Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has taken the wraps off a brand new and limited-edition Pilot’s Watch that hails from an ultra-exclusive model that was destined for U.S. Navy pilots. That model, launched in 2018 through a partnership between IWC and the U.S. Naval Aviation Community, was bestowed upon graduates of the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor – or TOPGUN – graduates.
While you will never be able to get your hands on that model, you can get your wrist around the company’s new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “SFTI” that, while not an exact replica, draws heavily on its ancestral relative.
In true IWC Pilot’s watch style, this latest TOP GUN employs a 44mm case constructed from black zirconium oxide ceramic, the same material used for IWC’s other TOP GUN edition watches. Not only does the black material give the timepieces a suitably stealthy look, but it is incredibly tough and resilient, making it ideal to withstand the extreme forces placed on pilots in the cockpit during high-speed flight.
Further material innovations come in the form of Ceratanium, a material that IWC developed in 2017 that is lighter than titanium but just as scratch-resistant. Ceratanium has been applied to the caseback and the pushers, essentially making the entire watch scratch resistant.
IWC has fitted the 69380 calibre, a self-winding movement that provides 46 hours of reserve power.
What keen IWC fans and eagle-eyed enthusiasts may notice, however, is that this particular TOP GUN rocks more red accent. The small second hand, the tail of the chronograph second hand (styled in the shape of a plane) and subtle rings around the pushers, all get the ‘rouge’ treatment.
As for slightly more major differences between this model and the one it draws inspiration from, this TOP GUN includes three chronograph sub-dials as opposed to the former’s two, and this model also gets both day and date windows. The original had to make do with just the date.
You’re also given this Pilot’s Watch SFTI Limited Edition on an olive green textile strap, which is near as makes no difference, the same one as you get on the Pilot’s Watch Spitfire.
If you’re taken by the looks of this latest Pilot’s from IWC (and we feel you should be, it’s rather fetching) then you’ll want to be quick to snap one up. It’s limited to just 1,500 pieces and can be bought now for US $9,150/AU $14,200