It is not possible to talk about the concept of the IWC Big Pilot when it comes to models that deserve the terms iconic and cult that we use in our reviews. Going back to 1940s, the IWC Big Pilot Collection is considered as one of the most refined pilot watch adaptations of all times by many watch enthusiasts. IWC Schaffhausen offers a variety of different versions in this concept and we have the Ref. IW502628 for review.
The model is offered in an 18K red gold case -which is a bit unusual choice for a pilot’s watch- measuring 46mm in diameter and 15.80mm in height. The case sports AR coated scratch resistant sapphire crystals on both sides and a classic onion shape winding crown. Water resistant to 60 meters, the model offers a bold wrist presence with its matt 18K red gold case and busy dial lay-out.
Ref. IW502628 offers a highly complicated dial design which is similar with the other models’ in the product line sharing the same technical features. The dial is finished in matt black with contrasting white indices and hands which offer optimum legibility at any occasion. The classic triangle figure that we know from the pilot watches of 1930s and 1940s is present at 12 o’clock. The dial is dominated with four sub-dials and a year indicator designed in digital display style. The unique moon-phase indicator where the northern and southern hemispheres are illustrated is located at 12 o’clock. The sub-dial at 3 o’clock hosts the power reserve indicator and the date display while the month display takes place at the sub-dial located at 6 o’clock. Small seconds hand and day indicator shares the sub-dial at 9 o’clock.
One of the most important parts of the model is undoubtedly the movement. The model is powered with the Caliber Ref. 51614 which is designed by Kurt Klaus, the living legend of the watchmaking industry. The movement features the Perpetual Calendar function which requires no additional adjustment until 2100, a moon phase indicator, digital type year display, day and date functions, small seconds and a power reserve indicator. Beating at 3Hz, the movement offers 7 days of power reserve when fully wound. 62 jewels self-winding movement sports a skeletonized oscillating rotor with the “One Out Of 70 – Ltd. Edition" engraving which can be seen through the sapphire crystal display caseback.
IWC Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar The 18K Red Gold Limited Edition (Ref. IW502628) comes on a black alligator strap and an IWC signed folding clasp made of 18K red gold material that is compatible with the case.