The name IWC immediately brings to mind highly functional and purpose-built pilots’ watches. During the recently concluded Watches and Wonders 2021 event, IWC unveiled a slew of new Pilots watches and one of them was the more wearable Big Pilots 43. Now the brand has once again updated the Big Pilot’s collection with the new IWC Big Pilot’s Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “IWC Racing”, a technically advanced and innovative Pilots watch with some interesting motorsport-inspired highlights.
Measuring 46.2mm in diameter, having a thickness of 13.2mm, and featuring a large onion-shaped screw-down crown, the bold and masculine case on this watch strictly maintains the design DNA of the Big Pilot’s family. However, what makes this case look cooler, slightly more wearable, and stronger compared to its stainless-steel siblings is its Ceratanium construction. Developed by IWC, Ceratanium is a material that is lightweight like Titanium and has high scratch resistance like ceramic.
The innovations flow from the case to the dial. Presented in Matt black, the dial refines the more utilitarian Flieger style layout and brings in a lot of cutting-edge tech and visually appealing automotive-inspired elements. The Arabic numerals have been slimmed down and have been filled with luminous paint, just like the signature sword-shaped hands to make it possible to read the time in dimly lit situations. The circular striations on the dial are inspired by cold air intakes of high-performance engines and bring forth an additional sense of depth. The automotive inspiration continues on the power reserve display that mimics the look of a tachymeter found on a sports car and features an arrow-tipped hand which like the text on the dial is painted yellow to lend the dial a sporty appeal. Between 8 and 10 is a large circular opening that shows the Tourbillon mechanism in all its glory. Finally, between the triangle at 12 and the 2 o’clock marker, you get a moon-phase display that shows the position in both the southern and northern hemispheres.
Powering the watch is IWC’s cutting edge in-house caliber 94800. A hand-wound movement, the 94800 comprises 341 components, 41 jewels and offers a healthy power reserve of around 96 hours ticking at a rather slow 18000 vibrations per hour. The movement features a patented constant-force mechanism that disengages the escapement from the direct flow of power from the wheel train and transmits completely even impulses of energy to the escape wheel. The sapphire case back gives an elaborate view of the movement’s bridges that have been black rhodium plated to match the color of the case.
The new IWC Big Pilot’s Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “IWC Racing” is accompanied by a black rubber strap that as a nod to the racing theme of the watch features yellow contrast stitching and boasts an inlay made of Alcantara®, a material used in making seats of sports cars. The watch will retail for CHF 220,000.