The IWC Big Pilot watch is perhaps the ultimate mans sport watch on the market today. In fact to call it a sports watch is an injustice since the Big Pilot Watch is truly a Pilots Watch. IWC first developed a Pilot’s watch in the 1930’s, launching the initial model in 1936. Early aviation pioneers all faced the same problem when it came to measuring the time. Pilots relied on oversized pocket watches to track their flight time and fuel consumption, but these pocket watches were cumbersome and difficult to access
IWC attacked the problem by taking the pocket watch and designing a version that would fit on the pilot’s wrist over his flight suit. The first version of the Pilot watch was massive. IWC designed a 55mm case with a black dial, high-contrast luminous hands, and a rotating glass bezel. This glass bezel had an arrow which the pilot used to measure flight time. Pilots attached the watch to their wrist using an oversized long leather strap.
Today the Big Pilot’s watch is smaller than the original version but still massive compared to other large sport or pilot watches on the market. Measuring 46.2 mm IWC’s Big Pilot watch is now available in steel or platinum. The Platinum Big Pilot’s Watch is limited to 500 pieces per year, and features IWC’s patented Automatic Pellaton winding system. IWC has maintained the original black dial design but added a date window at six o’clock and a power reserve indicator at three o’clock. With a seven day power reserve the Big Pilot Watch is in a class of its own. The platinum version is also available with a blue dial and blue leather strap. IWC only offers the stainless steel version with a black dial and brown strap.