Earlier last week, we brought you our first images of the new IWC Pig Pilot's Heritage 48. Well, here's what you asked for, another round of live pictures of the new IWC Big Pilot's Heritage 48 presented at the SIHH 2016 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. With a slightly smaller but still imposing case diameter of 48 mm, the Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48 —limited to 1,000 pieces— is a practical alternative for everyday use and perhaps more suitable for average wrists than the new IWC Big Pilot's Heritage 55 that we showed you here.
While the reactions of many journalists and authorized dealers were somewhat negative when finally seeing the watch in person, we actually really liked it and feel that both sizes —48 mm and 55 mm— are perfectly wearable, granted that you have at least a 7.25" wrist.
The black matte dial along with the small seconds with date aperture at 6 o'clock make for a perfect every day watch. The vintage colored lume, the blued propeller hands, the big ratcheted crown and the fall safe strap, make the new SIHH 2016 IWC Big Pilot's Heritage 48 one of the best Pilot's watches out there. Not to mention that for many, the lightweight titanium case —120 grams only— is a must have, especially when it comes to watches of these proportions.
Powering the new IWC Big Pilot's Heritage 48 ref. IW510301, is the manual wound calibre 59215 with a 192-hour power reserve that guarantees accurate running for 8 days. A convenient power reserve display is visible through a small aperture covered by sapphire glass on the back of the watch —an excellent way of keeping the dial clean and less cluttered. Despite the aperture, this Pilot’s Watch also has a soft-iron inner case that guides magnetic fields safely around the movement. The new IWC Big Pilot's Heritage 48 also features a friction clutch against overwinding.
The IWC Big Pilot's Heritage 48 is supplied with a very interesting brown riveted calfskin strap with a fall safe strap. For the brown calfskin strap, the designers took their inspiration from the historic leather strap found on the Big Pilot’s Watch. This allowed the timepiece to be worn over a thick flying suit. The strap is divided in two and sewn together at the ends, which makes it impossible to drop the watch accidentally when putting it on your wrist. Then, as now, two rivets on the spring bar hold the strap together. After all, some of the features that made the 1940s Pilot’s Watch so special simply cannot be enhanced.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and quite comfortably. For those of you worried about the size, the pictures below show the watch on our 7.25" wrist. After getting our hands-on this new IWC Big Pilot's Heritage 48, we are confident that this watch will sell out very quickly once it hits the authorized dealers and IWC boutique networks.
Sticker Price $13,400 USD for 48 mm and $14,800 for 55 mm. For more info on IWC click here.