Schaffhausen, October 25, 2021 - IWC Schaffhausen is adding two Ceratanium® models to its TOP GUN Pilot’s Watch range. Engineered in Schaffhausen, this innovative new material combines the structural integrity of titanium with a scratch resistance similar to that of ceramic and features a striking matte black color. The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Ceratanium is the first watch from IWC with a Ceratanium® bracelet, which is lighter than steel and very comfortable to wear. The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner TOP GUN Ceratanium is the first TOP GUN model with a Timezoner® complication, allowing the wearer to change between different time zones effortlessly. Both novelties are powered by IWC-manufactured movements from the 52000 and 82000 calibre families.
Advanced performance materials such as ceramics, titanium and Ceratanium® are a signature feature of IWC’s TOP GUN pilot’s watches. They take their name from the legendary Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program, a rigorous course used by the US Navy to train its elite pilots in flying and tactical skills. TOP GUN watches are engineered to deliver ultimate performance and can withstand even the extreme strain pilots experience in the cockpit of a supersonic jet.
After pioneering the use of ceramics and titanium for wristwatches during the 1980s, IWC’s material engineers have now succeeded in combining the unique strengths of these two in a single, ground-breaking material. Developed over five years, Ceratanium® combines the lightness and structural integrity of titanium with a hardness and scratch-resistance similar to ceramic. In addition, Ceratanium® is also skin-friendly and highly resistant to corrosion.
“Ceratanium® is unique not only because of its outstanding material properties. With its matte black color, it also enables us to manufacture watches in a completely jet-black design. After introducing several models with Ceratanium® cases, we are now going one step further and for the first time present a bracelet crafted from this innovative material,”
The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Ceratanium (Ref. IW503604) features a case, crown and, for the first time, a bracelet made of Ceratanium®. As this material is based on a titanium alloy, the bracelet is around 30 percent lighter than a steel bracelet and extremely comfortable to wear. The black dial with gray numerals enhances the jet-black design. This TOP GUN model is powered by the IWC-manufactured 52615 calibre, visible through the tinted sapphire glass case back. The Pellaton winding system is fitted with components made of virtually wear-free ceramic and builds up a power reserve of seven days in two barrels. A single nightly switching impulse from the base movement drives the perpetual calendar. Its mechanical program automatically recognizes different month lengths and leap years and will require no correction until 2100. Another IWC specialty is the specific moon phase display, which depicts the moon as it is seen from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. It is so precise that it will only deviate by one day after 577.5 years. The annual production of this extraordinary timepiece will be limited to 150 pieces.
The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner TOP GUN Ceratanium (Ref. IW395505) is the first TOP GUN model with a Timezoner® complication. The watch can be set to a different time zone by simply pressing down and rotating the bezel. The hour hand, the 24-hour display and the date will move forwards or backwards in one-hour steps. This also works across the dateline and without losing a single second. The case is made of Ceratanium®, while the city ring is manufactured from ceramic. It contains the names of 24 cities, each one representing one of the international time zones. The numerals are printed in gray on the dial, while the numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9 are coated with a luminescent material. The jet-black tactical design is complemented with a tinted sapphire glass case back and a black rubber strap with textile inlay. The IWC-manufactured 82760 calibre uses a Pellaton winding system reinforced with ceramic components to build up a power reserve of 60 hours in the mainspring. The annual production of the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner TOP GUN Ceratanium will be limited to 500 pieces.
MACHINED FROM BARS AND FIRED AT HIGH TEMPERATURES
Ceratanium® is arguably one of IWC’s most important material innovations in recent years. IWC first used this material in 2017 for the case of the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer” (Ref. 379403). In 2019, the Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium (Ref. IW371815) was the first all-black Pilot’s Watch. Ceratanium® is based on a special titanium alloy that is forged to IWC’s specifications. The case components are machined from bars to minimal tolerances using computer-controlled turning and milling centers and are then elaborately finished by hand. Afterwards, the components are fired in a kiln at high temperatures. During this firing process, a phase transformation occurs. As a result, the surface of the material not only obtains properties similar to ceramics, such as hardness and scratchresistance, but also its striking matte black finish.
The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Ceratanium and the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner TOP GUN Ceratanium are available now through IWC boutiques, authorized retail partners or online at IWC.com. In addition, both timepieces are eligible for registration under the My IWC care program and thus benefit 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.