The Skies Above: IWC Big Pilot vs. Breitling Navitimer

In the world of horology, two iconic timepieces stand out as the aviation aficionado's dream: the IWC Big Pilot and the Breitling Navitimer. These watches have soared through the skies, accompanying pilots on their journeys and becoming symbols of precision and functionality. In this showdown of the horological giants, we'll explore the pros, cons, price points, and unique attributes that set these watches apart.

IWC Big Pilot: The Majestic Navigator


  1. Heritage and Legacy: The IWC Big Pilot traces its lineage back to the time of World War II when it served as an essential tool for pilots. Its heritage oozes from every angle, making it a collector's dream.

  2. Simplicity in Design: The Big Pilot is known for its clean, minimalistic design. The large, easy-to-read dial and simple Arabic numerals make it an excellent choice for those who appreciate clarity and functionality.

  3. Exceptional Power Reserve: Some models boast an impressive 7-day power reserve, ensuring that even if you're far from civilization, your timepiece will continue ticking.


  1. Size and Weight: While the oversized case contributes to its iconic look, it might be a tad too large and heavy for some wrists.

  2. Price: The IWC Big Pilot, while exceptional, comes with a price tag that reflects its heritage and craftsmanship. It might be out of reach for those on a budget.

Price Range: $10,000 - $25,000 (depending on the model and complications)

Breitling Navitimer: The Aviator's Essential Tool


  1. Iconic Slide Rule Bezel: The Navitimer is renowned for its slide rule bezel, a pilot's essential tool for calculations like fuel consumption, airspeed, and flight time.

  2. Versatility: Beyond its aviation functions, the Navitimer is a versatile timepiece suitable for various occasions. It seamlessly transitions from cockpit to boardroom.

  3. Variety: Breitling offers a wide range of Navitimer models, allowing buyers to choose from various sizes, materials, and complications, including chronographs and GMT functions.


  1. Complexity: The slide rule bezel, while iconic, can be daunting to master for those not familiar with aviation calculations.

  2. Size: Some Navitimer models tend to be on the larger side, which might not suit individuals with smaller wrists.

Price Range: $5,000 - $15,000 (depending on the model and complications)

The Verdict: Which Watch Rules the Skies?

The choice between the IWC Big Pilot and the Breitling Navitimer ultimately boils down to personal preference and intended use. If you prioritize heritage, simplicity, and exceptional power reserve, the IWC Big Pilot may be your ideal companion. Its classic design and history make it a timepiece that transcends trends.

On the other hand, if you're a pilot or someone who appreciates the functionality of a slide rule bezel, the Breitling Navitimer might be your co-pilot of choice. Its versatility and wide range of models offer something for everyone, from aviation enthusiasts to professionals seeking a stylish, multifunctional watch.

Both watches are exceptional in their own right, and while price points vary, the investment in either of these horological marvels is a testament to your appreciation for precision, history, and the boundless skies above. So, whether you're soaring through the clouds or conquering the boardroom, the IWC Big Pilot and the Breitling Navitimer are timeless companions for your journey.

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