The Right Stuff: IWC Launches Big Pilot’s Watch “Right-Hander”

In a world where only about 10 percent of the population is believed to be left-handed, anecdotal evidence has indicated that the number of lefties among pilots is significantly higher — as many as 40 percent. With this in mind, it begs the question as to why there are not more pilots’ watches designed to be worn on the right hand. At least one of the watch world’s most noted purveyors of timepieces for aviators, IWC Schaffhausen, has finally addressed this large potential audience with a new limited edition in its iconic Big Pilot’s collection: the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Edition “Right Hander.”

IWC Big Pilot Right-Hander LE - front
The watch is the First Big Pilot with the crown on the left side of the case.

The watch, which is limited to 250 pieces, is the first IWC Big Pilot’s Watch to have its crown positioned on the left side of the case. It takes its design inspiration from a 1940s model, the Big Pilot’s Watch Calibre 52, and shares that vintage piece’s titanic case diameter of 46.2 mm. The left-mounted crown, its conical shape and large size designed for ease of use by pilots wearing thick gloves, screws into the case, which is made of stainless steel and water resistant to 60 meters. Under a convex, nonreflective sapphire crystal, the slate-colored dial bears the classical hallmarks of the Big Pilot collection, with large, luminous Arabic numerals and hands as well as the traditional triangle at 12 o’clock. This model also displays the date at 6 o’clock, the small seconds at 3 o’clock, and the status of the watch’s lengthy seven-day power reserve at 9 o’clock.

IWC Big Pilot Right-Hander LE - dial CU
The slate-colored dial displays the time, date, and seven-day power reserve.

The movement that provides this watch’s week-long running autonomy is IWC’s self-winding Caliber 52010, which is protected from the effects of magnetism by a soft iron inner case — another practical feature pioneered by IWC and quite useful in a cockpit. Driven by IWC’s Pellaton winding system, the movement has 31 jewels, a frequency of 28,800 vph, and a hacking seconds function. The Big Pilot’s Watch Edition “Right-Hander” is mounted on a black calfskin strap and priced at $14,200. It will be available starting in August at IWC boutiques and authorized retailers, with three months’ exclusivity in Australia and France.

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  1. Robin Henry

    Very interesting. I have worn a watch on my right wrist ever since my mother put on my Timex when I was about 10. Having the winding crown on the right hand side has never been a problem for me, however, it’s good to see that someone has addressed this issue as I’ve always had to take my watch off to correct the date or time. I’ve seen some watches, I think Seiko, that have the crown at the 12 position, another variation.

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