IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watches - A sneak peek
IWC is bringing back to life an important piece of its history, we are talking about the IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 55 and its "younger" brother, the IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48. These two watches represent the modern re-edition of the IWC Big Pilot's Watch 52-Calibre T.S.C., a timepiece that was originally produced in 1940 by the manufacture from Schaffhausen and that was crafted following specific and strict military guidelines.
This historic timepiece will celebrate its first 75 years of life in 2016, it was originally crafted in circa 1,200 pieces (the same amount of calibers that were exclusively produced for the T.S.C. and a British Navy deck watch) and IWC has now decided to launch two new limited editions. The first one will sport a watch with a 55mm-diameter-case while the second edition will feature a slightly smaller timepiece with a 48mm-diameter-case, both sporting a manual-wind caliber. IWC will produce just 100 pieces of the IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 55 available exclusively at some selected boutiques of the brand and 1000 pieces of the IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48. The IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 will be perhaps easier to find in stores but collectors will have to struggle quite a bit, in my humble opinion, to be able to get their hands on a IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 55 and it is more than likely that its price will skyrocket in no time.
The 55mm-diameter-timepiece pays homage to the real military aviator's watches and it represents IWC's response to those brands who, in the last few years, have “taken over” the T.S.C.'s style by producing items with no tradition and debatable technical features. The case is made of titanium, the dial pays tribute to the one sported on the original watch including the number 9 that had disappeared from the Big Pilot's watches produced after the year 2002. The luminous triangle that is located at 12 o'clock has been placed, like on the original timepiece, below the 12-hour-counter without replacing it.
The central seconds hand has been moved to a small dial that is located at 6 o'clock but the Stop-Seconds Function has been maintained so that the user can accurately synchronize its watch's time. Among the existing functions of the 98300 caliber is one that allows the user to protect the movement from overloading phenomena, thanks to the presence of a torque limiter. The caliber is also shockproof and it guarantees up to 46 hours of power reserve. From an aesthetic point of view, we can say that the IWC Big Pilot's Heritage Watch 48 sports the same architecture as the original timepiece; it features big propeller-like hands with blue edges and the small seconds counter at 6 o'clock but, beside being 7mm smaller, it is equipped with a different caliber; the IWC 59215 one that guarantees up to 8 days of power reserve and whose indicator can be seen through a small opening located on the bottom of the case. We will be able to provide you with more information about these timepieces and with live pictures also in a week's time, when we will attend the press conference at the SIHH 2016.
(Photo credit: courtesy of IWC Watches)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter