IWC Schaffhausen has just launched the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Tourbillon Markus Bühler. It is the highly anticipated successor to the 2008 Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Markus Bühler. This time, the characteristic aircraft turbine is integrated into a tourbillon model with jumping minutes at 6 o’clock, a true design and manufacturing challenge. Limited to only 51 pieces, this new interpretation of the “Markus Bühler” watch impresses with its polished platinum case, glossy black dial, and black Cordovan leather strap. The IWC-manufactured caliber 82905 with darkened components is visible through the sapphire crystal case back.
Arguably, no other watch in the Swiss brand’s Pilot’s Watches collection has achieved such a cult status among collectors as the 2008 Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Markus Bühler. It was inspired by a unique piece that Markus Bühler created for a competition in the last year of his apprenticeship as a watchmaker at IWC. The most striking visual feature of the piece was the aircraft turbine in the small seconds. Fifteen years later, IWC presents this exclusive new interpretation. Like its predecessor, the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Tourbillon Markus Bühler (Ref. IW329901) features a small turbine on the dial. However, this time, the distinctive aircraft engine has been integrated into a tourbillon.
“When I created my Big Pilot’s Watch with a turbine as a watchmaking apprentice, I never would have imagined leading the development of a second edition 15 years later – let alone being responsible for all assembly processes at IWC. To meet our collectors’ high expectations, we decided to create something truly unique and integrate the signature turbine into a tourbillon. This new edition perfectly embodies IWC’s engineering spirit while showcasing the highest levels of detail and craftsmanship,” explains Markus Bühler, Associate Director of Watch and Movement Assembly at IWC Schaffhausen.
The 43mm case and crown of this new model are made of platinum. Platinum is among the rarest, purest, and most precious metals used in watches and jewelry. The case has been meticulously hand-finished with polished surfaces around the bezel and lugs. Thanks to this finishing, the whitish shine of platinum stands out, giving the watch a sophisticated appearance. The glossy black lacquered dial is printed with white numerals and features applied indices filled with Super-LumiNova®. A black Cordovan leather strap with Markus Bühler’s signature printed on the inside completes the design. Powering this Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is the IWC-manufactured caliber 82905. Its Pellaton winding system has been reinforced with ceramic components and boasts an 80-hour power reserve on the mainspring.
The story of the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Markus Bühler and its reissue is a testament to the strength of IWC’s apprenticeship program. The 2008 first edition was initially created as a submission for a competition organized by the “Institut de Formation à la Haute Horlogerie” , where Markus Bühler won the first prize. Competitions and events for apprentices, such as innovation challenges, have remained a fundamental pillar of IWC’s strategy to promote the development of young talents, generate new ideas, and develop cutting-edge watch solutions. After completing his watchmaking apprenticeship, Bühler remained loyal to IWC. Among other roles, he served as Manager of the Industrialization Department and Head of Movement Assembly and Industrialization. Since 2020, he has been responsible for the entire spectrum of IWC’s assembly processes in the new Manufakturzentrum as Associate Director of Watch and Movement Assembly.