The IWC Big Pilot: elegance and precision
Over the course of more than 80 years, the IWC Big Pilot 5002 model has lost none of its prestige and popularity. It was launched in 1936 as a specialist watch for aviators, then expanded into a timepiece for navigation and observation under the name "Large Aviator Watch T.S.C." In 1940, the watch acquired a 55 mm case inspired by the on-board instruments of the period's military aircraft. Finally, in 2002, IWC launched the Big Pilot with a 46 mm case, to offer lovers of large wrist watches a modern version of the legendary original model. Within, it has the largest automatic movement of all IWC watches. Here is a general rundown of its features:
- Diameter 46 mm
- 7 days power reserve
- Automatic watch movement
- Stainless steel case
- Black dial with Arabic numerals and black and white hands
- IWC in-house 51111 movement with 42 precious stones
- Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
- IWC – superior watchmaking since 1868
Switzerland has long been famous for its world class watch industry. The American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones recognized this as early as 1868 when he decided to found the International Watch Company – IWC for short – in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen.
As a pioneer in the field of watchmaking, he took advantage of the most cutting edge production technology available at that time, using the hydroelectric power of the Rhine to drive the machines that produced his high quality watches. Despite these successful innovations, Jones had to file for bankruptcy after only a few years and the business passed into the hands of the Rauschenbach industrial family.
Under their leadership, IWC manufactured the first ever jump hour pocket watch in 1888 – a technical novelty that caused a sensation at the time. Over the decades, the firm changed hands on several more occasions (the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung managed it briefly), but it always remained true to its aim of producing first class performance watches. In this way, IWC continued to establish successful series and models like the Big Pilot even during the most turbulent times in its history.