Monochrome Watches
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Weekly Watch Photo – IWC Big Pilot’s Watch

| By Frank Geelen | 3 min read |
IWC Big Pilots Watch Mood

IWC totally understands how to promote their watches. I think they’ve been looking closely at what watch fans have been doing at forums and what Monochrome also does once a week… sharing beautiful photos of beautiful watches.

For the launch of the new Pilot’s watch collection, IWC created a set of very cool photos of their newest timepieces. We already showed you photos of the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar and the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII. Today we show you the Big Pilot’s Watch ref. 5009 and the Top Gun and Top Gun Miramar Editions.

When IWC released the first Big Pilot’s Watch (ref. 5002) in 2002 it was, together with Panerai, THE watch that changed the fashion of the watch world from what we call now-a-days ‘medium-size’ to BIG. In those days, any watch larger that 40/41 mm in diameter was considered large. I still recall people saying my TAG Heuer Monaco (square case, 38 x 38 mm) being very big. Imagine how much the perception about size has changed over the past 10 years!

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The first Big Pilot’s watch (ref. 5002) had quite a military look, all the way down to the brown calfskin strap with with rivets. The size of 46 mm in diameter and the large diamond-shaped crown are clearly referring to pilot’s watches from the 1940’s.

The original pilot’s watches from the 1940’s has large pocket watch movements and IWC also opted for a large movement for the Big Pilot’s Watch. A movement with a small diameter would look silly in such a large case. The movement of choice was a 7-day movement with Pellaton automatic winding and power reserve display.

The first Big Pilot’s Watch ref. 5002 featured a slow beat movement that ticked at 18,000 beat per hour, while the later ref. 5004 (and several hundreds of transitional models) featured a movement with 21,600 beats per hour.

According to many collectors ref. 5002 had more of a military look than the following version ref. 5004. Personally I prefer that later versions of this defining watch, like the new ref. 5009 and other variations IWC released at the SIHH 2012.

Matching with another novelty is the Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar, featuring an even larger case, measuring 48 mm in diameter, made of black ceramic. The hands and chapter ring are executed in beige and it comes on a green textile strap that was inspired by the color and material used by the military.

Mechanical movement with Pellaton automatic winding:

  • 7-day power reserve when fully wound
  • Date display
  • Power reserve display
  • Central hacking seconds
  • Glucydur beryllium alloy balance with high-precision adjustment cam on balance arms
  • Breguet spring

All these Big Pilot’s Watches have a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields, a screw-in crown, convex sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating on both sides and the crystal is secured against displacement by drop in air pressure. The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch is water-resistant to 6 bar and measures 16 mm in height. The diameter of ref. 5009 (stainless steel version) is 46 mm, both ceramic version (Top Gun and Top Gun Miramar) measure 48 mm in diameter.

The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun shares its dimensions and ceramic case with the fore-mentioned Top Gun Miramar. It also has a textile strap, however not green but black.

The stainless steel version with black alligator strap with rivets, is still my favorite and I hope to be able to add it to my collection some day. A classic and for the current watch fashion, a defining watch.

See all models of the IWC Pilot’s Collection here.

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