For decades, many collectors considered perfect replica IWC’s pilot’s watches emblematic of the brand. These watches represent the epitome of engineering prowess, and are both durable and sporty. Like all great mechanical watches, a rich history is invoked, including here being issued for decades by military forces
In 1940, IWC introduced its first IWC Big Pilot’s Watch, known as reference 431, with a modified pocket watch movement, or Calibre 52 TSC. But only 1,000 of those were produced, and no one at IWC knew with certainty what would happen with their new homage model, reference 5002. While not as large as its giant WWII ancestor, reference 5002 still had an imposing 46.2 mm diameter. Few UK luxury fake watches back in 2002 were as large, yet this new model rapidly rose in popularity. Over the next 20 years, far more than 100 variations of the Big Pilot’s Watch were produced, including models with many different complications, dial designs and colors.
There was one new high quality replica IWC Big Pilot’s Watches variation that was extraordinarily popular, but virtually impossible to obtain. In 2003, shortly after the debut of the first reborn new Big Pilot’s Watch, a then-apprentice watchmaker at IWC, Markus Bühler, designed an unusual watch and entered it into a competition, the Prix IFHH de l’Horlogerie 2003 (today known as the Concours IHC). Herr Bühler ’s entry won first prize. The watch had a clever and unusual complication — instead of using a hand indication for seconds, its small seconds dial revolved continuously like a turbine on a jet airplane engine.
Watching the turbine revolve was mesmerizing. The watch was not initially designed for production, and in fact the contest entry utilized a non-IWC Unitas movement. The turbine complication actually didn’t add anything to timekeeping nor accuracy beyond showing that the movement was working. But someone at IWC recognized that the young apprentice came up with something unique and alluring to collectors.
Consequently, in 2008 a small limited edition of 12 was produced as IWC Reference 5003. Actually, rumors persist that 15 Swiss made copy watches were made, with IWC and Herr Bühler retaining the last three. The 12 watches sold out instantly, with a few dealers contacting their best customers, and a handful since then have been resold on the second market at staggering prices. The watch, aside from its creativity, had another factor that hugely increased its demand — the fact that it was virtually unobtainable.
IWC honors its past, and the Reference 5003 model already is one of legend. But subsequently producing simple, identical copies is not how IWC conducts its business. A new model, introduced now, improved on the small limited edition from 2008 in every way.
The 2023 top replica IWC Big Pilot’s Watches 43 Tourbillon Markus Bühler contains numerous important technical improvements. Specifically:
- became totally in-house, as a member of the IWC Calibre 89 family o has a state-of-art complication, a tourbillon
- is now automatic — never a small feat for a tourbillon
- is now much more water resistant, increased from 3 ATM to 100 ATM
- is now 43mm in diameter
- is platinum, befitting a very special and collectible watch.
Fittingly, this new best fake watches reference is in a larger limited edition of 51.
But beyond these changes, the new model lies fully within the IWC heritage. The dial, despite small differences, is almost identical to its legendary predecessor. It is, as before, a classic example of IWC’s famed Big Pilot’s Watch models. It reflects the skill and innovation of its creator. While it is a collectors’ watch, it also is very much also a watchmakers’ watch.
With this new model, also known as reference IW329901, there is something both extraordinarily simple and complex. The replica watches wholesale looks very much like its 2008 predecessor, with that distinctive turbine in the seconds aperture at 6 o’clock. But then it takes this close-to-mirror image look and expands it geometrically. The turbine spinning is not an ornament but the result of a tourbillon added to the movement. A creative idea from 15 years ago has evolved now to the ne plus ultra of high watchmaking.
This redesign and reengineering are remarkable. Markus Bühler, now Associate Director of Watch and Movement Assembly at IWC Schaffhausen, summed it all up when he said: “When I created my Big Pilot’s Watch with a turbine as an apprentice watchmaker, I would never have imagined I would lead the development of a second edition 15 years later — let alone that I would be responsible for all assembly processes at IWC. To meet the high expectations of our collectors, we decided to create something truly exclusive and integrate the signature turbine into a tourbillon.”
Brilliant ideas are often the simplest, but underlying simple concepts can be wonderful complexities. This super clone watches for men has it all.