If you’re following our Collector’s Series column, the name of the man who’s about to share his story should be familiar. Tom, also known as Wtt1975 on Instagram, has many passions. On one side, he’s a company owner involved in car-related things – something that deserves to be in our Petrolhead series. And on the other side, he’s also collecting watches. Last week, he talked about his powerful Chopard Alpine Eagle. Today, we’ll be talking about another oversized chronograph, a watch that also happened to be the first-ever chronograph movement in a Big Pilot. Today, his IWC Big Pilot Monopusher Le Petit Prince is in the spotlights on MONOCHROME.
When did you first come into contact with IWC?
I have known IWC for 25+ years. It’s one of the best-known Swiss watch manufacturers. When I bought my first TAG Heuer as a 19-year-old, I was already looking at an IWC, which was not affordable for a student like myself.
What is it you admire in IWC?
I think that IWC is in the top ten of luxury watch brands and should not be missing in any serious collection. Their Big Pilot, Portugieser and Ingenieur (with the latter, the world-famous designer Gérald Genta has put this watch on the worldwide map!) are all great models. These are very beautiful watches of perfect quality that have been around for more than 150 years. IWC is also a sponsor of Autosport, which really appeals to me, being a car enthusiast myself.
Why did you pick this specific edition Le Petit Prince of the Big Pilot?
I have been looking for a Big Pilot that I liked since 2016. It had to be a 46mm model with blue dial, date and…an extra complication I was looking for…the chronograph! At the end of 2021, IWC came up with ‘my’ Big Pilot! I missed the premiere and saw it online at the beginning of 2022. I emailed the dealer in Zwolle, Aalbers Juweliers. Answer: we have one in stock! A week later I had it on my wrist, and sold! It’s a very beautiful Big Pilot’s Monopusher Chronograph.
Does your watch get a lot of wrist time?
Yes, I wear this one regularly. Both during the week and at the weekend. In the spring and summer wearing a polo shirt, your wrist/arm will ‘pop’ out with this big Big Pilot! People can see what time it is from a distance!
Do you get reactions?
Yes, because of the exceptionally beautiful blue dial, the large Arabic numerals that are brightly lit late at night by the SuperLuminova superimposed on the numbers and hands at night.
What is the current market value of your watch?
I don’t know, but the watch is still available, although it was a small limited edition of 500 pieces. I paid 17,000 euros for it. But I do not intend to sell the watch.
Buying is a different subject. After purchasing this Big Pilot I thought I have a TAG Heuer sporty watch, a Hamilton pilot, a Ulysse Nardin diver, a Chopard Alpine Eagle sporty and this IWC Big Pilot, then it was fine. Yet there are still watches on order… the grass is always greener on the other side… and you still want another one (For a list check the previous interview)
Personally, I don’t look at watches as investments. But of course, you can look at them that way. You never know exactly which one will be worth more. If you like something and you work for it, you can give yourself something beautiful to put on your wrist. I do think you have to be a bit watch crazy if you want to own 5-10 watches or more.
Any last tips for fellow collectors?
Just follow websites/weblogs like MONOCHROME for the latest news and trends in watch-land. Read, watch reviews and go to a jeweller and put the watch on the wrist. Reality is often different (much nicer) than pictures from the internet or a YouTube video. Always try to see the watch in the flesh.