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Review: IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Bronze

The most popular alloy
by Chester Lau on March 16, 2019
Watches

The Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar gets a new look in its latest iteration. Now fit with a bronze case, olive green dial and brown calfskin strap, the new Big Pilot is even more attractive to those looking for a stealthy rustic timepiece.

IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Bronze

The Case and Dial

The bronze case measures 46.2 mm in diameter and 15.3 mm in height. It is water resistant to 6 bar and is fit with sapphire glass on front and back. With the new case material, bronze lends its unique attributes to the already complicated watch. Bronze develops an individual patina over time as the case reacts with the elements, moisture and air.

The olive dial gives the watch a military tool watch look, with a comfortable degree of legibility.  The dial side features the same perpetual calendar with displays for the date, day, month, year in four digits and perpetual moon phase for the northern and southern hemisphere. The sapphire glass is convex with antireflective coating on both sides.

The Movement

Using the 52615 Calibre IWC-manufactured movement, the watch benefits from an effective Pellaton winding system and the high power reserve due to the double barrel capacity.

The twin barrels are the trademark feature of the 52000-calibre family. They supply the watches with sufficient energy for a 7-day power reserve and drive energy-sapping complications like the annual calendar and perpetual calendar.

The components in the Pellaton winding system exposed to unusually high stresses and strains are made of non-wearing ceramic. The perpetual calendar recognizes the different lengths of the months and leap years automatically and requires no correction until 2100. It can be set simply via the crown. The double moon display shows the moon correctly for both the northern and southern hemispheres and will need to be adjusted by one day only after 577.5 years.

Concluding thoughts

Limited to 250 pieces, the Perpetual Calendar is priced at S$43,200. The price is competitive, and a good discount from the Portuguese Perpetual Calendar models in precious metal. The Portuguese Perpetual Calendar in Red Gold is priced at S$56,000.

For an extra $2000, one can also consider a Stainless Steel IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, that has an amazing dial, a nominally more classic design and a chronograph (with flyback) and calendar complication.

All in all, the watch is very nicely made, with the still popular bronze case. While critics may cringe at the same look across both Montblanc and IWC’s SIHH pieces; olive green, retroesque design on a bronze case, the watches are undeniably still very attractive. Considering the segment that the brands are targeting, the product is a good fit and is likely to be well sought after.

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