The Big Pilot might be a pilot’s watch, but this exceptionally technical, limited piece takes inspiration from the more land-based world of motorsports. The all-black Ceratanium look is what will draw you in, but it’s the tourbillon with a constant force mechanism that will really hook you.
On the surface level, the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “IWC Racing” does exactly what it says on the box. It’s a big, black sporty timepiece, with IWC’s technical black Ceratanium case (and colour-matched crown) promising a lighter, tougher black watch experience. On top of that, there’s yellow dial and strap highlights that combine to create something very modern indeed. The technical appearance is accentuated by the dial design, with the brand’s signature double moon display up top and a power reserve (showing the wind remaining in both hours or days, depending on your preference) in the 5 o’clock region. This sort of asymmetrical, off-centre design can be challenging to pull off, but IWC has managed it quite neatly here.
The dial layout isn’t the trickiest part of this watch — that would be the tourbillon. Tourbillons are finicky at the best of times — there’s a reason they’re still a mark of watchmaking prowess a few centuries on — but IWC has upped the ante and thrown a constant force mechanism into the equation. In case you were wondering, here is a quick recap on constant force mechanisms. One of the significant issues watchmakers face is ensuring an even flow of energy throughout the course of a mainsprings wind. When the spring is fully wound, they tend to generate maximum torque, dropping as the spring becomes more fully unwound.
Movement: IWC-Manufacture Calibre 94800, with power reserve display, tourbillon with integrated constant-force mechanism, perpetual moon phase for northern and southern hemispheres
Case and dial: Black Ceratanium case and crown, 46.2mm by 13.5mm tall, water-resistant to 6 bar. Black dial.
Strap: Rubber strap with Alcantara inlay
Availability and Price: Limited to 15 pieces; price: TBA