On the topic of IWC pilots- I'm going to the IWC boutique tomorrow after a work meeting (hopefully if my flight up to NYC doesn't get cancelled) and will be eager to try on a Big Pilot just to see what it looks like. I want to like this watch, but it just might be too big. I love the look of the older Mark XV watches too. Portuguese Automatic 5001 is what I'm really hoping to like.
I'm curious when most folks talk about a value proposition, are they talking about MSRP or second hand? I don't think I'll ever be at a point where I'm buying direct from a dealer. Perhaps if I'm making 5x my current pay, it'd be nice to walk into a dealer and just walk on out with a brand new watch, but even then I think I'm always going to be all about trying to get a good deal. I know there are risks to buying second hand, but if you do your homework and buy from the right sellers, it just seems like such a better deal to me. Especially when you're talking about watches that are supposed to last a lifetime. If that's the case, why worry if someone else owned it first? I do understand the appeal of a shiny new watch worn by nobody but you, but you're going to ding your watch up a bit over the course of a lifetime anyway.
What do you guys think?
Now that the novelty of my RG DDII has begun to wear off and I'm wearing other watches, the watch that's getting the second most wrist time is my Big Pilot. I almost traded it last year against the purchase of a YG GMTII, but didn't like the deal so hung onto it--very glad I did. The watch is big and beautiful. I have fairly large wrists and I feel like it works well for me, but it is very much a casual/weekend piece because of its size. You'll just have to try it and see how it works for you.
As far as purchase strategies, I have only ever bought new watches, but have gone both through the AD and through the gray market sellers, for different reasons. The AP and IWC dealer here in town that I used to work wtih has become a big local brand and has not offered good discounts to me in recent years. So in those cases I felt the gray market savings far outweighed the risk of needing warranty work and having the warranty denied (although I was assured by my grey market seller that the warranty would be honored). I bought the DDII through my next door neighbor (who owns an AD here in town) mostly to develop a relationship, and in the end he gave me a great price. As far as used, I'm not necessarily opposed to it but it does require quite a bit more legwork and diligence. You read on the watch forums about movements being swapped, counterfeit links, etc. etc. The price from my gray market source is usually only 1-2k more than a mint, recent pre-owned piece and I'd gladly pay that for the convenience and peace of mind.
Good luck! Let us know what you think of the BP.