Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen first produced pilot’s watches during WWII and then revived the idea with the Big Pilot’s Watch in the early 2000s. Distinguished by outsized case dimensions, robust materials, legible dial layouts, and advanced mechanics, this range takes everything we love about the brand to glorious extremes. Who better to offer some of these supremely rare and brilliant timepieces than luxury retail hub MR PORTER? It’s a match made in high-end heaven.
Premium collectors will be drooling when they witness all this horological glory in one place. Between the line’s built-in legacy, iconic performance, and unmistakable design, there’s really nothing quite like it. Of course, fans were hooked as soon as they saw the letters IWC and with good reason. Synonymous with some of history’s best aviation watches, the brand continues to churn out high-performance stunners with total consistency and no shortage of aesthetic distinction.
What MR PORTER’s current selection lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Check out the Big Pilot’s “Antoine de Saint-Exupéry” 46mm Watch in 18-Karat Red Gold Watch (Ref. No. IW502706). Limited to just 250 pieces, it makes subtle nods to writer and aviator Mr Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, best known as the author of “The Little Prince.” Putting inspirations aside, the timepiece is a breathtaking sight to behold. No less remarkable under the skin, it runs on 52850 calibre mechanical movement with an annual calendar complication and seven-day power reserve. Flip the watch over to find an exhibition case-back, with an automatic rotor shaped like a plane.
On the more affordable end of the spectrum is something like the Big Pilot’s Big Date Spitfire 46.2mm Watch in bronze (Ref. No. IW510506). This one celebrates the recent record-breaking flight that Messrs Matt Jones and Steve Boultbee Brooks took around the world inside a 76-year-old Vickers Supermarine Spitfire. Speaking of miraculous vessels that only garner more magic as they age, the watch’s bronze case will develop a unique patina over time. The dial layout features legible markers, a large date window, and a small second subdial against an army-green backdrop. Powering the piece is calibre 59235 hand-wound movement, which delivers a 192-hour power reserve and can be seen through the case-back. This piece is limited to just 500 units.
A Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar “Rodeo Drive” Edition. A Big Pilot’s “Heritage” Automatic in Titanium with a leather strap. It’s all here and exactly as striking as it sounds. Meanwhile, MR PORTER is amongst the most trusted luxury hubs on the entire planet. The site’s ever-growing inventory, editorial insight, and customer service truly exist in a class of their own. We can think of no better place to throw down hard-earned money on a limited edition IWC timepiece, which doubles as a living piece of history and then doubles again as a worthy investment. Here’s to the adventurous spirit these watches invoke, the massive performance they deliver, and the outsized style they throw your way.