If you’re an IWC fan, in particular of the Big Pilot collection, you’ll already know that the IWC Roadshow is a big deal for budding watch enthusiasts to gather and dote over the iconic collection via an interactive touring exhibition.

Now, from the 17 to 20 February 2022, the renowned roadshow has official landed in the city of Melbourne where it will be located at the city’s iconic Federation Square.

The exclusive roadshow is a free event open to the public with no invitation required. Upon entering the pop-up centre that is housed in IWC-branded shipping containers, you will be able to deep dive into the world of the Big Pilot, experiencing an immersive display that takes you from the Big Pilot’s origins right up to the present day. See how the Big Pilot comes to life and what goes into creating such an iconic timepiece.

“The Big Pilot’s Watch not only embodies IWC’s extensive experience in manufacturing precise and reliable instruments for the cockpit but over the years, it has transcended its utilitarian beginnings and turned into a cultural icon and expression of a distinct mindset,” says Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.

“Today, we are now adding a new chapter to the story of our best-known pilot’s watch.”

Founded in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, IWC has been crafting functional complications and luxurious timepieces for over 150 years. Guided by the mantra ‘form follows function’, what you will find with an IWC timepiece is a work of pure craftsmanship that not only meets the stylistic standards of men through the ages, but has always remained practical in every sense of the word.

Take the Big Pilot, for example. For 85 years, IWC has endured a rich legacy of crafting Pilot’s Watches tailored to meet the functional requirements and specific needs of professional pilots. These technically sophisticated instrument watches were pivotal to Pilots on all sorts of flight trips, regarded for their extreme robustness, high versatility and of course, reliability.

This legacy began in Schaffhausen in 1936 with the development of the first Special Pilot’s Watch. But it was in 1940 that a true cultural icon was born: the Big Pilot’s Watch Calibre 52 T.S.C. This timepiece would serve as the inspiration for the design of the Big Pilots Watch of today. Designed to comply with the strict requirements for an observers watch, the original Big Pilot’s watch was 55 millimetres in diameter. 16,5 millimetres high and weighed in at 183 grams – a watch of behemoth proportions.

Thankfully, the Big Pilot of today is catered towards the modern man whilst retaining its storied history. Enter, the Big Pilot 43.

IWC Big Pilot Roadshow

In 2021, IWC added a further chapter to the success story of its best-known Pilot’s Watch with the release of the 43; an authentic, faithful interpretation of the iconic Big Pilot’s Watch. Boasting a high-contrast, three-hand dial that helms all the functionality and legibility of an instrument designed for the cockpit, the Big Pilot 43 met new design specifications with its forty three millimetre diameter stainless-steel case.

The Big Pilot 43 combines excellent wearability with a bold look and stunning presence on the wrist. The IWC manufactured 82100 calibre with Pellaton winding featuring ceramic components keeps this watch ticking, and the new strap options are a lovely touch for the purchaser, with the option to choose between a calfskin and a rubber strap or the new stainless-steel, fine-adjustment bracelet.

The IWC Big Pilot Roadshow will run from the 17 – 20 February at Melbourne’s Federation Square. Can’t make it out? You can also follow the action online through #IWCONTOUR. 

thoughts?