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IWC Big Pilot

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IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot's Watch 7 Days Power Reserve
AU$ 11,888
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
IWC Big Pilot new 46.2mm Bronze
TOP
IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage
AU$ 16,566
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
583
UK
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46.2mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 12,344
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
956
NL
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm White gold
IWC Fliegeruhr
AU$ 23,306
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
497
DE
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 45mm Rose gold
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Orsini
AU$ 39,710
Seller
New Bond Street Pawnbrokers
 
UK
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot TRANSITIONAL
AU$ 16,830
Seller
Neil Watches
 
UK
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC IW500429 Big Pilot 7 Day SS Las Vegas Limited Edition (31076)
AU$ 13,364
Seller
European Watch Company
241
US
IWC Big Pilot new 46mm White gold
IWC Antoine de Saint Exupery Big Pilot - IW500420
AU$ 30,859
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
156
CH
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Petit Prince Big Pilot Special Edition Ref. IW 500916 Blue...
AU$ 12,932
Seller
LTW (Luxury Time Watches)
 
US
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 15,673
Seller
10PAST10.COM
107
NL
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot´s Watch 7 Days Power Reserve Stahl Automatik...
AU$ 12,828
Seller
Juwelier Ralf Häffner
927
DE
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46.2mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 11,889
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
956
NL
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Red gold
IWC Fliegeruhr Sondermodell Saint Exupery
AU$ 27,123
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
497
DE
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm White gold
IWC Big Pilot Full Set LC Germany 2007 very good conditions
AU$ 21,703
Seller
Ro-Times Luxury Watches e.U.
119
AT
IWC Big Pilot new Bronze
IWC Big Pilot Bronze Limited Edition IW501005
AU$ 16,059
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
331
US
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC IW500912 Big Pilot Stainless Steel 7 Day (30965)
AU$ 12,790
Seller
European Watch Company
241
US
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Rose gold
IWC Big Pilot Le Petit Prince Perpetual Calendar - IW502802
Price on request
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
156
CH
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot 5002
AU$ 12,933
Seller
MecaQuartz
35
US
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned Steel
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 12,862
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
IWC Big Pilot new 46.2mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot’s Edition “le Petit Prince” – Iw501002
AU$ 15,511
Seller
Mall of the Watch
1213
MC
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46.2mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 12,465
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
956
NL
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days 46MM FullSet Like New IW5002 -
AU$ 12,181
Seller
ChronoCash
749
DE
IWC Big Pilot new 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot IW500916
AU$ 15,673
Seller
Your Luxury Time LTD
546
UK
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Antoine
AU$ 28,382
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
IWC Big Pilot 46mm
IWC IW501005 Big Pilot BRONZE Black Dial UNWORN (30958)
AU$ 15,089
Seller
European Watch Company
241
US
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot's Automatic Patrouille Suisse Limited 250 Pcs. -...
AU$ 19,815
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
156
CH
IWC Big Pilot 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot 5002
AU$ 10,882
Seller
Monaco Watch Company
415
MC
IWC Big Pilot new Red gold
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Rose
AU$ 57,482
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
IWC Big Pilot new 46mm Titanium
IWC Big Pilot’s Iw501004
AU$ 15,917
Seller
Mall of the Watch
1213
MC
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46.2mm Rose gold
IWC Big Pilot 7-Days Gassan Limited Edition Rosé Gold
AU$ 30,778
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
956
NL
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm White gold
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days St. Exupery White Gold
AU$ 31,346
Free shipping
Seller
Tradeluxe Uhrenhandels GmbH
72
AT
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 45mm Bronze
IWC Big Pilot Bronze IW501005
AU$ 19,474
Seller
CW CologneWatch GmbH
249
DE
IWC Big Pilot new 46.2mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot Automatic 7 Days IW501001
AU$ 17,009
Free shipping
Seller
ChronoEdge
212
UK
IWC Big Pilot new 46mm Titanium
IWC IW501004 Big Pilot Heritage Titanium UNWORN (30967)
AU$ 15,089
Seller
European Watch Company
241
US
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46.2mm Rose gold
IWC Big Pilot Tourneau Rose Gold Limited 50 pieces. - IW500408
AU$ 36,868
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
156
CH
IWC Big Pilot new 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot IW500912
AU$ 15,397
Seller
Your Luxury Time LTD
546
UK
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned Rose gold
IWC Big Pilot
AU$ 55,326
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
IWC Big Pilot new 46mm Bronze
IWC Big Pilot’s Iw501005
AU$ 17,460
Seller
Mall of the Watch
1213
MC
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot Father and Son
AU$ 14,455
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
956
NL
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve - 5004
AU$ 10,541
Seller
wagener-gold International e.K.
1498
DE
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm White gold
IWC Big Pilot Weißgold IW500402
AU$ 21,910
Seller
CW CologneWatch GmbH
249
DE
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46.2mm Bronze
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Heritage
AU$ 15,429
Seller
Ace Jewelers Group
43
NL
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot's 7-Day Power Reserve 46mm Black Dial Steel...
AU$ 11,489
Free shipping
Seller
ElegantSwiss
30
US
IWC Big Pilot new 46mm Rose gold
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Boutique Edition Limited 250 pcs -...
AU$ 48,237
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
156
CH
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot's Watch IW5009-12
AU$ 10,706
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
418
US
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Boutique Edition
AU$ 45,985
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned Rose gold
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar
AU$ 50,630
Seller
Ian Blowers Jewellers
52
UK
IWC Big Pilot new 46mm Rose gold
IWC Big Pilot Spitfire Red Gold NEW
AU$ 34,919
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
956
NL
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned Steel
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46 mm Black New Strap Automatic Watch...
AU$ 10,993
Free shipping
Seller
Interwatches
238
US
IWC Big Pilot new Steel
IWC Big Pilot IW501002
AU$ 17,200
Seller
Your Luxury Time LTD
546
UK
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 45mm Rose gold
IWC Big Pilot Rosegold IW500421
AU$ 25,970
Seller
CW CologneWatch GmbH
249
DE
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve - Date - (FULLSET B&P2005)
AU$ 11,367
Seller
Time Line
226
BE
IWC Big Pilot new 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Edition Antoine De Saint...
AU$ 36,056
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
156
CH
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 48mm Titanium
IWC Big Pilot Heritage Watch IW5103-01
AU$ 15,736
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
418
US
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot "Patrouille Suisse" Limited Edition - 250 Stück
AU$ 19,165
Seller
Mercarus GmbH
227
DE
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned Steel
IWC Big Pilots Watch
AU$ 12,811
Seller
Ian Blowers Jewellers
52
UK
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Fliegeruhr Big Pilot Ref. IW500401 Papiere Box 2013
AU$ 14,292
Seller
Juwelier Edmund Arnold GmbH
73
DE
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve 5002
AU$ 10,149
Free shipping
Seller
exclusive-chrono.com
235
NL
IWC Big Pilot pre-owned 46.2mm Titanium
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Heritage
AU$ 15,429
Seller
Ace Jewelers Group
43
NL
IWC Big Pilot new 46mm Steel
IWC Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar “Antoine De Saint Exupery" CA
AU$ 36,542
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
3316
IT
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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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