The Best of the Best 2003: Watches – International Watch Co.

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With the release of the Big Pilot’s Watch, the International Watch Co. of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, has literally and figuratively put it all together. Large-size and pilot’s watch categories have for years been favorites among watch enthusiasts, but few realize the extent to which IWC has been involved with both forms. The Big Pilot’s Watch ($11,200 in stainless steel) owes some of its mixed heritage to IWC’s distinctive Portuguese series—the first oversize wristwatch with a pocket watch movement. Like the Portuguese, the Big Pilot’s Watch is equipped with IWC’s automatic Calibre 5011. The other half of its pedigree is the company’s long lineage of flieger watches, a specialty since the 1930s. The huge World War II incarnations were designed to be strapped to the leg, making them the company’s original “big” pilot’s watch.

Clearly, IWC’s penchant for large specialty watches has come of age with the new Big Pilot’s Watch. “This is a fashionably large watch, but with the great engineering the company is famous for,” says Rudy Albers, president of New York City’s Wempe Jewelers. For those who like their watches burly and capable—and with a story to tell as well—the Big Pilot’s Watch could not have arrived at a better time.

 

IWC, 800.432.9330, www.iwc.ch

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