24 Hours Later: IWC Schaffhausen Adds Two New Colored Ceramic Editions To The TOP GUN Collection
Looking to the future of luxury watchmaking materials by reflecting on their evolution.
A change in seasons always turns us into armchair philosophers, ruminating about how quickly life moves. Even in the small sphere of watch collecting, if you start reminiscing about case sizes and materials from ten years ago, you might not recognize that world anymore.
And that’s a good thing. Watchmakers like IWC Schaffhausen have been eager to experiment with new materials while at the same time pruning and fine-tuning their collections. They are also listening to the voices of their customers – not in a way that’s reactionary, but rather with long-term goals in mind.
Yesterday, IWC showed that it is expanding its expertise in manufacturing monochromatic colored ceramic watches with two new models: The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner TOP GUN Woodland (the first Timezoner in colored ceramic) and the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 TOP GUN Mojave Desert (IWC’s first 41mm Pilot’s Chronograph with a sand-colored ceramic case).
Into The Woodland
High-end watchmaking has always embraced a wide selection of materials – from precious metals to stainless steel and titanium. And while some folks have expressed a certain snobbery toward ceramics, the real luxury is in how new materials serve the form and function of a watch.
It’s hard to convey just how beautiful IWC’s use of ceramics is. Each color must be scrupulously mixed and matched. The selected shades are also researched so that they make sense of the brand’s history. As pretty as they are to look at, the finish is tactile but robust and the material is lightweight, making it an absolute joy to hold in the hand.
So, we’re chuffed that IWC has expanded the use of ceramics throughout the TOP GUN family. The dark green ceramic case and Ceratanium case ring and crown of the Timezoner TOP GUN Woodland were inspired by color codes found in the world of naval aviation and developed in collaboration with Pantone.
The design team at IWC has been careful to harmonize all of the other elements of the display to the case without compromising on legibility. The dial, hands, lume, and even the rubber strap are engineered to match the ceramic case color.
In contrast, the case ring and the crown are made of matte black Ceratanium, an IWC-developed material which combines the structural integrity of titanium with a hardness and scratch resistance similar to that of ceramic.
The calling card of this timepiece is the patented Timezoner function that allows the wearer to effortlessly change between 24 different time zones by simply pressing down and turning the rotating bezel. This adjustment also works across the dateline and without losing a single second in the process.
The timepiece is powered by the IWC-manufactured 82760 caliber. This automatic movement uses a Pellaton winding system reinforced with ceramic components. Thanks to this material, the mechanism doesn’t have to work so hard allowing it to store a power reserve of 60 hours. This magnificent movement is visible through a tinted sapphire display back.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 TOP GUN Mojave Desert
This monochromatic watch is the brand’s third 41mm ceramic chronograph but the first time it has used its sand-colored ceramic case on a Pilot’s Chronograph.
One of the brand’s most recognizable ceramic shades, this earthy hue holds tones of beige and khaki and is inspired by the flight suits of naval aviators and the desert landscape around China Lake, home to the US Navy’s TOPGUN flight school.
The dark brown dial and the hands, the printing and luminescent material, and the rubber strap with a textile inlay carry the desert theme through as it wraps around your wrist. And for an extra bit of edge, the crown, the chronograph pushers, and the caseback are made of matte gray titanium.
Smarter, Not Harder
Inside this ruggedly handsome timepiece is the manufacture 69380 caliber. This sturdy movement employs a classic column-wheel design comprising 242 individual parts. An efficient double pawl winding system makes good use of the movements of the rotor in both directions to build up a power reserve of 46 hours – again working smarter, not harder which can only lead to a longer working life!
The movement is also protected from the effects of magnetic fields (another important change in the watch industry due to the prevalence of technology in our everyday lives) by a soft iron inner case, and the front glass is specially secured to withstand sudden drops in air pressure.
The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner TOP GUN Woodland ($17,400) and the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 TOP GUN Mojave Desert ($11,700) are available through selected IWC boutiques.
In addition, these timepieces are eligible for registration under the My IWC care program, benefitting from a six-year extension to the standard two-year international limited warranty.
For more information, please visit IWC Schaffhausen’s website.