I must admit I had some problems during take-off. I mean not actually becoming airborne, but putting on the XL complicated IWC Big Pilot replica took some effort. Not that the combination of calfskin strap and folding clasp are difficult to understand or operate, but because it takes some time to get the watch snug on the wrist.
And this top-heavy, 46.2×15.4mm steel copy IWC Big Pilots ref. IW503605 needs to be snug on the wrist. And that’s because when it moves around on it, it just feels highly unpleasant. But once I got it in place (and left it no place to go), the watch felt comfortable. It was certainly noticeable because of its weight, but way more noteworthy because of its size and appearance — this watch has charisma.
Soaring high above the clouds with the blue dial fake IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar
I bet you’re thinking something along the lines of “I have seen this watch before…” And you’re not (completely) wrong. In the past there were Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar models, but they were always limited editions. This year IWC decided to add the “BP QP” to the standard collection. And although the watch looks familiar, you shouldn’t take it for granted.
The new watch’s familiarity also lies in the fact that the large surface of the dial is a perfect canvas on which to paint all the indications of the perpetual calendar. Especially since IWC decided to use its “Le Petit Prince” blue as the background and clear white to draw most of the details. I say most because the tips of the hands that indicate the day, date, and month have a bright red tip. No “fauxtina” to be seen anywhere and that makes this blue BP QP a solo pilot that plots its own course and doesn’t follow the much-traveled retro route.
Designed by one of the most likable master watchmakers
I was tempted to refer to the combination of blue and white as timeless, but since we’re dealing with a watch with a perpetual calendar, that seems inappropriate. This QP requires its first correction in the year 2100. It’s clever enough to automatically recognizes different month lengths as well as leap years. And on top of it all, it displays the four-digit year until the year 2499. This top quality replica IWC watch is, quite simply, all about time.
What IWC did is place a calendar module (comprising around 80 individual parts) on top of the in-house caliber 5216 with two barrels and seven days of power reserve. All that power also drives the module by a single nightly switching pulse. I should mention that the whole system was developed in the 1980s by IWC’s former head watchmaker Kurt Klaus. Herr Klaus is one of the most likable master watchmakers alive.
Programmed for a mind-boggling 577 years
The automatic movement features a Pellaton winding system with wear-resistant ceramic components that is visible through the sapphire glass back. Not that you want to have a look at that too often, because once you have the Swiss copy IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar on the wrist you don’t want to take it off. Partly because you will feel naked and light instantly. And also because it’s a really nice watch to wear.
Can I read the indications without my reading glasses? No. Do I need to? Again no. I also didn’t need to adjust the calendar by manipulating the easy-to-use single crown. When I started wearing the watch it was set and ready to go, and I just didn’t want to mess with it. And while the calendar needs sharp eyes, the time is perfectly visible because of the sharp contrast and the shape and color of the very large hour and minute hands. It’s a good thing I know what date and day it is, and the same goes for the year. But the fact that the watch on the wrist mechanically keeps track of the date for many years to come is something special.