Designed as an aviator watch in the 1940s and on a pure “form follows function basis,” the original Big Pilot’s Watch, which featured an oversized dial, strap and crown, was an instrument to help pilots navigate – even in extreme conditions such as in darkness, during harsh turbulences or in temperatures ranging from -40 to +40 degrees Celsius. Maximum readability, reliability and operation in adverse conditions were paramount, as was the requirement for robustness, ruggedness and reliability.
The original G-Class, too, was meant to help drivers steer in tough off-road conditions capably and reliably, as well convince them with a detailed off-road functionality. Engine reliability and performance were key. Both mission-critical instruments were introduced to the luxury market at the turn of the century, when success was increasingly demonstrated through rugged masculine products. The transformation from robust utility tools to top-class luxury products was complete.