SIHH 2016: IWC Big Pilot’s IW500912 Watch

By Jovan Krstevski

SIHH 2016 has revealed many interesting pieces and, unfortunately, we couldn’t cover them all but I think we manage to do a great job and gave you guys some insight of what the watch brands had to offer at this year’s SIHH event. When it comes to the IWC heritage pilot watches, I can’t seem to help myself from getting excited and you know why? That is because of the pure beauty of the timepiece. In order to understand this watch, you have to go back in time when the bombs fall from the skies during the WWII. Back then, pilots are given the ‘B-Uhren’ to aid in their navigation. These watches were of course property of the military so each pilot can only use one timepiece during missions. Its accuracy is the reason why the military used them given that the specs were military too such as the anti-magnetic features and the hacking seconds for synchronized precision timing. So now that you know the history of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch, I don’t see any reason not to get excited for the new iteration of the watch.


Big Pilot’s Watch ref. IW500912

This year also marks the 80th anniversary of the IWC Pilot’s Watch so if you are expecting a lot of changes on the watch, you will just be disappointed. Besides I happen to believe that changing what works so well often becomes a bad decision so yeah, bravo to the makers of the IWC Pilot’s Watch considering its elite illustrious history. We still see the 43 mm wide stainless steel case capable of withstanding 60 m of water depth. The lugs are beautifully polished plus the iconic diamond shaped crown is very fashionable for this grade. The bezel is so neatly stacked which makes the overall look of the watch very elegant. As I have said, nothing change at all on the outside.

Moreover, the black dial looks very stunning and so simple that it is actually much closer to the original ‘B-Uhren’ watch in my opinion. Perhaps of most noticeable change is the return of the triangular index under the chapter ring at 12 o’clock. This looks cleaner in my opinion compared to the triangle wedged up top which kind of removes the spacing between the indices and the numerals. To some, this is practically redundant but for me it just adds more details and high readability in as a result. You can’t also miss the beautiful hands which look authoritative and pretty much awesome. The date is also at the 6 o’clock leaving the 3 o’clock for the original power reserve dial.


Big Pilot’s Watch Edition ‘Le Petit Prince’ ref. IW500916


Big Pilot’s Watch Spitfire ref. IW500917


Big Pilot’s WatchTop Gun ref. IW502001

The IWC Big Pilot Watch still uses the same automatic 51111 Calibre with frequency of 3 Hz and 7-day full power reserve. I mentioned above that the leather strap is the most noticeable visual change. We get a Santoni calfskin strap for this watch instead of a crocodile leather strap. That is pretty sweet and adds more prestige to the watch by the way since the Italian shoe manufacturer is a legend. So with the reliable movement, the pitch black dial, the printed white indices and numerals, and the return of the lowered triangle and number 9.

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Jovan Krstevski has been collecting watches every since his father bought him an Omega Seamaster back when he was just a teenager. He launched Watchgeek back in 2011, which is now known as WristReview and is one of the most widely read watch blogs on the Web. He quotes ’WristReview is a site to help people find, explore, discover and enjoy wristwatches.’ Besides WristReview, he also writes for a number of publications. Read his articles here