To create this highly impressive limited edition IWC Big Pilot DFB (Deutscher Fußball-Bund / German Soccer Union, Ref. IW500432), the Swiss watchmaker has outsourced its huge automatic movement from their current “oversized” Portuguese collection. However, justifying its name, the new “aviator” is even bigger than its older siblings!
According to official specs, the new IWC Big Pilot Watch DFB comes packed in a huge stainless steel body, which is whole 46 millimeters wide and enormous 16 millimeters thick! The size of this thing is deliberately exaggerated since the aforementioned IWC Portuguese Automatic models are around four millimeters less in diameter and about two millimeters thinner.
However, part of the blame still lays on the IWC caliber 51011 automatic movement. Unofficially called “The Big Movement” this self-winding engine is equipped with their cutting-edge Pellaton winding system and also features an oversized mainspring barrel housing an extra-long spring that provides this beautiful mechanism with as many as 168 hours of guaranteed power reserve.
Also, with its 42 synthetic rubies, the movement sports a couple of jewels fewer than its predecessor with the stones replaced with a pair of beryllium bronze bearings that, too, help to increase the caliber’s overall energy efficiency.
However beautiful this timekeeper is, the DFB edition still has at least one shortcoming. Although created to support the German Soccer Union, this is still a pilot’s watch and we can rightfully expect the timekeeper to sport a high-contrast, easily readable dial.
This model, on the contrary, comes with its face, hands, and other elements rhodium-plated. Looking predictably spectacularly, the choice of finish still makes it more difficult to read the current time, at least in certain lighting conditions.
Still, at nighttime, the legibility will be undisputed, since the hands, as well as the hour markers, are generously covered with white Superluminova.
Another nice detail is that its small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock is nicely balanced by a power reserve indicator at 3 hours that provides the watch with a chronograph-like appearance.
The price of this thing remains unknown, but there is a good chance that it will easily exceed $15,000.*
* UPDATE ON PRICE: It’s been confirmed that IWC will sell this limited edition model with an approximate MSRP of $16,500 with the exact price depending on your local taxes. Although the price tag is a bit too heavy for me, I am pretty sure that ref. IW500432 will either retain its value or will even get more expensive as soon as all 250 pieces of this limited edition run will be sold out in official stores. So, if you think that you MUST have one of these, you should probably hurry up and order one since soccer fans, you know, are pretty intense when it comes to all sorts of memorabilia that have anything to do with their favorite clubs and other related organizations.
IWC Big Pilot DFB (Ref. IW500432) specification
Price: $16,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, IWC Caliber 51011, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 42 (plus 2 beryllium bronze bearings)
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 168 hours (7 days)
Movement decoration: Circular Cotes de Geneve motif, skeletonized oscillating weight with gold medallion
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, power reserve
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 46.00 mm
Case height: 16.00 mm
Dial: Rhodium-plated with sunburst finish
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Rhodium-plated steel, luminous
Water resistance: 60 meters
Strap: Red leather padded black textile strap with IWC-branded deployment buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Solid, engraved with DFB logo