I have always liked the pilot watches from IWC. More so the Big Pilot. However, after the recent standardisation exercise by IWC on the pilot range, the Big Pilot (ref 5004) did not sing to me. I did not like the 'cut-off' numbers. I preferred the older Big Pilot, shown in the photograph below.
Photograph: borrowed shamelessly from the Internet
This is the 'new' Big Pilot. Note the 'cut-off' hour index at 2 and 4 o'clock.
Anyway, IWC has released two Limited Edition Big Pilots. The first is a Boutique only (Las Vegas) IWC Big Pilot. The watch will feature a blue-theme as the indexes, hour, minutes and seconds hands included, will be rendered in blue (luminous). The watch will carry the same reference 5004 as the standard Big Pilot. It is the same size as the standard Big Pilot and will be powered by the same movement, IWC calibre 5111. I understand it will be a limited edition run of only 50 pieces and will be available towards the end of the year.
The second watch is the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar. This watch is a limited edition watch and will be a run of 250 pieces. The watch will feature the following functions; hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve (7 days), day, date, month, year and moon phase. It will be powered by IWC Calibre 51613. The watch will be available in the 4th quarter of this year. The watch will be rendered with yellow-orange highlights.
The unique aspect of both watches is the fact that IWC has decided to have these watches engraved with a unique limited edition numbering system. All the Blue Big Pilots will be numbered One of 50, while the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar will carry One of 250. This is a departure from the norm of numbering limited edition watches with serial numbering of 1 of 50, 2 of 50 and so on.
I can understand (I suspect) why this is done. It could be that certain numbers are not very popular in certain cultures, like the number 4 to the Chinese and maybe number 13 to other people. Number 8 is popular with the Chinese as is combinations of 3, 6 and 8. I guess by numbering the watches as one of 50, IWC remove the possibility of certain watches not selling or slow to move.