green dial and brown calfskin strap, as it delivers unmistakable presence from near and far alike.
A Day with IWC’s New Big Pilot Collection
With IWC’s latest and greatest Perfect Big Pilot Replica Watches in our possession, we took to Sydney’s Barangaroo and The Rocks for a day to capture these stunning timepieces. When highlighting the watch across various ensembles and backdrops, one thing became all too clear: these pieces conjure impressive power through their unique simplicity.