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IWC Big Pilot

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IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar Spitfire IW5027-02
IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar Spitfire IW5027-02
S$ 19,904
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
125
US
IWC Big Pilot's Watch
IWC Big Pilot's Watch
S$ 19,149
Seller
WatchUWant.com
49
US
IWC Big Pilot Father / 46mm ( 99,99% new )
IWC Big Pilot Father / 46mm ( 99,99% new )
S$ 15,523
Free shipping
Seller
exclusive-chrono.com
107
NL
IWC Big Pilot 7 Day Power Reserve White Gold Slate Dial
IWC Big Pilot 7 Day Power Reserve White Gold Slate Dial
S$ 20,453
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
 
US
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Rose Gold Limited Edition Brazil
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Rose Gold Limited Edition Brazil
S$ 53,110
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
406
NL
IWC Big Pilot Pink Gold 18k Blue Dial Le Petit Prince - Iw500909
IWC Big Pilot Pink Gold 18k Blue Dial Le Petit Prince - Iw500909
S$ 38,321
Seller
CONCEPT LUXURY
40
IT
IWC Große Fliegeruhr IW500916 Le Petit Prince
IWC Große Fliegeruhr IW500916 Le Petit Prince
S$ 18,629
Seller
Uhren2000 GmbH
206
DE
IWC Big Pilots Watch Ref-IW500401 Stainless Steel Box Bj-2007...
IWC Big Pilots Watch Ref-IW500401 Stainless Steel Box Bj-2007...
S$ 12,665
Seller
Bachmann & Scher
 
DE
IWC BIG Pilot Automatic 7 Days Power Reserve
IWC BIG Pilot Automatic 7 Days Power Reserve
S$ 16,834
Seller
luxurywatches
18
SE
IWC Big Pilot Stahl IW5002-01
IWC Big Pilot Stahl IW5002-01
S$ 14,201
Seller
CologneWatchCenter
110
DE
IWC Big Pilot's Watch 7 Days 46mm Black Dial NEW
IWC Big Pilot's Watch 7 Days 46mm Black Dial NEW
S$ 17,159
Seller
Timepiece Bank
201
BE
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve / 47mm
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Power Reserve / 47mm
S$ 11,683
Free shipping
Seller
exclusive-chrono.com
107
NL
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
S$ 15,516
Seller
2GTime
 
CH
IWC Big Pilot White Gold
IWC Big Pilot White Gold
S$ 25,084
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
406
NL
IWC Big Pilot's Watch - Iw500912
IWC Big Pilot's Watch - Iw500912
S$ 14,985
Seller
CONCEPT LUXURY
40
IT
IWC Big Pilot Stahl IW 500401
IWC Big Pilot Stahl IW 500401
S$ 12,240
Seller
CWC GmbH
24
DE
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
S$ 17,075
Free shipping
Seller
Uhrenkapital
165
DE
IWC Big Pilot’s Limited Edition “le Petit Prince” – Iw500916
IWC Big Pilot’s Limited Edition “le Petit Prince” – Iw500916
S$ 14,544
Seller
Mall of the Watch
346
MC
IWC Grosse Fliegeruhr Saint Exupery Rosegold IW500421
IWC Grosse Fliegeruhr Saint Exupery Rosegold IW500421
S$ 33,974
Seller
CologneWatchCenter
110
DE
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Black Automatic IW500912
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Black Automatic IW500912
S$ 12,928
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
16
HK
IWC Big Pilot Tourneau Rose Gold Limited 50 pieces. - IW500408
IWC Big Pilot Tourneau Rose Gold Limited 50 pieces. - IW500408
S$ 39,220
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
65
CH
IWC Big Pilot's Watch NEW
IWC Big Pilot's Watch NEW
S$ 15,443
Seller
Filipucci Juweliers
263
NL
IWC BIG PILOT’S HERITAGE WATCH 48 Ref. IW510301
IWC BIG PILOT’S HERITAGE WATCH 48 Ref. IW510301
S$ 17,436
Seller
WINGOO WATCHES
180
IT
IWC Big Pilot , white gold 46 mm case, best world- IW500402 -...
Auction
IWC Big Pilot , white gold 46 mm case, best world- IW500402 -...
S$ 20,427
Estimated price
Seller
Catawiki BV
 
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar ltd. Rosegold IW502635
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar ltd. Rosegold IW502635
S$ 48,861
Seller
CWC GmbH
24
DE
IWC Big Pilot ‘Vintage 1936’ Re-Edition
IWC Big Pilot ‘Vintage 1936’ Re-Edition
S$ 9,630
Seller
Maunder Watch Co
 
UK
IWC Men's IW500901 Big Pilot 7-Day Watch
IWC Men's IW500901 Big Pilot 7-Day Watch
S$ 16,791
Seller
Swiss Elevate GmbH - HarveyStore.com
462
CH
IWC Big Pilot's Perpetual Calendar Stainless Steel Gents...
IWC Big Pilot's Perpetual Calendar Stainless Steel Gents...
S$ 40,733
Seller
Xupes.com
49
UK
IWC Big Pilot Ewiger Kalender "Antoine de Saint Exupery"
IWC Big Pilot Ewiger Kalender "Antoine de Saint Exupery"
S$ 34,219
Seller
Fabel GmbH
78
DE
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Le Petit Prince Limited Edition [NEW]
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Le Petit Prince Limited Edition [NEW]
S$ 18,468
Seller
moibotime.com
 
HK
IWC Big Pilot Saint-Exupéry
IWC Big Pilot Saint-Exupéry
S$ 29,415
Seller
CRESUS
34
FR
IWC Big Pilot Edition Le Petit Prince 46mm Midnight blue NEW
IWC Big Pilot Edition Le Petit Prince 46mm Midnight blue NEW
S$ 17,894
Seller
Timepiece Bank
201
BE
IWC IW503801 Big Pilot Perpetual Calender (Steel)Limited 750PCS
IWC IW503801 Big Pilot Perpetual Calender (Steel)Limited 750PCS
S$ 26,031
Seller
K&S Watch & Jewellery
10
HK
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Antoine De Saint Exupery Limited 500...
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Antoine De Saint Exupery Limited 500...
S$ 50,332
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
65
CH
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
S$ 13,727
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
406
NL
IWC BIG PILOT FATHER - PLATINUM 950 - SPECIAL EDITION
IWC BIG PILOT FATHER - PLATINUM 950 - SPECIAL EDITION
S$ 40,907
Seller
Home4me SA
 
CH
IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 - LIMITED EDITION T
IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 - LIMITED EDITION T
S$ 20,752
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
2088
IT
IWC Big Pilots Watch Ref-IW500201 Stainless Steel Box Papers...
IWC Big Pilots Watch Ref-IW500201 Stainless Steel Box Papers...
S$ 12,991
Seller
Bachmann & Scher
 
DE
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Pink Gold Saint Exupery [NEW]
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Pink Gold Saint Exupery [NEW]
S$ 27,790
Seller
moibotime.com
 
HK
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
S$ 14,544
Seller
CRESUS
34
FR
IWC Big Pilots Heritage 48 Limited Edition Automatic IW510301
IWC Big Pilots Heritage 48 Limited Edition Automatic IW510301
S$ 17,871
Free shipping
Seller
ChronoEdge
58
UK
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
S$ 21,864
Seller
2GTime
 
CH
IWC Big Pilot IW500401
IWC Big Pilot IW500401
S$ 12,174
Seller
Van Wonderen Watches
72
NL
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Silver Automatic IW500906
IWC Pilots Stainless Steel Silver Automatic IW500906
S$ 17,237
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
16
HK
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar
S$ 46,664
Seller
WatchUWant.com
49
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....
S$ 32,667
Seller
Auktionen Th. Keuchel
66
DE
IWC BIG PILOT EDITION LE PETITE PRINCE
IWC BIG PILOT EDITION LE PETITE PRINCE
S$ 15,851
Seller
Fabel GmbH
78
DE
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition IW5026-35
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition IW5026-35
S$ 41,111
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
125
US
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Edition “Le Petit Prince”
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Edition “Le Petit Prince”
S$ 17,320
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
2088
IT
IWC Big Pilot white gold
Top
IWC Big Pilot white gold
S$ 26,963
Seller
Private seller
 
NL
IWC Big Pilot Platinum
IWC Big Pilot Platinum
S$ 35,788
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
406
NL
IWC Big Pilot Antoine de Saint Exupéry Stahl IW500422
IWC Big Pilot Antoine de Saint Exupéry Stahl IW500422
S$ 18,776
Seller
CWC GmbH
24
DE
IWC BIG PILOT'S WATCH EDITION Ref. IW500916
IWC BIG PILOT'S WATCH EDITION Ref. IW500916
S$ 15,361
Seller
WINGOO WATCHES
180
IT
IWC Big Pilot's Watch 46 mm
IWC Big Pilot's Watch 46 mm
S$ 18,270
Free shipping
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
178
UK
IWC Big Pilot limited edition full set
IWC Big Pilot limited edition full set
S$ 17,731
Free shipping
Seller
RIVIERAWATCH
47
FR
IWC Big Pilot
IWC Big Pilot
S$ 15,516
Seller
2GTime
 
CH
IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar Edition "Le Petit Prince&#34...
IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar Edition "Le Petit Prince"...
S$ 39,738
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
125
US
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Pilot's Watch [NEW]
IWC Big Pilot 7 Days Pilot's Watch [NEW]
S$ 13,719
Seller
moibotime.com
 
HK
IWC Big Pilot's Automatic Black Dial 46mm IW500912 T
IWC Big Pilot's Automatic Black Dial 46mm IW500912 T
S$ 16,176
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
2088
IT
IWC Big Pilot Saint Exupery White Gold Limited Edition
IWC Big Pilot Saint Exupery White Gold Limited Edition
S$ 28,189
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
406
NL

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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