Pilot watches or ‘Flying Officer Chronograph Wristwatches’ have been around since Louis Cartier in 1904 designed what became known as the the brand’s flagship design, the Santos, for Brazilian aviation pioneer, Alberto Santos-Dumont. Dumont wanted a big and boldly indexed timepiece that he didn’t have to fish out from beneath his layers of clothing, and Cartier delivered it. Currently spearheading this genre of pilot watches is the Schaffhausen-based luxury watchmaker IWC, with their Big Pilot series. And the latest in its line is their first-ever IWC Big Pilot ‘Right-Hander’, a timepiece that caters exclusively to the left-handed – 40 percent of the aviation community, and just 10 percent of the world.
Conventionally, watches have always been been worn on the left hand, with the crown to the right for adjustment. This setting is however inconvenient for those who are left-handed. To tackle this issue, IWC has designed a movement with a left-sided crown placement, which allows left-handed aviators to sport the wristwatch on the right wrist.
Cased in stainless-steel and strapped-on with black calfskinWith a monochromatic palette of silver, grey and black, the Big Pilot ‘Right-Hander’ has a seconds sub-dial at three o’clock. It also features a seven-day or 168-hour power reserve at nine o’clock. The dial is slate-toned and has white luminescent indexes, while the two sub-dials are black in colour. Underneath, we see an automatic IWC Caliber 52010. There is also a Pellaton automatic winding, hacking seconds, and a soft-iron inner case to protect against magnetic fields. All of this, has been strapped-on with black calfskin and cased in stainless-steel.
The timepiece is limited to 250 units and priced at $14,200. As of today, the IWC Big Pilot ‘Right Hander’ is available exclusively in France and Australia but will soon retail at outlets across the world.
All images: Courtesy IWC Schaffhausen