This year at the SIHH 2016 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the iconic IWC Big Pilot's watch got a facelift. In the case of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch line, IWC has taken a step back to the roots of the original model. The triangular index is once again positioned below the chapter ring, while the numerals appear slightly bolder and the five-minute indices a little slimmer. Overall, the dial now appears more harmonious and looks uncannily like the original 1940 model. The new IWC Big Pilot's Watch Spitfire in 18K Red Gold ref. IW500917 is simply a stunner and a model that takes advantage of all the redesign of the Big Pilot's lime in the most prominent way with its 18K red gold case —measuring 46 mm x 16 mm— and its sunburst slate dial.
Inspired by 'The Spitfire' —a single engine fighter aircraft commissioned by the Royal Air Force—, the new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Spitfire in 18K red gold, is supplied with the new brown calfskin strap from Santoni. Fitted with a stunning sunburst slate colored dial with its metallic finish, the watch color scheme matches the grey fuselage of the Spitfire aircraft. The case is exceptionally finished with a satin-brushed finish all around and a mirror polished bezel. The slate colored dial features the legendary 7-day power reserve indicator at 3 o'clock and date aperture at 6 o'clock without a frame. The ratcheted pilot's crown remains untouched in this new redesign.
The IWC Big Pilot's Watch Spitfire in 18K red gold is powered by the IWC manual wound in-house calibre 51111 with 42 jewels and which provides a power reserve of 7 days when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph. The movement is protected by a soft-iron inner case against magnetic fields and a solid case back engraved with the iconic Spitfire aircraft.
As mentioned earlier, the new IWC Big Pilot's Watch Spitfire in 18K Red Gold is fitted with a rugged brown leather Santoni strap that goes perfectly with a Pilot’s Watch. The strap features its iconic orange lining just like the Santoni shoes. The strap is equipped with a folding clasp in matching 18K red gold.
On the wrist, the watch wears slightly larger than its actual case size by a millimeter or so. The picture below shows the watch on our 7.25" wrist. The new IWC Pilot's Watch Spitfire in 18K red gold is simply a stunning timepiece and one that can be worn with casual or dressy clothes without a problem. The case is nice and heavy weighing 191.9 grams, but thankfully it is not too heavy considering the size of the watch —any solid gold watch weighing less than 200 grams is still quite comfortable on the wrist.
Sticker Price $35,900 USD. For more info on IWC click here.