Schaffhausen, 7th April 2021 – IWC Schaffhausen has unveiled the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 at the digital Watches & Wonders exhibition. A faithful interpretation of the iconic observation watch design, the new model features an ergonomic 43-millimetre stainless steel case. Available with either a black or blue dial, it is powered by the IWC-manufactured 82100 calibre with Pellaton winding, which is visible through a sapphire glass back. A user-friendly EasX-CHANGE system, as well as comprehensive strap options in calf leather, rubber and stainless steel, establishes the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 as the quintessential modern utility sports watch, ready for adventures in the air, on land and by water.
With its striking conical crown, strap with four rivets, and open and legible dial, no other model expresses the essence of IWC’s aviator watches like the Big Pilot’s Watch. Its uncompromising functional design, in the style of an easy-to-read cockpit instrument, was inspired by a 1940s military observation watch. The oversized crown is another detail the modern Big Pilot’s Watch shares with its historical ancestor; it originally allowed pilots to operate their watch even when wearing their padded flight gloves. Initially reintroduced in 2002 under the designation ‘Big Pilot’s Watch Ref. 5002’, the design has stayed true to its utilitarian DNA ever since, undergoing only marginal changes.
“The Big Pilot’s Watch perfectly embodies IWC’s extensive heritage and expertise in engineering rugged and reliable instruments tailored to meet the needs of elite aviators. It exemplifies how a purely functional design can transform into a cultural icon. Today, the Big Pilot’s Watch is not only one of the most recognised watch designs in the world but also an expression of a certain character and mindset,”
Now, IWC is adding a new chapter to this success story: The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 (Ref. IW3293). An authentic interpretation of the iconic design, without either a date window or a power reserve display, it features a 43-millimetre stainless steel case for enhanced ergonomics and wearability.
“With the Big Pilot’s Watch 43, we have returned to the extreme purity of the original observation watch designed more than 80 years ago and created a simple three-hand watch with no other elements on the dial. Despite its reduced size, the 43-millimetre case combines a bold look with great wearing comfort,”
Three references are available:
- Ref. IW329301: Stainless steel case, black dial, rhodium-plated hands, brown calf leather strap.
- Ref. IW329303: Stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands, blue calf leather strap.
- Ref. IW329304: Stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands, stainless steel bracelet.
IN-HOUSE 82100 CALIBRE AND SAPPHIRE GLASS BACK
Powering the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is the IWC manufactured 82100 calibre. The automatic movement has been engineered with a focus on maximum precision and reliability. It features the highly efficient automatic winding system developed by Albert Pellaton, which uses the rotor’s smallest movements in either direction to wind the mainspring. Components like the automatic wheel or the pawls that mesh with it are made of virtually wear-free zirconium oxide ceramic. The manufacturing of such small ceramic parts presents a huge engineering challenge. When fully wound, the mainspring stores 60 hours of power. The movement has been elaborately decorated with circular graining and can be observed through a sapphire glass back.
A MODERN, FULLY VERSATILE SPORTS WATCH
The new EasX-CHANGE system has been developed with a focus on user-friendliness. It enables the wearer to quickly and easily change the strap and adapt the watch swiftly to different surroundings or activities. You can find a wide range of accesories, such as calfskin and rubber straps in attractive colours, as well as a new stainless steel bracelet with a fine adjustment clasp system for improved comfort and ergonomics at IWC boutiques or online at IWC.com. A reworked case construction also ensures the watch is now water-resistant to 10 bar. With this level of versatility, the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is the perfect companion for just about any activity or setting.
The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 will be available from May 2021 through IWC boutiques, authorised retail partners or online at IWC.com. All three references are eligible for registration under the My IWC care program and thus benefit from a 6-year extension to the standard 2-year International Limited Warranty.
Download our brand-new IWC APP – currently available for iOS from the App Store – to virtually try on the new Pilot’s Watches using Augmented Reality (AR) and discover exciting features and exclusive content from the IWC Schaffhausen universe.
In 1868, the American watchmaker and entrepreneur Florentine Ariosto Jones travelled from Boston to Switzerland and founded the ‘International Watch Company’ in Schaffhausen. His visionary dream was to combine advanced American manufacturing methods with the craftsmanship of Swiss watchmakers to make the best pocket watches of his time. In doing so, he not only laid the foundation for IWC’s unique engineering approach but also established the centralised production of mechanical watches in Switzerland.
Over its 150 year history, IWC Schaffhausen has developed a reputation for creating functional complications, especially chronographs and calendars, which are ingenious, robust, and easy for customers to use. A pioneer in the use of titanium and ceramics, IWC today specialises in highly engineered technical watch cases manufactured from advanced materials, such as titanium aluminide and Ceratanium®. Preferring the principle of “form follows function” over decoration, the Swiss watch manufacturer’s timeless creations embody their owners’ dreams and ambitions as they journey through life.
IWC sources materials responsibly and takes action to minimise its impact on the environment, creating intrinsically sustainable timepieces that are built to last for generations. The company prides itself in training its own future watchmakers and engineers, as well as offering an excellent working environment for all employees. IWC also partners with organisations that work globally to support children and young people.