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IWC Big Pilot

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IWC Big Pilot Steel United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Edition "LE PETIT PRINCE" Blue Steel/Leath
$10,429
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
761
US
IWC Big Pilot Titanium United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 Limited Edition - IW510301
$10,649
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
761
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Black Steel/Leather 46mm - IW500912
$10,319
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
761
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Brown Dial Automatic Men's Watch /46mm - IW503
$22,009
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
761
US
IWC Big Pilot Red gold United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Rose
$40,000
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
IWC Big Pilot Platinum 46mm Blue No numerals United States of America, Florida, Naples
IWC Big Pilot Platinum Limited Edition IW5002-03
$24,000
Free shipping
Seller
Exquisite Timepieces
39
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
IWC Big Pilot Slow Beat
$9,950
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
47
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
IWC IW500429 Big Pilot 7 Day SS Las Vegas Limited Edition (31076)
$9,300
Seller
European Watch Company
257
US
IWC Big Pilot Bronze Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Florida, Hollywood
IWC Big Pilot Bronze Limited Edition IW501005
$11,175
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
370
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46.2mm Brown Arabic numerals United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar "Antoine De Saint...
$18,950
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
443
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel United States of America, Massachusetts, Andover
IWC BIG PILOT “FATHER EDITION”
$12,900
Seller
Royal Jewelers
14
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Grey Arabic numerals United States of America, New York, NEW YORK
IWC Big Pilot
$14,700
Free shipping
Seller
Luxury Time NYC
20
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black United States of America, Michigan, Farmington Hills
IWC Big Pilot Ref #5004
$8,750
Seller
Greis Jewelers
8
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
IWC Big Pilot
$8,950
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Blue United States of America, New York, New York
IWC Big Pilot 46mm Le Petit Prince" Blue Dial Limited Edition...
$11,150
Free shipping
Seller
WatchMen
73
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Brown Arabic numerals United States of America, Oregon, lake Oswego
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Antoine
$19,750
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
IWC Big Pilot Titanium 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
IWC IW501004 Big Pilot Heritage Titanium UNWORN (30967)
$10,500
Seller
European Watch Company
257
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Blue United States of America, North Carolina, Winston Salem
IWC Petit Prince Big Pilot Special Edition Ref. IW 500916 Blue...
$8,999
Seller
LTW (Luxury Time Watches)
14
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46.2mm Brown Arabic numerals United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar "Antoine De Saint...
$19,950
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
443
US
IWC Big Pilot Bronze 46.2mm Black
TOP
IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage
$11,704
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
603
UK
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, California, Los Angeles
IWC Big Pilot 1st Edition Slow Beat Fish Crown 2.9-Mil SERVICED
$9,850
Seller
Time Trade & Trust
34
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Illinois, Chicago
IWC Big Pilot 5002
$8,900
Seller
MecaQuartz
36
US
IWC Big Pilot Rose gold United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
IWC Big Pilot
$38,500
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
IWC Big Pilot Rose gold 46mm Brown Arabic numerals United States of America, New York, Massapequa Park
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Saint Exupery 46mm 18K Rose...
$29,993
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
186
US
IWC Big Pilot Black United States of America, Missouri, Chesterfield
IWC Big Pilot 5002 Automatic 7 day Movement 46mm
$8,495
Seller
Watches 24 Seven, LLC
69
US
IWC Big Pilot 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
IWC IW502618 Big Pilot Orange Perpetual Calendar SS LIMITED...
$24,500
Seller
European Watch Company
257
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, New York, Hartsdale
IWC Big Pilot
$9,750
Seller
Tarrytown Jewelers
178
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46.2mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
IWC Big Pilot's Watch IW5009-12
$8,950
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
443
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black United States of America, New York, Airmont
IWC Big Pilot's Watch IW501001
$10,500
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time
298
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
IWC Big Pilot IW5010-01 Watch with Leather Bracelet and...
$10,250
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
259
US
IWC Big Pilot United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Boutique Edition
$32,000
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, New York, Massapequa Park
IWC 2013 MINT Men's IWC Big Pilot Black 5009 7-Day 46mm Steel...
$7,393
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
186
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 20mm Arabic numerals United States of America, Missouri, Chesterfield
IWC Big Pilot Le Petit Prince Midnight Blue Dial Automatic 7...
$10,995
Seller
Watches 24 Seven, LLC
69
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Texas, Austin
IWC : Big Pilot 'Slow Beat' 7-Day : IW500201 : Stainless Steel
$9,785
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
342
US
IWC Big Pilot Titanium 48mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Maryland, Baltimore, MD
IWC Big Pilot
$10,450
Seller
Radcliffe
149
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46.2mm Silver Arabic numerals United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
IWC Big Pilot Father IW5009-06
$9,450
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
443
US
IWC Big Pilot Titanium 46.2mm Black United States of America, New York, Airmont
IWC Big Pilot's Watch iw501004 Heritage
$11,000
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time
298
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Florida, Miami
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46 mm Black New Strap Automatic Watch...
$7,050
Free shipping
Seller
Interwatches
262
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, New York, Hartsdale
IWC Big Pilot
$8,750
Seller
Tarrytown Jewelers
178
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black United States of America, New York, NY
IWC BIG PILOT 46MM IW500901
$8,500
Seller
Swiss Made Corp.
13
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black United States of America, Missouri, Chesterfield
IWC Big Pilot Automatic 7 Day Power Reserve 46mm, Ref. IW5004-01
$8,480
Seller
Watches 24 Seven, LLC
69
US
IWC Big Pilot Rose gold 46mm Blue United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
IWC Big Pilot Le Petit Prince IW5028-02 Watch with Leather...
$32,000
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
259
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46.8mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Maryland, Baltimore, MD
IWC Big Pilot
$9,129
Seller
Radcliffe
149
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46.2mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
IWC Big Pilot's Watch IW5009-12
$8,950
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
443
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, New York, New York
IWC Big Pilot
$6,495
Free shipping
Seller
AJ Watches
216
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46.2mm Blue United States of America, New York, Airmont
IWC Big Pilot's Watch IW501002 Le Petit Prince
$11,610
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time
298
US
IWC Big Pilot Titanium 46.2mm Black United States of America, Florida, Miami
IWC Big Pilots Watch Heritage Black Dial Automatic Self Wind...
$10,420
Free shipping
Seller
Interwatches
262
US
IWC Big Pilot Bronze Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Georgia, Cumming
IWC Big Pilot Bronze Heritage Limited Edition
$9,850
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
IWC Big Pilot Rose gold 46mm Blue United States of America, Florida, Aventura
IWC Big Pilot Le Petit Prince Limited Edition
$24,800
Seller
BlackTagWatches
151
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
IWC Big Pilot IW5009-12 Watch with Leather Bracelet and...
$9,000
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
259
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46.8mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Maryland, Baltimore, MD
IWC Big Pilot
$8,005
Seller
Radcliffe
149
US
IWC Big Pilot Bronze 46.2mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Heritage Limited Edition IW5010-05
$11,950
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
443
US
IWC Big Pilot White gold 46mm Black United States of America, Illinois, BUFFALO GROVE
IWC Big Pilot 18k White Gold Limited Edition Of 100 Anthracite...
$17,750
Free shipping
Seller
Burdeens Jewelry
51
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46.2mm Blue United States of America, New York, Airmont
IWC IW501002
$11,150
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time
298
US
IWC Big Pilot Bronze 46.2mm Black United States of America, Florida, Miami
IWC Big Pilots Watch Heritage Black Dial Automatic Self Wind...
$10,920
Free shipping
Seller
Interwatches
262
US
IWC Big Pilot Rose gold 46mm Brown Arabic numerals United States of America, New York, New York
IWC Big Pilot
$18,613
Seller
Diamond Source
9
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46.2mm Blue Arabic numerals United States of America, Florida, Aventura
IWC Big Pilot "Le Petit Prince"
$10,500
Seller
BlackTagWatches
151
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
IWC Big Pilot IW5009-12 Watch with Leather Bracelet and...
$10,400
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
259
US
IWC Big Pilot Steel 46mm Black Arabic numerals United States of America, Maryland, Baltimore, MD
IWC Big Pilot
$7,395
Seller
Radcliffe
149
US
IWC Big Pilot Platinum 46.2mm Silver Arabic numerals United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
IWC Big Pilot's Watch "Father & Son" IW5004-13
$24,950
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
443
US
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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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