2016 has been the year of Pilot Watches Collection for IWC as the brand launched many novelties with a variety of technical and aesthetic options. Today we present you a limited edition timepiece from the Pliot Watches Collection of last year - IWC Big Pilot’s Patrouille Suisse Limited Edition.
When it comes to the pilot’s watches, there are two things which come to mind first: World War II and IWC. Despite being not that relevant to each other, actually those two are pretty related. The pilot’s watch concept has actually evolved with the sectoral development during WWII. The pilot’s watches which have been built to meet the military requirements of the era are one of the most known designs within the world of watches. IWC on the other hand is undoubtedly is the most famous manufacturer regarding the modern samples of classic pilot’s watches.
If you are interested about the story of classic pilot watch concept, be sure to have a look at the article written by our editor Doruk ÇELEBİ.
The IWC Big Pilot model we have here today is a limited edition designed to pay tribute to the Swiss Air Force’s aerobatic team Patrouille Suisse. The team is active since 1964 and flies with the classic Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighter aircraft.
Big Pilot’s Patrouille Suisse mainly shares the same platform with the brand’s Pilot Watch Collection but at the same time, it features some differences in both technical and aesthetic titles. The sunray pattern slate gray dial ( instead of a legibility friendly matt black dial ) is the first one. The pilot’s watch classic large Arabic numerals which have a positive effect for legibility, are printed over the dial. Another different design detail is the small second sub dial located at 9 o’clock position instead of a center mounted second hand. The power reserve indicator is placed at 3 o’clock position.
Thanks to the SuperLuminova coating, the numerals and hands offer a great readability when dark. The only negative thing I can talk about is the “automatic” word on the dial.
The case of the watch offers a 46mm diameter and a 16mm thickness. The stainless steel case features a micro-blasted surface which delivers a masculine and tactical look. The front side of the case sports a double side AR coated sapphire crystal for utmost legibility. The solid caseback sports the emblem of Patrouille Suisse along some engravings about the model reference and limited edition numbers.
The watch is water resistant to 60M. Though it is enough for daily use, it is still not that enough for a modern timepiece.
As mentioned in the beginning, the differences Big Pilot’s Patrouille Suisse features are not limited to aesthetics only. The Caliber Ref.51111 which many pilot watch models from the brand have is replaced with the Caliber Ref. 51011. The movement which we are familiar with from the brand’s Portugieser Collection is highly apprised with its double barrel system offering a massive 7 days power reserve. The automatic caliber beats at 3Hz.
Big Pilot’s Patrouille Suisse comes on a black calfskin leather strap. The strap is secured with the brand’s classic folding buckle in stainless steel.
The 250 pieces limited edition Big Pilot’s Patrouille Suisse model is a great option for the watch enthusiast who like the classic pilot watch design but also look for different assets like a 7 day power reserve movement. I strongly suggest seeing this beautiful timepiece in person at the brand’s magnificent boutique in Nişantaşı.