IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43

It’s intriguing to see how iconic designs evolve. Keeping things fresh while holding onto the qualities that made it iconic is quite a task. Think of the iPhone, the Porsche 911, or the Nike Air Jordan sneaker. This is the challenge that IWC took on with the Big Pilot. The result? A new icon, the IWC Big Pilot 43. It comes with a more wearable case, unbelievable ergonomics, a smart new strap system, and a redesigned dial layout.

The Case

The standout feature of the IWC Big Pilot 43 is its case, despite being smaller than its predecessor. The Schaffhausen based company made a notable adjustment, downsizing the once-massive case from 46mm to (as you might have guessed) 43mm. This shift marks a meaningful milestone in the evolution of this beloved pilot’s design. While The Rock effortlessly carries off a 46mm watch, for those of us who aren’t 195cm and over 120kg, it was a timepiece that could easily overpower if not handled with care.
The introduction of the new 43mm case is a decision well-received by the market, and is destined to render it considerably more comfortable for more slender wrists, and will certainly make the Big Pilot more appealing to a broader spectrum of enthusiasts. With a thickness of 13.6mm, it upholds the commanding wrist presence that a potential Big Pilot owner seeks. The icing on the cake is the unmistakable half-onion crown, a hallmark that remains instantly recognizable.
Another new feature for the IWC Big Pilot 43 is the sapphire crystal caseback, revealing the beautifully finished movement within. Adding to this, the crown now screws down, granting the watch a water resistance of 100m, firmly placing it in the realm of sports watches.

IWC Big Pilot's mehanizam

The Dial

The dial’s redesign owes in part to the new movement housed within the watch, a topic we’ll delve into shortly. In the previous 46mm models, the dial sported a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock (a crucial feature for a watch boasting a seven-day power reserve) and a date display at 6 o’clock. On the latest 43mm models, both of these elements have been removed, creating a notably increased negative space across the dial. Interestingly, this alteration effectively heightens the visibility of the highly legible Arabic numerals gracing the dial. Presented in a choice of sunburst-finished blue or evenly finished black, there’s an option for every preference.

The Movement

Driving this fresh lineup is the IWC in-house caliber 82100, operating at 28,800 vibrations per hour and equipped with the efficient IWC Pellaton automatic winding system.
The primary alteration comes in the form of the power reserve, now at 60 hours as opposed to the 168 hours seen in the 46mm variant. While this is a decrease from the previous version, 60 hours proves ample for daily wear of your IWC Big Pilot 43. Moreover, it’s unlikely to significantly differ from the power reserves of other timepieces in your collection.

IWC Big Pilot's mehanizam

Bracelets and Straps

IWC has made a practical move with the watch’s bracelets and straps this year. For the first time, the Big Pilot comes with a steel bracelet featuring five links. You also have the choice of a leather or rubber strap, all of which fasten with folding clasps.
However, the real game-changer is the new EasX-CHANGE system in this collection. It allows you to switch between straps or bracelets with a simple press of your fingernail. No need for special tools or a trip to the store. Using it is really easy and it doesn’t compromise on how comfortable the watch feels on your wrist or how secure it stays.

IWC Big Pilot's kolekcija

The Final Take

Taking everything into account, this marks an exhilarating stride in the journey of the IWC Big Pilot’s evolution. It’s news that many IWC enthusiasts are excited to hear, especially those who found the previous size a bit too substantial. Overhauling such an iconic timepiece while keeping a modern touch requires skill, but even with the more manageable size, its wrist presence hasn’t been compromised.
To be absolutely clear, this remains a substantial watch. Its size is not just a matter of measurements; it’s about its overall presence and its role within the broader IWC pilot’s watch lineup.
There’s a certain weight to this watch that’s somewhat unique, and the craftsmanship is impressive, deserving of the luxury price tag. The case features satin brushing all around, except for the upper edge of the bezel and a subtle bevel running down the sides. The crown boasts a high polish, and the delicate edges inherent in the classic onion-style design have an unexpected way of capturing the light.
  • Ref. IW329301: Stainless steel case, black dial, rhodium-plated hands, brown calf leather strap.
  • Ref. IW329303: Stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands, blue calf leather strap.
  • Ref. IW329304: Stainless steel case, blue dial, rhodium-plated hands, stainless steel bracelet.


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