New IWC Big Pilot Watch IW500912 and some of its new siblings. First we’ll look at the ‘standard’ black dial version. As some of you might wonder, what has been updated in comparison to the previous model? Below is are the major three version of the last fourteen years, side by side. It might be good to know that hardcore collectors prefer the initial model, ref. IW5002, for various style-reasons. For instance the triangle on the old B-Uhr (see above) used to sit just below the 12 o’clock index, and that was also the case on the very first reissue of the Big Pilot’s Watch, the reference IW5002. On later models, starting with the reference IW5004, and continued in ref. IW5008, that changed and the triangle replaced the 12 o’clock hour index (and thus moved slightly upwards on the dial.)
Also the Arabic number “9” as 9 o’clock marker disappeared as of ref. 5004. I can only imagine that this was done to make the dial cleaner, and more open. Moreover, the numerals for the 12, 3 and 6 are also absent, so it makes sense to also remove the 9. As of this year the number 9 returns to the dial, just like on the IW5002 that high on the wish-list of many collectors. Other updates include a larger IWC name, and a different font for “Schaffhausen”. The hour numerals, all Arabic, have been reduced in size and moved closer to the indices on the outskirts of the dial. It looks like a good blend of style elements of both the original (first re-issue) ref. IW5002 and the later ref. IW5004/IW5009.
Replica IWC Big Pilot Watch has been equipped with IWC’s in-house developed and build calibre 5111 since the introduction of ref. IW5004 back in 2007. In 2013 the Big Pilot’s Watch was updated a bit and that resulted in ref. IW500901. Today we mainly see a visual update of the model as the movement and case remain the same. Maybe the biggest change, besides a slightly different dial, is the strap. As of this model the Big Pilot’s Watch will come on a calf leather strap, instead of the alligator strap of previous models. But it isn’t “just” a calf leather strap, since the new calf-skin straps are manufactured by Santoni, the Italian shoe manufacturer.
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