IWC is renowned for its straightforward pilot’s tool timepieces. They have dominated this market for almost a century. It’s extremely probable that when someone mentions “pilot’s watch,” we immediately think of an IWC Big Pilot with its instrument panel-inspired dial and large onion crown.

To widen their collection, the IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Rodeo Drive Edition was introduced in 2019. Although it would seem strange to pair a perpetual calendar with a Big Pilot at first, IWC’s well considered design makes it a wonderful complement.

The IWC Top Gun and Rodeo Drive lines are both expanded by this timepiece. A series of ceramic pilot timepieces called the Top Gun collection was created as an homage to the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School that was shown in the Tom Cruise movie. Meanwhile, the Rodeo Drive model honors the prestigious IWC shop that is situated on the renowned Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

Luckily, this watch is not a limited edition like the previous Rodeo Drive Big Pilot, and it has the same deep blue dial and black ceramic band. On paper, the watch appears contradictory, yet in practice, it functions flawlessly.

This watch has a 48mm diameter, which is larger than it has to be called a genuine pilot’s watch. Since pilot timepieces were intended to be worn on top of a bomber jacket, size was less of a concern.

The instrument-inspired design has been mastered by IWC, and this could be the most user-friendly and easiest and quick to read perpetual calendar watch. This is advantageous since readability must be exceptional if one is trying to tell the time while controlling a plane under pressure. The numbers are bold, and the huge lume-filled hands are very noticeable.

The sub-dial layout comes with a well balanced design; the month is at six o’clock, the power reserve and date are at three, the dual southern and northern hemisphere moon phase is at twelve, and the day of the week and running seconds are at nine. Below eleven and one are North/South symbols, while above seven is the four-digit year.

This ceramic case, which is 16mm thick, will look fantastic with a bomber jacket. To boost the durability of its case, the caseback and crown are made of titanium. For a watch like this, the combination of titanium and ceramic is ideal since it will be significantly lighter on the wrist than steel, providing a more pleasant wearing experience.

This watch is powered by the Caliber 52615, an automatic in house movement that features a seven-day power reserve, multiple ceramic wheels, and ceramic winding pawls, which are far more durable than ordinary alloys in terms of wear and tear.

IWC did a fantastic job with this watch. They integrated what are typically opposing concepts, precious materials, movements, and tool watches in a way that just works. It is true that this watch has a ceramic case, but it is also a genuine tool watch that can be fastened to the outside of your flight jacket. For more information, visit The Time Place boutique.