WATCHES THAT STAND THE TEST OF TIME
http://www.thewatchbox.com The IWC Big Pilot 5019-01 splits the difference between a fighter jet and a stealth bomber. While its cockpit-inspired "instrument" dial draws from IWC's eighty-year history of aviation watches, the sleek black 48mm ceramic case (nearly scratch-proof) evokes technology born of the 21st century. Top Gun - the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School - needs no introduction to fans of luxury watches and high performance machinery. As the home of advanced aerial maneuvering combat instruction since 1969, "Top Gun" has become an icon of global popular culture and the dream of armchair aviators. With the IWC Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun, part of that dream comes true. This 48mm aviation instrument is styled in the image of IWC's original 1940 "B-uhr" military aviation watch. All calibrations and hands jump from the matte black dial with legibility born of their no-nonsense "milspec" origins. Originally designed for fighter pilots, the "Big Pilot's" combination of broadsword hands and altimeter-style hour track continue to exemplify the form-follows function philosophy. But practical considerations and modern refinements are present as "force multipliers." A discreet date window at six o'clock provides a convenience that many luxury watch owners now consider indispensable. The impressive seven-day power reserve is tracked by an indicator subdial at three o'clock. In deference to the Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun's inspiration, a low-key simulacrum of a red fighter jet silhouette acts as the counterweight to the seconds hand. The case back is anything but stealthy; a large red, white, and blue "Top Gun" logo from the 1986 film poster adorns the solid reverse side of the IWC Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun. Each IWC 5019-01 "Top Gun" features the Schaffhausen watchmaker's in-house caliber 51111. The automatic winding movement is based on IWC's signature "Albert Pellaton" pawl-based winding system. With smooth bi-directional winding action and outstanding efficiency, the Pellaton system has been the heart and soul of every IWC automatic caliber since 1950. But each IWC caliber 51111 features refinements that would have impressed old man Pellaton. The free-sprung balance wheel is exceptionally resistant to shock-induced timing error, the Breguet overcoil hairspring adds to the resilience of the movement, and a superb 7-day power reserve ensures exceptional endurance. While Albert Pellaton might have been surprised to see this kind of innovation, today's customers shouldn't be; would you expect any less from a watch named in honor of Naval Aviation. This IWC Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun 5019-01 is available from thewatchbox.com with all original factory boxes, papers, and the balance of the original IWC factory warranty. See it in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com Video and content by Tim Mosso.