IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar Watch Review

IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar Watch Review

No other complication has sat in the limelight on IWC’S Big Pilots dial as often as the perpetual calendar. Widely considered their most impressive and coveted complication, the full-calendar function is brought centre stage once again as part of the luxury Swiss watch brand’s 2021 Watches & Wonders releases. Meet the new IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar IW503605.

The Perpetual Calendar Movement

The first IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar watch was released back in 2006 as a limited edition of 25 pieces. Dressed in platinum, the design revived the legendary complication first developed by IWC’s former head watchmaker Kurt Klaus during the 1980’s. Since then, there have been no less than 37 reiterations of the Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar design and now, placing as the 38th, the new 2021 IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar watch under reference IW503605 enters IWC’s permanent collection with a stunning nautical blue dial.

One of the main draws of IWC’s perpetual calendar movement is that it is incredibly user friendly, capable of being set entirely via a single crown. The ingenious mechanical programme, which automatically recognises different month lengths – including leap years-  requires no manual correction until the year 2100. Additionally, despite its hefty array of complications, the IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar watch maintains its highly legible aviation aesthetic with a large four digit year display, sizable propeller shaped Superluminova hands for hours and minutes and four detailed registers for calendar and moonphase function.

The new 2021 IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar watch is fuelled by the IWC-manufactured 52615 calibre which drives the calendar module using a single nightly switching impulse. Its construction sole focus is on the maximum precision of the perpetual calendar function including the power reserve indicator and date display at 3 o’clock, month display at 6 o’clock, day and small seconds at 9 o’clock and a double moon phase display at 12 o’clock which correctly depicts the moon phase for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and only needs to be adjusted by one day after 577.5 years.

Like so many of IWC’s in-house manufacture calibres, the 52615 calibre movement uses a Pellaton  automatic winding system which builds up a power reserve of 7 days in two barrels and is constructed using a whopping total of 386 components. It also boasts 54 jewels, a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and a stunning Côtes de Genève decorated rotor which can be viewed through the sapphire crystal glass case back of the IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar watch.

The IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar IW503605

Other than its complex movement and dial layout, the new IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar follows in the footsteps of many of its other aviation-inspired stablemates. Just as its name suggests, the robust stainless steel case sits large on the wrist measuring to 46.2mm in diameter and 15.4mm in height and yet thanks to its contoured integrated lugs and blue calfskin leather strap fitted with an IWC decorated pin buckle, it sits exceptionally comfortably. 

The stainless steel exterior is also equipped with a smooth unadorned bezel, screw in crown and screw down exhibition case back, all justified of a 60 metre water resistant rating. Additional durability is guaranteed by sapphire crystal glass housed above the dial, with arched edging and anti-reflective coating on both sides. The handsome blue and white dial beneath is reminiscent of the IWC Le Petit Prince series with a blue sunray back drop and white Superluminova accents on the central hands, Arabic numerals and square indexes.

If you’d like to learn more about the 2021 IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar IW503605 watch and some of the other IWC 2021 Watches & Wonders releases, head over to the Jura Watches website today. You can also contact the team on 01335 453454 or send us a message at to discuss the incredible interest free finance and free next day delivery options available.

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