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The Crafting of the IWC Big Pilot 43

Earlier this year IWC Schaffhausen unveiled the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 at the digital Watches & Wonders exhibition. The new Big Pilot 43 features an ergonomic 43-millimetre stainless steel case, is available with either a black or blue dial, and is powered by the IWC-manufactured 82100 calibre with Pellaton winding, which is visible through a sapphire glass back. Below we explore the meticulous work that goes into crafting the IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot 43.

Enquire: Discover the IWC Big Pilot 43 on The Hour Glass 

Machining the Big Pilot case
Machining the Big Pilot case

The case of the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 consists of about a dozen different components. Apart from the casing ring, these include the back and the retaining ring. There are also several seals, the front glass, the glass back and the crown.

Computer-controlled equipment to achieve results down to the micron
Computer-controlled equipment to achieve results down to the micron

The case components are manufactured individually from stainless-steel bars and pass through several production steps involving state-of-the-art, computer-controlled lathes and milling machines. To ensure a perfect fit later on and guarantee water-resistance of 10 bar, the permitted tolerances are minimal, within a range of a few hundredths of a millimetre. IWC‘s Manufacturing Center runs on 100% renewable energy.

IWC's new five-link stainless-steel bracelet
IWC’s new five-link stainless-steel bracelet

The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is also available with a newly developed five-link stainless-steel bracelet with polished and satin-finished surfaces. Thanks to the fine-adjustment mechanism and the fact that the bracelet tapers towards the clasp, it is very comfortable to wear.

The iconic Big Pilot crown
The iconic Big Pilot’s watch crown

The most striking feature of the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is the distinctive, oversized, conical crown. It measures 9.4 millimetres in diameter and is 5.4 millimetres high. Exquisitely machined, it has 30 grooves and weighs 1.674 grams. Like the case, the crown requires extensive manual finishing after the milling process.

Ruby-tipped touch probe
Ruby-tipped touch probe

The various case components now proceed to a coordinate measuring machine, where a ruby-tipped touch probe gauges their precisely defined geometric features. This test is one of the comprehensive quality controls that IWC carries out at every stage of the manufacturing process.

Simulating years on the wrist
Simulating years on the wrist

As part of the qualification and approval process, IWC’s laboratory subjected the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 to around 100 rigorous tests lasting several months. The water-resistance of 10 bar, for example, was tested in water baths at different pressures. A specially developed device simulated the effects of several years’ ordinary wear on the wrist.

The Big Pilot 43 being put through the paces during the testing phase
The Big Pilot 43 being put through the paces during the testing phase

The case of the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 consists of about a dozen different components. Apart from the casing ring, these include the back and the retaining ring. There are also several seals, the front glass, the glass back and the crown. All designed to keep the elements out.

Interested in the IWC Big Pilot 43? Enquire here and our team of watch specialists will take it from there.

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IWC Big Pilot 43

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