Few watches can claim to be real icons. The cheap IWC watches is definitely one of them. This pilot watch inspired by the Second World War no longer needs a presentation. Of course, what everyone knows is the classic black version with white indexes (Ref. IW500912). But the brand offers more editions, including my favorite, the ref. “Le Petit Prince”. IW500916 – with or without complications. Recently, the brand added a new sub-collection of vintage style in the Big Pilot line called “Heritage”, which includes the watch that we are about to review, the Heritage Bronze IWC Big Pilot watch, IW501005. Patina is about to hit the sky!
In 2002, IWC released a watch that would later become a true Swiss replica uk watches cornerstone of the collection, a watch that many praised and loved, a watch that would define buy IWC watches as the true manufacture of pilot watches: the Big Pilot. The first edition – the standard version of black dial, ref. IW5002: was a modern reintroduction of an iconic German military watch, the B-Uhr. This clock, which dates back to 1935 and is marked as ‘Beobachtungsuhr’, was used by the navigators of the plane.
The pilots of the German Luftwaffe used this watch as a real navigational instrument and, for this same reason, the watch was large, about 55 mm in diameter, and adapted to a massive movement of pocket watches with manual winding. The movement was surrounded by a soft iron box, which made these watches anti-magnetic, which is essential for aviation watches. A good example is the IWC Caliber 52 T.S.C. (Ref. IW431) that was manufactured for the first time in 1940 (see image above).
The 2002 copy IWC watches watch ref. IW5002 was a modern interpretation of this concept instead of a faithful copy of a past model. Still, it was defined by its large case (46 mm) and its emblematic dial, with hands and markers identical to the clocks of the 1940s. Inside there was an ultra-large movement, this time although with automatic winding and a 7-day power reserve. Vintage in style, but not in specifications.
Three generations of Big Pilot watches were presented: IW5002, IW5004 and the current IW5009. If the concept is still basically the same, we must observe some evolutions. For example, the middle-aged model IW5004 was somehow rejected by collectors due to a less legitimate dialing screen. At SIHH 2016, replica IWC Big Pilot’s Watches introduced a new version: Ref. IW5009, which updated the dial and returned to the original design, with the number of 9 o’clock in place and the black triangle below the 12 o’clock index. In addition, the movement was completely modified, and if it still has a 7-day power reserve, it has a completely new architecture inside. This is the movement that has been used for the creation of several limited editions (or not), which include two “Heritage” watches: the reference. IW501004 with titanium case and the one that is the subject of conversation here, the bronze version Ref. IW501005.
The recently launched Watch Heritage Bronze IW501005 from Big Pilot is a limited edition of 1,500 pieces that fake IWC watches launched to please those who believe that the classic black dial version is too technical, too modern, not sufficiently rooted in military inspiration. Personally I can understand that some people want something more “classic” when it comes to watches inspired by World War II, since the IW5009 is truly a cold watch, similar to an instrument, without ornaments. The things resolved, the titanium IW501004 and even more the bronze IW501005 have a truly old look.
The evolution, in comparison with the standard version of black dial, has to do with appearance. The dimensions, specifications and mechanics are the same in both versions of the watch. However, the case and the dial are new. In 2016, IWC launched some “Heritage” watches (under the SIHH when the Pilot watch collection was completely changed) with the Heritage replica IWC watches 48mm and 55mm (limited editions of 1,000 pieces and 100 pieces, respectively) . However, these two were quite separate in the collection and did not have the automatic 7-day power reserve movement and the central seconds / power reserve indicator screen. The IW501005 is more in line with what is supposed to be the classic Big Pilot watch.
The Big Pilot Watch Heritage Bronze is based on the same 46.2 mm x 15.4 mm case as the standard steel version. The form is also the same. What changes is the material used: a bronze alloy with its dark golden color that defines it, when it is new, a greenish patina, after being used intensively. This choice of material changes the perception of the watch, giving it a resemblance to the old ones