This isn’t the first time that luxury menswear outlet MR PORTER is partnering with watch brands to create special editions. In fact, it isn’t even the first time it has done it with IWC Schaffhausen. It makes sense since the same conglomerate, Richemont, owns both entities. Nevertheless, it can result in pretty cool models, and their latest collaboration certainly has some appeal. Meet the new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Edition “Mr Porter Edition 1” reference IW329703 with its contrasting combination of bronze and Alcantara.
For this new limited edition, the online retail website has set its sights on the current star of pilot’s watches at IWC (yes, times are changing, this isn’t the original, oversized BP anymore), the Big Pilot 43. Already available in an array of colours and materials, Mr Porter now creates a new edition that is all about contrasts and warm colours. First of all, its case is now made of bronze. Again, we’ve already seen this material in the collection, with the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire Bronze reference IW329702. But here, there is no green dial or patinated strap.
Mr Porter’s take on the Big Pilot 43 is more modern and slightly more elegant than the Spitfire Bronze. Still, the specifications are well known, with a sandblasted finish for the case, a screw-in crown, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and a soft-iron inner cage against magnetism – something the classic models with see-through casebacks don’t have. The water-resistance is comfortable at 100m. The height of the case is, however, quite noticeable, at 14.4mm. And the length of the case, well over 50mm, requires a solid wrist or the deliberate choice of an oversized look – but, of course, less than a classic 46mm BP watch.
What’s unique to the Bronze IWC Big Pilot 43 For Mr Porter is its dial. Matte black, with contrasting elements in gold colour (for the hands) or beige (for the markers), it has a slightly more subtle and distinctive look. The hands and markers (at each quarter) are luminous, but so is the 1 numeral to celebrate the first in a series of collaborations with IWC. Indeed, you can expect more.
Under the titanium back, with dedicated engravings, is the in-house calibre 82100, a mid-level automatic movement with Pellaton winding reinforced with ceramic components and a comfortable power reserve of 60 hours. It’s a pretty straightforward movement that indicates the times on three hands, with hacking seconds.
Finally, the strap of this IW329703 is made of black Alcantara, again giving it a more casual look. It retains the classic pilot’s rivets, made of bronze, and is closed by a bronze folding clasp. As with most modern IWCs, it comes with a practical quick-change system named EasX-CHANGE – and thus, you’ll be able to pair this watch with any or the brand’s straps (leather or rubber).
Availability & Price
The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Edition “Mr Porter Edition 1” reference IW329703 is a limited edition of 500 pieces, now available from www.mrporter.com. It is priced at EUR 11,800. For more details, please visit www.iwc.com.