The Big Pilot is a template IWC has made their flagship, a huge pilots’ watch complete with an equally overcompensating crown. It’s lent itself to a few complications over the years, from moon phases to full perpetual calendars but, black out the dial and you wouldn’t be able to tell one from the other.
The problem is, that cuts out a chronograph. You can’t possible have multiple pushers on the side of a Big Pilot; it would be a travesty on par with the sacking of Rome. And yet the latest Big Pilot’s “Le Petit Prince” edition is just that. How? It’s a monopusher.
Monopushers are in vogue at the moment, with everyone from Montblanc to Farer titling their horological hats to the admittedly archaic complication. And like Montblanc, IWC have taken the approach of mounting the chronograph pusher in the crown – which is fair enough. There’s enough room in that thing.
The result is the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Monopusher “Le Petit Prince”, a watch faithful to the signature oversized silhouette of the Big Pilot’s, but with the ability to time things across the vertical bi-compax chronograph layout. It’s pretty damn cool.
We’ve yet to get hands-on with it to see how the chronograph feels (don’t worry, that’s coming), but the movement inside is one we’re relatively familiar with. The calibre 59360 was actually in last year’s Portugieser Edition “Laureus Sport for Good” and it’s a beast with an 8-day power reserve. It also looks good through the sapphire caseback.
Otherwise, this is typical IWC fare. The case is a heft 46.2mm across and the dial is Le Petite Prince’s signature livery. That moniker also means it’s a limited edition, this time of 500 pieces. Finished on the chunky, riveted leather strap that no Big Pilot’s should be without, it’s a long overdue addition to the collection.
Now, if they bring it down to the Big Pilot’s Watch 43mm‘s sizing, I’d be interested.
Price & Specs:
Model: IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Monopusher “Le Petit Prince” Edition
Case/Dial: 46.2mm diameter x 14.6mm height, stainless steel case, deep blue dial
Water Resistance: 60m (6 bar)
Movement: IWC-manufactured calibre 59365, manual winding, 36 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 192h (8 days)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, small seconds, chronograph with 60-minute counter, date, power reserve on the back
Strap: Brown leather
Price/availability: £15,000, limited to 500 pieces
More details at IWC.