Help - Big Pilot 43 or Mark XX

I have been stuck on this one for a while. I have the funds to finally add an IWC pilot to my collection - and I'm struggling on whether to go for the Big Pilot 43 (a grail of mine) or the Mark XX for a smaller and perhaps more versatile alternative.

I have tried both on and size isn't an issue. But the 拢2K+ extra for as well as the larger size is stopping me from just pulling the trigger on the BP43. I want this to be versatile and to swap straps often - especially NATOs so I worry the BP is too big for that.

Anyone else go through a similar dilemma ?!

Thanks in advance!!!

I prefer smaller watches so......

Mark XX. Wears much nicer on the wrist and also a perfect size. 20mm lug width makes it a perfect strap monster.

The Big Pilot 43 just wears like a brick on the wrist. Unnecessarily thick and the flat case makes the wearing experience quite odd if you dont have large wrist. Plus the updated movement in the Mark XX is just a better value overall.

I have to say the BP43. Sometimes pop it on a NATO but the leather and rubber suit it best. Not a fan of it on the bracelet. It's surprisingly versatile and has much more presence than the XX. But if you want something more subtle then that's a fine choice too. Despite their similarities, for me they're very different watches.

It seems obvious since you called the Big Pilot a Grail...

I'm about 17.5 cm

nightfury95

Mark XX. Wears much nicer on the wrist and also a perfect size. 20mm lug width makes it a perfect strap monster.

The Big Pilot 43 just wears like a brick on the wrist. Unnecessarily thick and the flat case makes the wearing experience quite odd if you dont have large wrist. Plus the updated movement in the Mark XX is just a better value overall.

Great points thanks.

@TimeCop has hit the nail on the head here - completely agree, although I do occasionally wear it on the bracelet. The BP43 is a superb watch, I don鈥檛 have a big wrist but the BP fits comfortably day to day, I鈥檝e travelled with it, swam, etc. I find it very versatile. I think the movement is at a higher level, finished to a higher degree than the 32111 in the mark xx with highly efficient winding and ceramic parts, though with a shorter power reserve.

The Mark series are lovely (my Mk XVI is now about sixteen years old and still very much a favourite), but a more subtle, below the radar watch.

Hope you solve the dilemma, in fact my approach was different as I had no intention of getting the Big Pilot 43, I was actually intending to get the Pilot Chronograph but as soon as I tried it, that was it.

danmitch

@TimeCop has hit the nail on the head here - completely agree, although I do occasionally wear it on the bracelet. The BP43 is a superb watch, I don鈥檛 have a big wrist but the BP fits comfortably day to day, I鈥檝e travelled with it, swam, etc. I find it very versatile. I think the movement is at a higher level, finished to a higher degree than the 32111 in the mark xx with highly efficient winding and ceramic parts, though with a shorter power reserve.

The Mark series are lovely (my Mk XVI is now about sixteen years old and still very much a favourite), but a more subtle, below the radar watch.

Hope you solve the dilemma, in fact my approach was different as I had no intention of getting the Big Pilot 43, I was actually intending to get the Pilot Chronograph but as soon as I tried it, that was it.

Wow thanks so much for all that. That's super helpful !!!

missioncontrol

Wow thanks so much for all that. That's super helpful !!!

It's a bit crazy that they can be so similar and yet thearl xx did nothing for me when I tried it on. There was no dilemma at all. The decision was easy.

I'm coming in 3 months late to the discussion but found this thread in a search... I'm in a similar debate myself. @missioncontrol did you end up getting one? Which and how is it?!

I started with the Mark XX, having no interest in a "Big Pilot" because of the price and seeing it more as jewelry than 'tool watch'. I've had the XX for a year now, and- don't get me wrong I love it- I'm craving the BP43. The XX wears great, super comfortable, looks sharp, but can go anywhere and do anything with me. But after a while I just feel like it looks small. I only have a 7" wrist, but what I think is going on is, because it's a pilot flieger style watch, what I think looks "right" would be at least somewhat oversize vs whatever other style watch size I would wear. I would say 40-42mm is my personal ideal watch size... but then a flieger should be (or feel, or appear) just a little bigger.

I also noticed thickness- or lack thereof with the XX- matters. I have always thought thinner watches are better, and since I'm pretty active and outdoorsy I liked how think the XX is. But after a year, I feel like a flieger isn't a flieger if it isn't at least a little bit chunky!

But here I am, already owning the Mark XX (technically two, because I had blue and just bought the black and haven't sold the blue yet LOL)... and there are times I love the wearability and versatility... so yea, conflicted.

Even though they look so similar, the Mark and the BP really are quite different wearing experiences! (IMHO)