Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Titanium IWC Big Pilot “IWC Racing Works” Edition

A racing-inspired edition of the iconic Big Pilot... and in a titanium case!

| By Brice Goulard | 3 min read |

The name Pilot’s Watch at IWC has long meant more than just watches made for military purposes. In fact, it also stands for the long-standing connection of IWC to motorsport. After entering a partnership with Mercedes-AMG in 2004, IWC became the official engineering partner of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in 2013 and established its own classic racing team, IWC Racing, in 2018. There’s even a connection with Hot Wheels and Goodwood. To pay tribute to this motorsport passion, IWC releases the reference IW501019, an “IWC Racing Works” limited edition based on the real Big Pilot (yes, the big one) with a grade 5 titanium case. 

Apart from the launch of a new edition of the Big Pilot – and yes, we mean by that the real deal, with an oversized case, and dial with power reserve and date, not the streamlined and smaller BP43 – which is always something to praise, there are a few things with this new model to tickle the interest of hardcore fans of the model. And it mostly has to do with the use of titanium for the case. At first, you might argue that this isn’t truly important, since IWC has long been using titanium (remember the 1980s IWC x PD watches with titanium case and bracelet). But titanium remains a rare feature for the classic, dare I say emblematic Big Pilot. There’ve only been a handful of editions of the BP made in titanium, including the Heritage reference IW501004 or the highly attractive Safari “Tribute to 5002” reference IW501007.

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The use of titanium for the case is what makes this limited edition of the Big Pilot (IW501019) truly special. Retaining the classic dimensions of the model, meaning 46.2mm in diameter and 15.4mm in thickness (sizeable, but that’s part of the charm of the BP), the case is crafted from grade 5 titanium, finished with a matte blasted surface. The rest of the features are known, such as the use of a convex, anti-reflective sapphire crystal secured against displacement by drops in air pressure, a screw-in crown and a solid titanium back paired with a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields. What’s new, however, is the 100m water-resistance, while all BP watches were until now rated at 60m.

This Big Pilot’s Watch IWC Racing Works also comes with a new dial. It combines a sunray-brushed blue base with muted markers, numerals and tracks in grey to match the titanium case. The display is classic BP, with central H-M-S, power reserve at 3 o’clock and date at 6 o’clock – with a tone-on-tone disc. The oversized hands also feature grey luminous inserts. The watch is worn on a textured leather strap in blue, closed by a titanium folding clasp.

Inside the case, no surprise. We have here the calibre 52110, an in-house automatic movement with a double-barrel and 7-day power reserve. Wound by a bi-directional Pellaton system, it features wear-free zirconium oxide ceramic parts, for the areas that are subject to high stresses.

The Titanium IWC Big Pilot’s Watch IWC Racing Works IW501019 is a limited edition of 500 pieces. It will first be available exclusively in flagship stores in Zurich, Dubai, and Shanghai. Later, it will be available in selected IWC boutiques and online. It is priced at EUR 16,000USD 15,300 or CHF 16,000. For more details, please consult

5 responses

  1. Outstanding watch, comfortable and stylish. Price is high but limited edition and beauty overcame any objection for me, I love adding this watch to my collection.

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