That model then was subtly redesigned in 2006 as reference IW5004xx. The numeral 9 on the dial disappeared and now numerals at 2 and 4 o’clock on the dial were partially shown. The strap was upgraded from buffalo to alligator. The movement was improved to a faster beat, first calibre 51110 in 2006 and then calibre 51111 in 2007. The redesigned watch looked slightly dressier and was more versatile.
This versatility, and the increased demand for the new model, in turn caused the launch of several special editions. In 2007, there were seven limited editions. All were made for specific retailers plus one for a boutique, with limited editions ranging from 15 to 50 pieces. Similarly, in 2008 there were another six limited editions introduced, one for Japan and the others for retailers. There was also a special limited edition of 12, from a watchmaker’s project that didn’t incorporate an IWC base movement.
All other Big Pilot’s watches used an IWC in-house movement and a few special editions used one with subsidiary seconds at 9 o’clock. Mostly, the differences in the limited editions involved dial color or details. The size, the iconic crown, and the characteristic dial design remained the same.