NEW IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch 43
Sunday - 18 April 2021
A new down-sized 43mm version of the legible and functional IWC Big Pilot’s Watch, powered by a new movement and available in a sunray-brushed blue or matte black dial colour
The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch – a cultural icon. Since its introduction in 2002, its bold, functional and immediately recognisable design has become one of the most emblematic of all IWC Schaffhausen watches. Now it features in a new 43mm diameter - a “less big” Big Pilot’s watch. A more manageable compact version that will instantly be welcomed by those with a slender wrist. The new IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch 43 offers an improved spec, an interchangeable strap system and is powered by a new calibre from the trusty 8200 series.
A little history on the IWC Big Pilot’s watch…
The appeal of the Big Pilot’s Watch lends itself to qualities like an uncluttered dial, a conical-shaped crown and an easy-to-read display. The famous pilot’s watch was inspired by a functional military observation watch – the 1940 Big Pilot’s Watch Calibre 52 T.S.C. (reference IW436) that measured a huge 55mm diameter, and thus boasted a very distinct cockpit instrument styling. It has always worn well on broader wrists with its domineering 46.2mm case diameter. The “Big Pilot’s Watch - Mark XXI” project team worked tirelessly on its design to guarantee a timepiece that threaded the needle between a forward-thinking modern pilot’s tool and one that paid respect to the Maison’s rich heritage. IWC has prided itself on working closely with some of the world’s top pilots to create aviation wristwatches tailored to task-specific needs. The first Big Pilot’s watch was larger than life with a pocket watch movement fitted to its centre. The 5001 Calibre was the first to feature a 7-day power reserve and was equipped with the Albert Pellaton’s ingenious self-winding system.
Since then, the IWC Big Pilot’s watch has presented itself in an array of different dial colours and special edition versions. There have been a few subtle alterations to its design, including modified hour numerals and the removal of the 9 o’clock marker from the dial (as seen in the IW5004 model). The mechanism inside the case has been the only real ongoing evolution of the Big Pilot’s Watch design. We’ve seen the “Slow Beat” 5011 Calibre give way to the 5200 calibre family, followed by the new 82100 Calibre which now features in these three new models for 2021. The dials of the Big Pilot’s watch series also changed in that they became painted entirely, removing the applied indexes and in 2012 the crown and stem-sealing system were both improved, yet the Big Pilot’s Watch is to receive one of its biggest changes to date – the downsizing of its case.
The new IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch 43
The new 43mm IWC Big Pilot’s Watch models mark a new chapter in the collection and come in three different varieties – a black dial with brown calf leather strap ref: IW329301, a blue dial with blue calf leather strap ref: IW329303 and a blue dial with stainless steel bracelet ref: IW329304. Its size now sits in between the larger 46.2mm Big Pilot’s Watch and those much smaller watches like the 40mm Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII. Similar to what the Maison did with the Portugieser Automatic 40 watch in 2020 – the new 43mm Big Pilot’s Watch is a mechanically simpler and visually-restrained version of its larger sibling. Returning to the extreme purity of the watchmaker’s original observation watch, the new model is stripped of its power reserve indicator and date window but still promises the same dial font, numerals, hands, strap design and case shape of its larger ancestors.
The stainless steel case which sits at a height of 13.6mm is mainly brushed (straight brushed on the sides and circular bushed on top) but features some polished accents (seen on the bezel and side of the lugs) and is equipped with a water resistance rating of 100 meters - an improvement from its former 60M water resistance. Its slim bezel opens up a wide dial and seals to an anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass front that has been secured against displacement caused by drops in air pressure, meaning that it can withstand the temperature changes experienced at high altitudes without working loose. The back of the screwed-down case is also see-through, granting an unhindered view of the new movement at work through another pane of sapphire crystal. The conical-shaped crown is polished but easy to grip underneath quilted pilot’s gloves.
Dials and straps
Discreet and stripped-back information remains on the black and blue dials of the new Big Pilot’s Watch 43 models – just the IWC Schaffhausen lettering and a reference to the automatic movement to be seen. The clear minute track, the rounded luminous Arabic numeral hour markers, the triangle-and-dots design at 12 o’clock and the distinctive hands are all borrowed from the 46mm versions, however, the hands, in this case, are now rhodium-coated. The sunray-brushed blue dials can be enjoyed on a matching dark blue calfskin leather strap with a steel folding clasp or a 5-row stainless steel bracelet with brushed and polished links and a fine adjustment clasp for improved comfort. The black dial version can be enjoyed on a brown calfskin leather strap with a steel folding clasp and all three watches are integrated with the Maison’s EasX-CHANGE strap system allowing them to be worn on various other leather straps, rubber bands or bracelets.
The IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s 43 Watch variations are powered by the new Calibre 82100. Representing the watchmaker’s entry-level automatic in-house movement, the winding is carried out by the Pellaton system and offers a 60-hour power reserve. Its open bridges and traditional decorative finishes are joined by virtually wear-free zirconium oxide ceramic components that prevent damage caused by magnetic fields.
For more information on the new re-sized Big Pilot’s Watch 43 from IWC Schaffhausen, you can visit the link here or call our sales team at Jura Watches on 01335 453453
Technical specifications for the IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s 43 watch
- Case: 43mm – height: 13.6mm – stainless steel – brushed and polished – 100-meter water-resistant – convex anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass secured against displacement caused by drops in air pressure – screwed-down caseback with sapphire exhibition feature – conical crown
- Dial: Sunray-brushed blue or matte black – painted Super-LumNova Arabic numeral hour markers – Super-LumiNova hour and minute hands
- Movement: IWC Calibre 82100 – self-winding – in-house developed - Pellaton winding system – 60-hour power reserve -22 jewels – 28,800 v.p.h
- Straps: Blue/brown calfskin leather with steel folding clasp – 5-link brushed and polished stainless steel bracelet with fine adjustment clasp - EasX-CHANGE strap system
- References: IW329301 - black dial with brown leather strap / IW329303 - blue dial with blue leather strap / IW329304 blue dial with stainless steel bracelet
- Price: £7,200 (Leather), £8,000 (Bracelet)