In a year dedicated to pilot watches, it’s no surprise that they make up IWC’s full “Best of 2021” list
In the year that IWC Schaffhausen has put the (large) pilot watch collection in the huge spotlight, we have seen many interesting new releases. This can be a color combination, material or type of movement. While we’ve seen novelties outside of the (big) pilot’s watch collection, IWC’s quintessential Flieger Uhr is all the rage. With that in mind, we went through all the new models and picked the five that impressed us the most. Here are the best watches from IWC 2021.
The IWC Pilot’s Chronograph pays homage to the 3705
We start with a tribute piece dedicated to an important watch in the history of the IWC Pilot’s Watch. The IWC Pilot’s Chronograph Tribute to 3705 inherits the spirit of the 1994 IWC Fliegerchronograph Keramik, better known as the 3705. The new interpretation features a 41mm-wide matte black Ceratanium case with the same material for the bezel, pushers, crown, caseback and clasp. The rest of the architecture is very close to the original 3705. The black dial is slightly updated with white contrasting markers, with straight-cut hour and sharp minute hands. The Tribute to 3705 uses the manufacture chronograph 69380 to replace the outsourced Valjoux 7750, displaying the same information as the old model, but with the small seconds at 6 o’clock instead of 9 o’clock.
41mm x 15.3mm – Matte black Ceratanium case – Crown, pushrod and caseback in Ceratanium – Sapphire crystal, protected against displacement by drops in air pressure – Soft iron inner case protected against magnetic fields – 60m water resistance – Grain finish Matte black dial – Super-LumiNova rhodium-plated hands – Luminous indexes at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock – Chronograph with 3 subdials and date display – Manufacture calibre 69380 – Automatic winding with pawls System – Monolithic Chronograph with Column Wheel – 33 Jewels – 28,800vph – 46 Hours Power Reserve – Black Pilot Calfskin Strap with Ceratanium Buckle.
IWC Pilot’s Watch 43
The launch of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 split enthusiasts into two camps as soon as it launched. On the one hand, we see people welcoming the smaller size with open arms, and on the other hand, it feels like it’s no longer a “true” big pilot. No matter which side you’re on, the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 retains most of the hallmarks that make up IWC’s iconic pilot’s watch. The smaller case has the same construction, with an oversized crown and thin bezel. The dial is still very legible and comes in matte black or sunburst brushed blue. The sapphire crystal caseback showcases the in-house calibre 82100, which uses the brand’s Pellaton winding system. The power reserve is a very admirable 60 hours. The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 also features a new strap and bracelet quick release system.
43mm x 13.6mm – Stainless steel case, brushed and polished – On both sides, protected against displacement by drops in air pressure Sapphire crystal – 100m water resistance – Matte black or SUNRAY brushed blue dial – White Arabic numerals and Markers with Super Luminous – Sword Hands with Super Luminous – IWC Caliber 82100, Internal – Automatic with Pellaton Winding System – 22 Jewels – 28,800vph – 60H Power Reserve – Bracelet or Leather Strap with Quick Release System.
IWC BIG PILOT WATCH DAMPER XPL
The IWC Big Pilot shock absorber XPL is the most technologically advanced “BP” to date. The Shock Absorber XPL retains the external DNA of the Big Pilot series, using a special system to suspend its movement and dial inside a 44mm wide Ceratanium case. This patented SPRIN-g PROTECT system protects the movement from shocks in excess of 30,000G. The system can be seen around a central “container” with the crown connected by a flexible clutch coupling. The Calibre 32111 uses an aluminum base plate inside to save weight. It displays hours, minutes and seconds, and offers a power reserve of 120 hours. We had the pleasure of seeing this watch firsthand. We interviewed Rafale Pilot Commander Etienne Bauer, who tested the shock absorber XPL for IWC.
44mm x 12mm – Matte Black Ceratanium Case – Sapphire Crystal Protected Against Displacement by Drops in Air Pressure – 100m Water Resistance – SPRIN-G PROTECT System Protects Movements From Concussion Over 30,000G – Matte Black Dial Luminous Index – Sword Shaped Hands – Calibre 32111, Internal – 4hHz Frequency – 120 Hours Power Reserve – Hours, Minutes, Seconds – Black rubber strap on pin buckle.
IWC Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Mojave
The Mojave-themed TOP GUN version of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch dates back to 2019, when we first saw the sand-colored watch. Destined to be used as a proper tool, we got a scratch-resistant ceramic case measuring 46mm in diameter, with a soft-iron inner case, screw-down crown, and a crystal that prevents displacement caused by drops in air pressure. This ensures that Big Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Mojave Desert can withstand harsh environments, extreme temperatures and magnetic fields. The bold case features a matte brown dial with sand-coloured numerals, indexes and hands. Internally marked Auto Calibre 52110, similar to other BP models. It belongs to the latest generation of the in-house 7-day automatic movement and features an upgraded bidirectional Pellaton winding system.
46mm x 14.6mm – Matte Sand Ceramic Case – Titanium Caseback with TOP GUN Engraving – Screw Down Crown – 60m Water Resistance – Matte Brown Dial – Sand numerals and indexes – Sword hands and sand Color-Color Super-LumiNova Luminous Insert – Date Window – Power Reserve Display – Calibre 52110, Homemade – Pellaton Automatic Winding System – 28,800vph – 168 Hours Power Reserve, Double Barrel – Soft Iron Inner Case, Resistant Magnetic Field – Sand-coloured rubber strap with textile inlay.
IWC BIG PILOT WATCH Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN
The oversized dial of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch seems to fit perfectly with the vast amount of information displayed by the perpetual calendar. Despite the many additional indicators, the dial is still fairly balanced and legible. This year, we saw the most tactical “BP QP” to date, the all-matte black Ceratanium TOP GUN version. Not only is the case made of sturdy, scratch-resistant material, the bracelet and clasp are also a first for IWC. Through the partially tinted caseback, IWC’s 52615 Calibre can be seen, using a perpetual calendar display module developed by Kurt Klaus. Thanks to its double barrel setting, the movement offers a huge power reserve of 168 hours. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN is not limited by quantity, but by capacity.
46.2mm x 15.4mm – Matte Black Ceratanium Case – Sapphire Crystal Front and Back, Secured against Displacement by Drop in Air Pressure – 60m Water Resistance – Matte Black Dial Black with Hands, Filled with Grey Super Luminous All Elements – Calibre 52615, Internal – Self-winding System – 54 Jewels – 28,800vph – 168 Hours Power Reserve – Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds (Hack) – 4 Digits Perpetual Calendar with Date, Day, Month, Year, Perpetual Calendar for Moon Phases For Northern and Southern Hemispheres – Power Reserve Display – Matte Black Ceratanium Bracelet, H-Links – Ceratanium Folding Clasp with Micro-adjustment System. online cheap watch