IWC has prepared a limited edition version of its Big Pilot model. Sporting the same dial layout as the 2010 Blue Big Pilot Limited Edition 7 Days Power Reserve, the 2013 IWC Big Pilot TOP GUN Boutique Edition Green (Ref. IW501903) grew even bigger and finally got its stainless steel body swapped in favor of a more appealing black ceramic.
Although I’ve heard numerous complaints about the fragility of ceramic cases (in fact, I recently saw a ceramic Chanel ladies watch with a number of dents on its otherwise gorgeous body), there are still thousands of customers ready to part with thousands of dollars in order to get one of these scratch-resistant beauties.
Compared to the aforementioned Blue Big Pilot, this limited edition model is even bigger growing to whole 48 millimeters in diameter and around 15 millimeters in height.
Since the watch looks like it was intended to be worn with something closer to a blackout suit rather than a Brioni outfit, the size of this thing looks completely justified. After all, the bigger the dial (and it is REALLY big), the less precious time it will take you to get its reading.
Predictably, the watch is powered by the same Caliber 51111 automatic movement that also animates the base version. Equipped with their proprietary Pellaton system and featuring a king-size spring barrel, this low-beating mechanism is capable of running without stopping for the whole 7 days (168 hours) after being fully wound.
Originally based on a vintage pocket movement, the Caliber 51111 looks like a seasoned bodybuilder compared to a bunch of ETA hipsters. The movement measures more than 38 millimeters in diameter and takes up a lot of living space, even when put inside such a large body.
So far, IWC plans to limit production of the Boutique Edition Green (Ref. IW501903) to just 500 pieces but promises to make them available in all of its numerous boutiques around the civilized world.
When finally arriving to a boutique near you, the IW501903 will be offered with a recommended minimum street price of approximately $19,500, which is about right for a nominally (in that sense that there won’t be a shortage of this timekeepers during the next couple of years due to its impressive cost) limited edition that happens to be offered in a ceramic body and outfitted with one of the best mechanical movements you can get.
IWC Big Pilot TOP GUN Boutique Edition Green (Ref. IW501903) specification
Price: $19,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, IWC Calibre 51111, in-house, Pellaton winding system, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 42
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 168 hours (7 days)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, power reserve indicator
Case: Black Ceramic
Crown: Stainless steel
Size: 48.00 mm
Case height: 15.00 mm
Hour markers: Green, luminous
Hands: Diamond-shaped, green, luminous
Water resistance: 60 meters
Strap: Black soft NATO textile strap with a folding clasp in sandblasted stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides, convex
Back: Stainless steel, TOP GUN logo