Schaffhausen, 30th March 2022 – As the Watches and Wonders exhibition opens in Geneva, IWC Schaffhausen unveils two new TOP GUN chronographs in colored ceramic in the Pilot’s Watches family. The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe” features a white ceramic case and a black dial. The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Woodland” combines a dark green ceramic case and dial with pushers, crown and a case back in matte black Ceratanium®. Both timepieces are powered by the IWC-manufactured 69380 calibre movement. The annual production of the new models will be limited to 1000 pieces each.
A double chronograph with a black zirconium oxide ceramic case and titanium case back marked the birth of the TOP GUN line in IWC’s Pilot’s Watches family in 2007. Since then, advanced materials have been the hallmark of TOP GUN, lending these timepieces their distinctive technical look. In 2019, IWC introduced the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert”, the first TOP GUN model in sand-colored ceramic. Today, IWC completes the collection with two new chronographs in white and green ceramic.
“These new chronographs not only underscore IWC’s longstanding and extensive experience in the fields of in-house chronographs and advanced materials. The white and green ceramic used for the cases also illustrates the current evolution of TOP GUN from a
the collection primarily focused on performance to a bold style statement and an expression of a distinct way of life,”
“The color of uniforms and the fascinating landscapes views admired by pilots have inspired our new chronographs. In an unprecedented engineering process, we have developed two completely new ceramic colors – ‘IWC Lake Tahoe’ white and ‘IWC Woodland’ green – and matched meticulously all other components of the watches to these new shades,”
Located between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is a mountainous area frequently flown over by the pilots of the U.S Navy TOPGUN School. The winter landscape around this freshwater lake as well as white uniforms have influenced the design of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe” (Ref. IW389105). The chronograph features a 44.5-millimetre white ceramic case, a pitch-black dial, and black hands coated with luminescent material. IWC and Pantone have specified the ceramic color as “IWC Lake Tahoe”. The pushers and crown are made of stainless steel, the case back of titanium. The matching white rubber strap with a distinctive embossing accentuates the eye-catching design.
The flight suits of naval aviators have inspired the distinctive shade of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Woodland” (Ref. IW389106). The newly developed “IWC Woodland” green is used for the ceramic case and the dial, while the numerals and hour markers are printed in a lighter hue. The pushers and the case back are made of matte black Ceratanium®. Developed by IWC, this material combines the lightness and structural integrity of titanium with a hardness and scratch-resistance similar to ceramic. A matching green rubber strap with textile inlay completes the design.
Both timepieces are powered by the IWC-manufactured 69380 calibre, a robust and reliable chronograph with a column-wheel design. In addition, they feature soft iron inner cases to protect their movements from the effects of magnetic fields. The front glasses are specially secured to withstand sudden drops in air pressure. Both watches are water-resistant to 6 bar and feature the iconic TOP GUN logo as an engraving on the case back.
UNPRECEDENTED COLOR ENGINEERING
The use of colored ceramics for the new TOP GUN chronographs added an extra layer of complexity to the design and manufacturing process. With “IWC Lake Tahoe” and “IWC Woodland”, IWC engineered two completely new ceramic colors. A major challenge was to adapt the newly developed ceramic white and green shades to numerous other components made of different materials – each with unique properties and a specific manufacturing process – such as the dial, the hands, the rubber straps and textile inlays, and even luminescent paint.
EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE WITH COLORED CERAMIC
In the 1980s, IWC carried out pioneering work in the field of ceramic. The company first used this hard and scratch-resistant material in 1986 for the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar (Ref. 3755). Ceramic made its debut in the Pilot’s Watches collection with the 1994 Pilot’s Chronograph Ceramic (Ref. 3705). As early as the 1980s, IWC also experimented with different colors and produced small series or prototypes in white, blue, green, or even pink ceramic.
The production of colored ceramic cases is a particularly demanding exercise. Each case is the result of a unique formula and manufacturing process. Zirconium oxide is combined with other metallic oxides to give the ceramic its color. Each shade requires different raw materials and a distinct mixing ratio. In addition, the manufacturing process and its specific conditions – such as the temperature and the duration of the sintering process – must be adapted to the colored ceramic and its components. What’s more, colored ceramic also places significantly higher demands on the purity of the raw materials.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe” and the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Woodland” are available through IWC boutiques, authorised retail partners or online at IWC.com. They are eligible for registration under the My IWC care program, benefiting from a 6-year extension to the standard 2-year International Limited Warranty.
In 1868, the American watchmaker and entrepreneur Florentine Ariosto Jones travelled from Boston to Switzerland and founded the ‘International Watch Company’ in Schaffhausen. His visionary dream was to combine advanced American manufacturing methods with the craftsmanship of Swiss watchmakers to make the best pocket watches of his time. In doing so, he not only laid the foundation for IWC’s unique engineering approach but also established the centralised production of mechanical watches in Switzerland.
Over its 150 year history, IWC Schaffhausen has developed a reputation for creating functional complications, especially chronographs and calendars, which are ingenious, robust, and easy for customers to use. A pioneer in the use of titanium and ceramics, IWC today specialises in highly engineered technical watch cases manufactured from advanced materials, such as titanium aluminide and Ceratanium®. Preferring the principle of “form follows function” over decoration, the Swiss watch manufacturer’s timeless creations embody their owners’ dreams and ambitions as they journey through life.
IWC sources materials responsibly and takes action to minimise its impact on the environment, creating intrinsically sustainable timepieces that are built to last for generations. The company prides itself in training its own future watchmakers and engineers, as well as offering an excellent working environment for all employees. IWC also partners with organisations that work globally to support children and young people.