IWC unveils a new Pilot’s watch
IWC Schaffhausen complements its TOP GUN range of Pilot’s Watches with the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “SFTI”. The new model takes inspiration from the “Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor” watch, which was created in 2018 in honor of the US Naval Aviation Community and is available only for TOPGUN graduates. Thanks to the combination of a black ceramic case with a Ceratanium® case back and pushers, the sporty chronograph boasts a tactical, matte black design code.
In 2018, IWC created the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor” in collaboration with instructors based on Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. Featuring a case made of black ceramic and the iconic TOPGUN patch on the dial, the rugged chronograph is available exclusively for graduates of the Navy Fighter Weapons School.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “SFTI”, limited to 1500 pieces, takes inspiration from the acclaimed “Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor“ watch. It follows the tradition of IWC’s TOP GUN watches. It is made with extraordinarily robust materials to withstand the extreme strain that pilots experience in the cockpit of supersonic jets like the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The large 44-millimeter case is made of black zirconium oxide ceramic. Ceramic ranks among the hardest substances on earth. It is extremely scratch-resistant and its stealthy black color is totally anti-reflective.
The case back and chronograph pushers are made of Ceratanium®, a recent innovation from IWC’s materials engineers. This new material is as light and durable as titanium but at the same time as similarly hard and scratch-resistant as ceramic. Thanks to the combination of ceramic and Ceratanium®, the chronograph boasts an entirely matte black design. The tactical look is completed by a black dial and black hands coated with luminescence. The small second hand and the tail of the chronograph second hand, which takes the form of a jet, add a touch of red to the instrument-style dial.
Ticking away inside the sturdy case is the IWCmanufactured 69380 calibre. The robust chronograph movement in classic column-wheel design ensures precise timekeeping and the measurement of stopwatch times of up to 12 hours. Another function is a date and weekday display. The sporty timepiece is fitted with a green textile strap.
Currently, IWC’s TOP GUN collection includes the following models:
Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium (Ref. IW371815)
The first IWC pilot’s watch made of Ceratanium® features a black dial, black hands and a black rubber strap. The dial and the hands are coated using grey luminescent material, which is why the watch has a distinctive monochrome look during the day but still offers full luminescent functionality at night. The 79420 calibre drives the double chronograph function with a splitseconds mechanism, making it possible to measure two short time intervals simultaneously.
Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” (Ref. IW389103)
The first IWC pilot’s watch in a sand-colored ceramic case was inspired by the Mojave Desert, which is home to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the largest land area of the US Navy. The color tone also perfectly matches some of the flight suits worn by the TOPGUN adversary pilots. It is the result of a combination of zirconium oxide with other metallic oxides. This chronograph is driven by the IWC-manufactured 69380 calibre.
Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN (Ref. IW389101)
The case of this chronograph is made of matte black zirconium oxide ceramic. Engineering ceramics with similar properties are also used for capacitors, in aircraft or rocket engines, and for various components of high-performance engines. The IWC-manufactured 69380 calibre ensures the accurate display and measurement of time.
Pilot’s Watch Automatic TOP GUN (Ref. IW326901)
This three-hand watch with a matte black zirconium oxide ceramic case boasts a unique minimalist design. It is powered by the IWC-manufactured 32110 calibre, a robust automatic movement with a high power reserve of 72 hours.
In 2018, IWC added two special pieces to the collection in honour of the US Navy Naval Aviation community. These watches cannot be bought by the public and are only available for TOPGUN graduates.
Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor” (Ref. IW324705)
The Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII embodies all the design elements and technical functionality of a larger pilot’s watch in a compact 40-millimeter case. The case back is made from automotive titanium 5N, which is durable, light, and skin-friendly. It features an individual engraving of the owner’s name and class. The Navy Fighter Weapons School patch can be found at 9 o’clock.
Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor” (Ref. IW389004)
Powered by the IWC-manufactured 89361 calibre movement, this chronograph displays the hours and minutes combined in a totalizer at 12 o’clock. Thanks to the flyback function, a single depression of the titanium pusher at 4 o’clock, while the chronograph is running, will send the minutes and seconds hands back to zero and immediately start a new timing. The iconic patch of the Navy Fighter Weapons School can be found at 9 o’clock.
Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “TOP GUN 50th Anniversary” (Ref. IW387813)
This chronograph was developed with the TOPGUN instructors based in Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada. It features a blue dial and black hands coated with luminescent material. It also features the Navy Fighter Weapons School logo at 9 o’clock, as well as an individual engraving of each owner’s name and class on the case back. This model also features distinct color accents in baby blue, an iconic color worn only by TOPGUN instructors at NAS Fallon.
Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Diamondbacks” (Ref. IW327018)
This special edition Mark XVIII was created in collaboration with squadron members of the “D-backs”. The black dial with a red date indication also features the “Diamondbacks” patch at 9 o’clock. The number 102 refers to the official denomination “Strike Fighter Squadron 102 (VFA-102)”. The squadron’s F/A-18F Super Hornet with its distinguishing diamonds stripes is engraved on the case back.
Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Royal Maces” (Ref. IW389011)
This chronograph has a case made of black ceramic and is fitted with a black and yellow textile strap. It features the “Maces” patch at 9 o’clock and a yellow date indication. Powered by the IWC-manufactured 89361 movement, the chronograph also has a flyback function. On the titanium case back, there is an engraving of the squadron’s F/A-18E Super Hornet, as well as the official denomination “VFA-27”.
Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Fighting Checkmates” (Ref. IW389012)
Powered by the IWC-manufactured 89361 calibre, this chronograph in black ceramic is designed in the historic color code of the “Checkmates” with blue and red, and features the “Brutus” patch on the dial. The date window displays the odd days in blue and the even days in red. On the titanium case back, there is an engraving of the squadron’s F/A-18F Super Hornet over a chessboard pattern.
Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Bats Legacy” (Ref. IW327024)
This special edition of the Mark XVIII marks the first IWC military watch created in collaboration with a squadron from the US Marine Corps. Featuring the squadron’s “Bats” patch on the dial at 9 o’clock, it also has a yellow date display. The squadron’s F/A-18D Legacy jet is engraved on the case back. The official denomination VMFA – AW refers to “all-weather” strike fighter squadron.
Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Eagles” (Ref. IW389015)
This special edition Pilot’s Watch Chronograph is powered by the IWC-manufactured 89361 calibre and has a case made of black ceramic. It features the yellow and white “Eagles” patch at 9 o’clock. Additional accents of yellow are added by the small second hand and the date indication. The squadron’s F/A-18E Super Hornet is engraved on the case back.
All models are equipped with proven IWC technology for aviator watches. The movement is enclosed in an inner cage made of a highly conductive soft iron alloy. It consists of the bottom plate, the movement holder ring, and the dial. Similar to a Faraday cage, it conducts magnetism around the movement and ensures that it does not reach the components inside. IWC had developed this innovative feature back in 1948 for the Mark 11, a navigation watch commissioned by the British Royal Air Force. The soft iron inner cage effectively protects the movement from magnetic fields with a strength of up to 80,000 amperes per hour. Another feature is the specially secured front glass. It cannot detach from its place even if there is a sudden drop in cabin pressure in the cockpit.