Ever since IWC announced the new Big Pilot 5009-12 during SIHH 2016, it quickly went to the top of my must-have list. While I performed an unboxing and thoughts video on my YouTube VLOG below, there's a personal story associated with this acquisition that I would like to share.
By June 2016, I had 19 watches, nineteen! I didn't really wear several of them, so I thought about potentially downsizing or maybe, how about trading some in for the Big Pilot? Having worked with Govberg Jewelers, from Philadelphia, before on other pieces, I knew they were an IWC authorized dealer and they also deal quite a bit with trade-ins.
So I reached out to my contact there and after a few emails and phone calls, we worked out a fair deal.
On 6/10/2016, I boarded a red eye flight from LA to Philly with a carry-on full of watches, boxes and papers. This was arguably the craziest thing I've ever done!
I landed at 6AM ET, rented a car shortly there after and drove out to Walnut St. Since I arrived a few hours before opening, I hung out at the Starbucks around the corner until 10AM.
Having tried on the Big Pilot, albeit the previous generation, at the IWC Boutique in Beverly Hills, several times, I knew what to expect. It's a massive, disgustingly huge watch and it's perfect in every way possible.
The new Big Pilot fixes all of the relatively minor design issues of the previous generation - the most obvious is that the "9" is back on the dial, the two dots / triangle symbol is moved back down below the 12 o'clock index markers, the font used for the numerals are slightly enlarged and bolded and they replaced the alligator strap with a high quality Santoni strap, that better compliments the original toolwatch design of the Big Pilot.
Now with the Big Pilot on my wrist and my return flight later in the day, it's time to explore the City of Brotherly Love - visited Rocky, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and enjoyed a good Philly cheesesteak sandwich.
Thank you Michele, Govberg and Philly for the hospitality!