IWC Dedicates Latest Big Pilot to Swiss Air Force Aerobatic Team (with Price)

IWC has just announced the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition “Patrouille Suisse”, a limited edition in sandblasted stainless steel that’s named after the aerobatic team of the Swiss Air Force. 

Patrouille Suisse is the aerobatic team of the Swiss Air Force, flying F-5E Tiger IIs painted in red and white livery. Its relationship with IWC dates back to the mid-1990s, when the watchmaker created a limited edition Mark XII for Patrouille Suisse. The latest Patrouille Suisse edition is the Big Pilot “Patrouille Suisse”, a variant of IWC’s signature oversized aviator’s watch featuring an unusual sandblasted case. Unlike most Big Pilots that have centre seconds, the recent “Le Petit Prince” being an example, the Patrouille Suisse edition has a symmetrical dial, with the seconds at nine and power reserve at three (exactly the same layout and movement as the Portugieser 7-day). The dial has a radial brushed finish in grey, the colour of all recent Patrouille Suisse editions.

The 46mm steel case is sandblasted, giving it a matte, grained surface. A finish typically found on titanium watches, the sandblasted case is unusual for a Big Pilot, which usually has a brushed case finish.

The case back is cast with a stylised motif with three F-5E Tiger IIs swooping across. Underneath is the calibre 51011, a self-winding movement with a seven day power reserve. This might just be one of the last models with a movement derived from the calibre 5000, which was replaced by the calibre 52000 family at SIHH 2015.

The Big Pilot’s Watch Edition “Patrouille Suisse” is a limited edition of 250 watches, each numbered on the case starting from “001/250”. In September it’ll be available at IWC boutiques and retailers with Switzerland, and subsequently at boutiques in other countries. The price is S$22,000 including 7% tax, equivalent to US$15,600. 

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