IWC Schaffhausen Reveals New 43-Millimetre Big Pilot’s Watch
Schaffhausen, 7th April 2021 – IWC Schaffhausen has unveiled the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 at the digital Watches & Wonders exhibition. A faithful interpretation of the iconic observation watch design, the new model features an ergonomic 43-millimetre stainless steel case. Available with either a black or blue dial, it is powered by the IWC-manufactured 82100 calibre with Pellaton winding, which is visible through a sapphire glass back. A user-friendly EasX-CHANGE system, as well as comprehensive strap options in calf leather, rubber and stainless steel, establishes the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 as the quintessential modern utility sports watch, ready for adventures in the air, on land and by water.
With its striking conical crown, strap with four rivets, and open and legible dial, no other model expresses the essence of IWC’s aviator watches like the Big Pilot’s Watch. Its uncompromising functional design, in the style of an easy-to-read cockpit instrument, was inspired by a 1940s military observation watch. The oversized crown is another detail the modern Big Pilot’s Watch shares with its historical ancestor; it originally allowed pilots to operate their watch even when wearing their padded flight gloves. Initially reintroduced in 2002 under the designation ‘Big Pilot’s Watch Ref. 5002’, the design has stayed true to its utilitarian DNA ever since, undergoing only marginal changes.
Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen explains,
The Big Pilot’s Watch perfectly embodies IWC’s extensive heritage and expertise in engineering rugged and reliable instruments tailored to meet the needs of elite aviators. It exemplifies how a purely functional design can transform into a cultural icon. Today, the Big Pilot’s Watch is not only one of the most recognised watch designs in the world but also an expression of a certain character and mindset.
Now, IWC is adding a new chapter to this success story: The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 (Ref. IW3293). An authentic interpretation of the iconic design, without either a date window or a power reserve display, it features a 43-millimetre stainless steel case for enhanced ergonomics and wearability.
Christian Knoop, IWC’s Creative Director says,
With the Big Pilot’s Watch 43, we have returned to the extreme purity of the original observation watch designed more than 80 years ago and created a simple three- hand watch with no other elements on the dial. Despite its reduced size, the 43-millimetre case combines a bold look with great wearing comfort.
Three references are available:
- Ref. IW329301: Stainless steel case, black dial, rhodium-plated hands, brown calf leather strap.
- Ref. IW329303: Stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands, blue calf leather strap.
- Ref. IW329304: Stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands, stainless steel bracelet.
IN-HOUSE 82100 CALIBRE AND SAPPHIRE GLASS BACK
Powering the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is the IWC- manufactured 82100 calibre. The automatic movement has been engineered with a focus on maximum precision and reliability. It features the highly efficient automatic winding system developed by Albert Pellaton, which uses the rotor’s smallest movements in either direction to wind the mainspring. Components like the automatic wheel or the pawls that mesh with it are made of virtually wear-free zirconium oxide ceramic. The manufacturing of such small ceramic parts presents a huge engineering challenge. When fully wound, the mainspring stores 60 hours of power. The movement has been elaborately decorated with circular graining and can be observed through a sapphire glass back.
BIG PILOT’S WATCH 43
|Mechanical movement – Pellaton automatic winding system – Central hacking seconds – Screw-in crown – Glass secured against displacement caused by drops in air pressure – See-through sapphire glass back
|IWC manufacture calibre
|28,800 vph/4 Hz
|Sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides