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IWC Big Pilot

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IWC Big Pilot white gold
IWC Big Pilot white gold
AU$ 24,837
Seller
Private seller
 
NL
IWC Big Pilot Heritage 48 Limited Edition Titanium IW510301
IWC Big Pilot Heritage 48 Limited Edition Titanium IW510301
AU$ 14,977
Seller
Private seller
 
FI
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 14,670
Seller
2GTime
 
CH
IWC Big Pilot - white gold
IWC Big Pilot - white gold
AU$ 19,937
Seller
Private seller
 
CH
IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage Limited Edition Titanium Case...
IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage Limited Edition Titanium Case...
AU$ 14,104
Seller
Watch Warehouse USA
 
US
IWC Big Pilot Boutique Las Vegas
IWC Big Pilot Boutique Las Vegas
AU$ 20,321
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
396
NL
IWC Big Pilot Father / 46mm ( 99,99% new )
IWC Big Pilot Father / 46mm ( 99,99% new )
AU$ 14,298
Seller
exclusive-chrono.com
103
NL
IWC Big Pilot 7 Day Power Reserve White Gold Slate Dial
IWC Big Pilot 7 Day Power Reserve White Gold Slate Dial
AU$ 19,104
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
 
US
IWC Big Pilot Pink Gold 18k Blue Dial Le Petit Prince - Iw500909
IWC Big Pilot Pink Gold 18k Blue Dial Le Petit Prince - Iw500909
AU$ 35,298
Seller
CONCEPT LUXURY
34
IT
IWC Große Fliegeruhr IW500916 Le Petit Prince
IWC Große Fliegeruhr IW500916 Le Petit Prince
AU$ 15,655
Seller
Uhren2000 GmbH
202
DE
IWC Big Pilots Watch Ref-IW500401 Stainless Steel Box Bj-2007...
IWC Big Pilots Watch Ref-IW500401 Stainless Steel Box Bj-2007...
AU$ 11,666
Seller
Bachmann & Scher
 
DE
IWC BIG Pilot Automatic 7 Days Power Reserve
IWC BIG Pilot Automatic 7 Days Power Reserve
AU$ 15,468
Seller
luxurywatches
18
SE
IWC Big Pilot Stahl IW5002-01
IWC Big Pilot Stahl IW5002-01
AU$ 13,081
Seller
CologneWatchCenter
105
DE
IWC Big Pilot's Watch 7 Days 46mm Black Dial NEW
IWC Big Pilot's Watch 7 Days 46mm Black Dial NEW
AU$ 15,805
Seller
Timepiece Bank
197
BE
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Rose Gold Limited Edition Brazil
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Rose Gold Limited Edition Brazil
AU$ 51,931
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
396
NL
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Black Dial Automatic IW500912
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Black Dial Automatic IW500912
AU$ 12,048
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
16
HK
IWC Big Pilot Stahl IW 500401
IWC Big Pilot Stahl IW 500401
AU$ 11,274
Seller
CWC GmbH
22
DE
IWC Big Pilot's Watch - Iw500912
IWC Big Pilot's Watch - Iw500912
AU$ 13,893
Seller
CONCEPT LUXURY
34
IT
IWC Big Pilot's Stahl Black 46mm 8-Tage Werk ungetragen B+P
IWC Big Pilot's Stahl Black 46mm 8-Tage Werk ungetragen B+P
AU$ 15,728
Seller
Uhrenkapital
159
DE
IWC Big Pilot IW 5004 GASSAN Edition 1 of 30 Roségold 46 mm
IWC Big Pilot IW 5004 GASSAN Edition 1 of 30 Roségold 46 mm
AU$ 27,094
Seller
Uhren Menze
22
DE
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve Ref: IW500401 (Box&Papers)
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve Ref: IW500401 (Box&Papers)
AU$ 11,137
Seller
Watch Center London
292
UK
IWC Grosse Fliegeruhr Saint Exupery Rosegold IW500421
IWC Grosse Fliegeruhr Saint Exupery Rosegold IW500421
AU$ 31,294
Seller
CologneWatchCenter
105
DE
IWC Big Pilot 50 Piece Russian "Nemov" Edition
IWC Big Pilot 50 Piece Russian "Nemov" Edition
AU$ 15,682
Seller
Watch Club
9
UK
IWC Big Pilot White Gold
IWC Big Pilot White Gold
AU$ 24,761
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
396
NL
IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Black Dial Automatic Limited...
IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Black Dial Automatic Limited...
AU$ 12,507
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
16
HK
IWC BIG PILOT’S HERITAGE WATCH 48 Ref. IW510301
IWC BIG PILOT’S HERITAGE WATCH 48 Ref. IW510301
AU$ 17,130
Seller
WINGOO WATCHES
160
IT
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar ltd. Rosegold IW502635
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar ltd. Rosegold IW502635
AU$ 45,007
Seller
CWC GmbH
22
DE
IWC Big Pilot White Gold
IWC Big Pilot White Gold
AU$ 21,826
Seller
GARCÍA JOYEROS
16
ES
IWC Big Pilot ‘Vintage 1936’ Re-Edition
IWC Big Pilot ‘Vintage 1936’ Re-Edition
AU$ 8,584
Seller
Maunder Watch Co
 
UK
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve Ref: IW500901 (Box&Papers)
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve Ref: IW500901 (Box&Papers)
AU$ 10,987
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Center London
292
UK
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve / 47mm
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve / 47mm
AU$ 11,288
Seller
exclusive-chrono.com
103
NL
IWC Men's IW500901 Big Pilot 7-Day Watch
IWC Men's IW500901 Big Pilot 7-Day Watch
AU$ 15,466
Seller
Swiss Elevate GmbH - HarveyStore.com
419
CH
IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Black Leather Automatic Men Watch...
IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Black Leather Automatic Men Watch...
AU$ 11,924
Seller
Watch Warehouse USA
 
US
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Le Petit Prince Limited Edition [NEW]
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Le Petit Prince Limited Edition [NEW]
AU$ 17,211
Seller
moibotime.com
 
HK
IWC Big Pilot Heritage
IWC Big Pilot Heritage
AU$ 14,104
Seller
Tarrytown Jewelers
US
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar St Exupery edition box &...
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar St Exupery edition box &...
AU$ 47,415
Seller
TempoInverso.com / Gift and Communication LTD
UK
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 13,397
Seller
CRESUS
32
FR
IWC Big Pilot Edition Le Petit Prince 46mm Midnight blue NEW
IWC Big Pilot Edition Le Petit Prince 46mm Midnight blue NEW
AU$ 16,482
Seller
Timepiece Bank
197
BE
IWC IW503801 Big Pilot Perpetual Calender (Steel)Limited 750PCS
IWC IW503801 Big Pilot Perpetual Calender (Steel)Limited 750PCS
AU$ 24,259
Seller
K&S Watch & Jewellery
8
HK
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Antoine De Saint Exupery Limited 500...
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Antoine De Saint Exupery Limited 500...
AU$ 46,362
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
63
CH
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 12,644
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
396
NL
IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Black Leather Straps Automatic Men...
IWC Big Pilot Black Dial Black Leather Straps Automatic Men...
AU$ 15,258
Seller
Watch Warehouse USA
 
US
IWC BIG PILOT FATHER - PLATINUM 950 - SPECIAL EDITION
IWC BIG PILOT FATHER - PLATINUM 950 - SPECIAL EDITION
AU$ 38,675
Seller
Home4me SA
 
CH
IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 - LIMITED EDITION T
IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 - LIMITED EDITION T
AU$ 19,115
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
2049
IT
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Pink Gold Saint Exupery [NEW]
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Pink Gold Saint Exupery [NEW]
AU$ 25,899
Seller
moibotime.com
 
HK
IWC Big Pilots Heritage 48 Limited Edition Automatic IW510301
IWC Big Pilots Heritage 48 Limited Edition Automatic IW510301
AU$ 15,929
Free shipping
Seller
ChronoEdge
57
UK
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Silver Automatic IW500906
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Silver Automatic IW500906
AU$ 16,064
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
16
HK
IWC Big Pilot’s Limited Edition “le Petit Prince” – Iw500916
IWC Big Pilot’s Limited Edition “le Petit Prince” – Iw500916
AU$ 13,397
Seller
Mall of the Watch
320
MC
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar
AU$ 43,587
Seller
WatchUWant.com
46
US
IWC 1 of 20 limited Big Pilot Arije Roségold Full Set incl....
IWC 1 of 20 limited Big Pilot Arije Roségold Full Set incl....
AU$ 34,094
Seller
Auktionen Th. Keuchel
61
DE
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition IW5026-35
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition IW5026-35
AU$ 38,400
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
119
US
IWC Big Pilot Platinum
IWC Big Pilot Platinum
AU$ 36,879
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
396
NL
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Edition “Le Petit Prince”
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Edition “Le Petit Prince”
AU$ 15,954
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
2049
IT
IWC Big Pilot Antoine de Saint Exupéry Stahl IW500422
IWC Big Pilot Antoine de Saint Exupéry Stahl IW500422
AU$ 17,295
Seller
CWC GmbH
22
DE
IWC BIG PILOT 5004 SP EDITION "MUHAMMAD ALI "
IWC BIG PILOT 5004 SP EDITION "MUHAMMAD ALI "
AU$ 16,662
Seller
Private seller
US
IWC BIG PILOT'S WATCH EDITION Ref. IW500916
IWC BIG PILOT'S WATCH EDITION Ref. IW500916
AU$ 14,179
Seller
WINGOO WATCHES
160
IT
IWC Pilot's Watches
IWC Pilot's Watches
AU$ 36,541
Seller
Lombard Perspectiva
RU
IWC Big Pilot's Watch 46 mm
IWC Big Pilot's Watch 46 mm
AU$ 16,829
Free shipping
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
169
UK
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Edition "LE PETIT PRINCE"...
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Edition "LE PETIT PRINCE"...
AU$ 11,854
Seller
The Watch Company
JP
IWC Pig Pilot Fliegeruhr Ref-IW500402 18K White Gold Grey Dial...
IWC Pig Pilot Fliegeruhr Ref-IW500402 18K White Gold Grey Dial...
AU$ 23,557
Seller
Bachmann & Scher
 
DE

The Big Pilot from IWC: A Bold Timepiece

The Big Pilot from IWC delivers exactly what its name promises: It's a large tool watch created specifically for pilots. IWC introduced this classic watch for the first time in 1940 and since then it has gained cult status.

Highlights

  • Famous pilot's watch
  • Case diameters ranging from 46 to 55 mm
  • Easy to read thanks to a large dial and stark color contrast
  • Protected against magnetic fields
  • Special limited edition collector's models

A Cockpit Inspired Design

The International Watch Company, better known as IWC, has been producing watches meant for pilots since 1936. In 1940, during the Second World War, the company introduced the 52-caliber T. S. C. Big Pilot's Watch. The timepiece, reference number 431, had a 55-mm case and weighed 183 grams. It remains the largest watch IWC has ever produced. Its case size was, at the time, much larger than average due to the use of an in-house movement originally developed to fit pocket watches. The watch ran precisely and in accordance with the chronometer norm. The central seconds could be stopped in order to allow pilots and navigators to sync their watches with each other or with a time signal to the exact second.
Altogether, the imposing IWC timepieces met the technological standards of the time. The dial had a similar design to the circular cockpit instruments in propeller planes such as the Junkers Ju 52. Clear legibility even under poor lighting conditions was a predominant concern. Thanks to the watch's large dimensions, only one look was required to gather the time. The design was based solely around its legibility: A black dial contrasted with the white stick indices, Arabic numerals, and sword hands. A triangle marked the 12-hour position, and luminous material ensured that the watch was legible at night. The German Air Force supplied their crews with these IWC watches. However, IWC combined Swiss neutrality and business sense in a unique way: The Mark XI from 1948, another legendary pilot's watch, was purchased by the British Royal Air Force and used for 30 years.

Big Pilot's Watch

The Big Pilot's Watch from 1940 has experienced multiple comebacks. The first was in 2002 with the Big Pilot's Watch, which is still part of the collection. The original 55-mm case size wasn't practical for everyday wear, so IWC downsized the newer watch to 46 mm with a thickness of 16 mm. They also added a round power reserve display at three o'clock to an otherwise sparse dial. The watch has an impressive power reserve of seven days; it's even more impressive when you consider most other mechanical wristwatches have power reserves lasting less than two days. The automatic movement features a Pellaton winding system. The system is named after its inventor, Albert Pellaton, who was the technical director at IWC for many years. The patented mechanism winds the movement bidirectionally and, together with the long mainspring, enables a week-long power reserve.
The Big Pilot's Watch also has a date display at six o'clock, a feature not present on the 1940 model. The striking, large onion crown is screw-down. The watch is waterproof to 60 m, equal to a pressure of six bar.
The historical origin of the watch's design is easy to see, as it has a black dial with white sword hands, white stick indices, and Arabic numerals. There's even a triangle at 12 o'clock instead of the numeral, giving the Big Pilot a clear retro look.
The in-house caliber 51111 is protected by a soft-iron case designed to prevent deviation from the correct time caused by magnetic fields. The case was necessary since there are strong magnetic fields present in airplanes caused by the electricity needed for fuel injection. The case back of this stainless steel watch with reference number IW500912 features an engraving of the famous German aircraft Junkers Ju 52.

Big Pilot's Heritage Watch

IWC added two additional Big Pilot watches to their portfolio in 2016, both of which followed in the footsteps of the original from 1940: the Big Pilot's Heritage models, available in 48 and 55 mm. Both have a titanium case and weigh 120 and 150 grams, respectively. By and large, they look the same, apart from their size difference. The hands and indices on the black dial are somewhere between antique white and cream. Together with the riveted, brown calfskin strap, it has a much more old-fashioned feel than the 46-mm Big Pilot. Furthermore, one important difference is how the watch is wound. The Big Pilot from 2002 winds automatically from arm movements, while the newer watches require the wearer to wind them via a crown.
The in-house caliber 59215 powers the Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 with an impressive eight-day power reserve. The power reserve display is located on the back side and visible through a small, round opening in the titanium case. The dial has a central seconds and minute hands as well as a small seconds at six o'clock with an integrated date display, and the white sword hands feature blued borders.
The Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 55 has a diameter of 55 mm, exactly matching its historical predecessor. It is powered by the in-house caliber 98300, which has no date display or power reserve indicator - also like the original. However, unlike the watch from the 1940s, it doesn't feature central seconds, but rather a small seconds at six o'clock.

Buying Advice

Are you looking for an impressive, large watch with a functional design and retro flair? Then you should consider the Big Pilot.
If the Big Pilot participated in a pilot's watch competition, it would certainly win top prize. That's no surprise - it's the quintessential pilot's watch with a diameter of at least 46 mm, a contrasting black/white color combination, and a clear dial. The watch is even more eye-catching when paired with a suit and tie. It doesn't simply disappear under shirt sleeves, as it's meant to be worn over flight suits. The Big Pilot can be considered an uncompromising alternative to the classic dress watch.
If the "regular" Big Pilots would win, then the Heritage models with their larger diameters of 48 and 55 mm would certainly receive even higher marks. IWC produced these watches in a limited run of 1,000 48-mm watches (reference number 5103) and only 100 55-mm versions (reference number 5104). For the smaller Heritage model, you should be prepared to pay around 13,000 euros. The much rarer 55-mm version initially cost around 15,000 euros, but it has risen in value due to its limited run. Other special editions are available in the five-figure range, such as a version with an 18-karat red gold or platinum case. IWC abandoned the Big Pilot's minimalism in some models, adding complications like a perpetual calendar. These versions range from 20,000 to 30,000 euros.
The stainless steel Big Pilot is significantly more affordable; new, it costs around 10,000 euros.

The Jones Caliber

The pocket watch caliber which IWC used to power their first large pilot's watch is nicknamed the Jones caliber after the founder of the company, Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841 - 1916). The Bostonian founded the company in 1868 in Switzerland, but import taxes to the United States were expensive. In the end, exporting the watches from Schaffhausen failed. IWC changed owners many times after Jones left the company and today it belongs to the luxury goods concern Richemont. Richemont also owns famous brands such as Panerai and Cartier.

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