Winter can be an odd time to wear luxury watches. Sweaters and heavy coats don’t always work well with larger dive watches and metal bracelets, and some dress watches are too dainty for the season. There’s a watch that strikes an excellent balance for winter and cooler shoulder months. Let’s talk about the IWC Big Pilot.
IWC has offered countless Big Pilot variants over the years, and there’s a complication or dial color for almost any buyer. Though large, at more than 46 mm in some cases, the Big Pilot wears a little smaller on the wrist because it’s so thin. Additionally, the watch comes on a textile or leather strap, so it’s compatible with a wide range of wardrobe choices.
IWC’s in-house movements power the Big Pilot and offer hand-wound or automatic-winding functions, depending on the watch and the generation. Some newer movements provide several days of power reserve and impressive accuracy, making them excellent companions for occasional or everyday wear.
Though intended to be a utilitarian pilot’s timepiece, IWC has made the Big Pilot into a sub-dress watch over the years. Precious metals joined the traditional stainless case materials, and upgrades to gold or rose gold give the watch stunning visual appeal.
The only real downsides to the Big Pilot are its case diameter and water resistance rating. While it’s true that the watch is thin for its size and works well with coats and jackets, there’s no getting around the fact that the Big Pilot is a large watch. It’s also less than ideal if you live or spend time near water. Most Big Pilots don’t offer the ability to swim, though more recent models bring more robust water capability.