The Big Pilot is, for me, one of the coolest pilots watches there is. Sure IWC’s Mark 11 and its Spitfire descendants are great, but the more minimal look of the Big Pilot is functionality at its best – not to mention that gloriously oversized crown. It’s just a shame that lefties can’t use it as well.
The crown is large because it’s meant to be easy to use with gloves on. The same goes for the fluting. But obviously if you’re left-handed, that makes little to no difference as reaching the crown is a pain. Well for that small, odd portion of the population IWC has a solution: the Big Pilot Right-Hander.
As the name suggests, it’s meant to be worn on your right wrist, with the crown emerging from the left of the watch. Not only does it make the watch more usable, but it stops the crown pressing into your wrist, an issue with wearing the standard version on the right.
Other than the switching of the crown however there aren’t any real differences between this and the standard version of the watch. It has the same, hefty 46.2mm steel case, same finishing and the same pilots’ strap. What is different though is the dial.
The colours might be similar to the classic Big Pilot – slate grey with black subdials – but here IWC has switched the central sweeping seconds for a small seconds subdial, with the power reserve indicator shunted to the other side of the dial. It’s like a funfair mirror image – almost the same but with a twist. Less creepy though.
The movement goes beyond the standard military practicality of a military watch with a full week of power reserve, more than most manual wind movements let alone an automatic. The IWC 52010 calibre also has a soft-iron inner case to prevent the movement getting magnetised. It probably won’t stop an MRI machine but it’s an extra layer of protection for everyday wear. Leaving it on a loudspeaker perhaps.
The IWC Big Pilot Right-Hander is limited to 250 pieces for EUR 14,900, though it’s anyone’s guess how many of them will actually end up on the wrists of lefties.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Right-Hander
Case/Dial: 46.2mm diameter x 15.6mm height, stainless steel, brushed with polished accents
Water Resistance: 60m (6 bar)
Movement: In-house Calibre 52010, automatic
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, power reserve indicator
Power Reserve: 7 days (168h)
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Strap: Black calfskin
Price: EUR 14,900, limited to 250 pieces, available from August 2019
with 3 months exclusivity in Australia and France
More details at IWC’s website.