Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Larger than Life: IWC Big Pilot’s Watches 2016

Leading the way for the brand in 2016 are the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48 and 55; these models are so named because of their respective sizes.

Jan 07, 2016 | By Ashok Soman

Swiss watchmaker IWC decided to pull a Netflix move this year and showcase its entire 2016 collection, creating the horological equivalent of the binge-watch. Well, the Schaffhausen-based firm has not quite gone all the way because key information, such as specifications and images for all the models are still to come so maybe this is more of an elaborate trailer. Leading the way for the brand in 2016, with pictures and everything are the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48 and 55; these models are so named because of their respective sizes, in millimeters.

UNDATIERTES HANDOUT - For 75 years, the historic Big Pilot's Watch (52-calibre T.S.C.) was the largest wristwatch ever made at IWC in Schaffhausen. In 2016, IWC Schaffhausen unveils its successor: with an amazing 55-millimetre case diameter, the Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 55 eclipses a record that was set back in 1940. Like its big brother, the Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 looks very much like the historic original, but makes a few more concessions to modern ideas of aesthetics and comfort. (PHOTOPRESS/IWC)

The Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 55

No, as you can see, the word ‘Big’ in the name is not figurative and given that so much of the real estate is taken up by the dial, your friends will be able to use your watch to tell the time across the room. In fact, these two models are limited edition (with a novel distinction) tributes to the oversized aviator’s watches of WWII (some of which were made by IWC, including one which was the biggest ever made by the firm, until the Heritage 55). What we know about these two watches, other the fact that both boldly give you the time of day – with small seconds at 6 o’clock – is that although they look remarkably similar dial-side (see if you can spot the major differences yourself) and are both cased in titanium, they are quite different.

UNDATIERTES HANDOUT - For 75 years, the historic Big Pilot's Watch (52-calibre T.S.C.) was the largest wristwatch ever made at IWC in Schaffhausen. In 2016, IWC Schaffhausen unveils its successor: with an amazing 55-millimetre case diameter, the Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 55 eclipses a record that was set back in 1940. Like its big brother, the Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 looks very much like the historic original, but makes a few more concessions to modern ideas of aesthetics and comfort. (PHOTOPRESS/IWC)

The Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48

The Heritage 55 is powered by the manual-winding calibre 98300, a movement known to collectors from the Portuguese FA Jones pieces, that is itself a tribute to pocket watch movements from IWC. The Heritage 48, on the other hand, is powered by the manual-winding calibre 59215, which is distinguished by a power reserve indicator visible via the caseback; this calibre will run for 8 days before fading, which is in stark contrast to calibre 98300’s 46-hour power reserve.

Specs

  • Big Pilot’s Heritage 55
  • Dimensions: 55mm x 13.5mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Power reserve: 46 hours
  • Movement: Mechanical, manual-winding, calibre 98300
  • Water resistance: 60 meters
  • Material: Titanium
  • Limited to 100 pieces
  • Big Pilot’s Heritage 48
  • Dimensions: 48mm x 14.5mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date (6 o’clock), power reserve (caseback)
  • Power reserve: 192 hours
  • Movement: Mechanical, manual-winding, calibre 59215
  • Water resistance: 60 meters
  • Material: Titanium
  • Limited to 1,000 pieces
UNDATIERTES HANDOUT - For 75 years, the historic Big Pilot's Watch (52-calibre T.S.C.) was the largest wristwatch ever made at IWC in Schaffhausen. In 2016, IWC Schaffhausen unveils its successor: with an amazing 55-millimetre case diameter, the Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 55 eclipses a record that was set back in 1940. Like its big brother, the Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 looks very much like the historic original, but makes a few more concessions to modern ideas of aesthetics and comfort. (PHOTOPRESS/IWC)

The Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 55 is limited to 100 pieces, each one numbered.

UNDATIERTES HANDOUT - For 75 years, the historic Big Pilot's Watch (52-calibre T.S.C.) was the largest wristwatch ever made at IWC in Schaffhausen. In 2016, IWC Schaffhausen unveils its successor: with an amazing 55-millimetre case diameter, the Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 55 eclipses a record that was set back in 1940. Like its big brother, the Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 looks very much like the historic original, but makes a few more concessions to modern ideas of aesthetics and comfort. (PHOTOPRESS/IWC)

The Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48 is limited to 1,000 pieces but it looks like each one only bears “one out of 1,000” instead of an actual number.