Swiss luxury masters IWC Schaffhausen brought their Big Pilot Roadshow to Melbourne from 17th to 20th February and we’re still reeling from the experience. The action went down in Federation Square, where the brand converted giant industrial shipping containers into a series of clean and conspicuously modern showrooms. There was delicious food and beverages on hand, along with energetic music, gorgeous people, video presentations, and some of the most iconic watches of our time.
Speaking of which, IWC’s Big Pilot remains a prime and ongoing example of minimalist perfection. Drawing upon classic aviation watches with their legible dials and outsized cases, the range debuted in 1940 and has been killing it ever since. One of the latest family members goes by the name of Big Pilot’s Watch 43 and it shaves 3mm off the original case size, becoming all the more wearable as a result. Size reduction notwithstanding, the piece still emanates off the wrist and demands your visual attention from the moment it first appears.
In addition to the decreased case size, the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 runs on a new movement with a redesigned dial face to match. Visibly absent are previous stalwarts like the power reserve indicator and date window, thereby enhancing the dial’s minimalist vibe and the legibility of its large Arabic numerals. Another modified feature is the exhibition case back, offering a glorious view of the finished movement through a high-grade sapphire crystal window. The piece was joined at the event by a new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41, which delivers modern functionality whilst staying true to its heritage underpinnings.
Meanwhile, IWC’s Big Pilot Roadshow was about so much more than just the latest releases. True to its promise, the event presented the Big Pilot in a host of permutations, including historic models and limited edition variants. A particular highlight was the rare Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Edition ‘Mojave Desert’, which remains in high demand due to its distinctive colour and epic detail. Not only was this popular model featured at the event, but guests were encouraged to try it on. Did we take advantage of the opportunity? You bet we did and this coveted piece definitely lived up to the hype.
Elsewhere in Melbourne and Sydney, IWC will bring their “Out of the Box” campaign to a number of major locales. Consisting of 3D-painted murals and digital screens, the moving exhibition shined an additional spotlight on the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 and helped spark public interest. The spirit of celebration was palpable and we can’t wait to see what the brand does next. Those who were unable to attend can still catch the action by following #IWCONTOUR on social media. Thanks for the memories, IWC!