IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 41 Black Aces

IWC's newest watch complements the brand's history of making watches for the US Navy.


IWC, as we’ve seen already this year, is well acquainted with making watches right across the gamut. However, if we’re honest, we always see them as a maker of pilot’s watches first and foremost. The newest entry in the IWC collection certainly adds to that history as it’s tied to the ‘Black Aces’. Strike Fighter Squadron 41, nicknamed the Black Aces, is a strike fighter squadron of the US Navy and has been active since the 1950s taking part in the Vietnam War, the Iran Hostage Crisis, Operation Desert Shield and much more. 

This new watch follows the trend of IWC releasing special edition Pilot models for various squadrons of the US Navy and for doing something unique with each iteration. In this case, we’re seeing IWC’s first-ever fully luminescent dial on a watch. That means that when it gets dark this thing really glows, very useful for pilots flying in the dark.

It also doesn’t damage the legibility of the watch, which is also key for pilots. Black details are set against a white backdrop, with elements such as the end of the second hand and some parts of the Black Aces logo printed in red instead of black. It’s very subtle though.

The black detailing on the dial matches the black ceramic case, which measures 41mm across, water resistance is 60m. On the back of that is a titanium caseback which is closed but has a jet outlined against a backdrop of aces which is cool. Underneath that beats the calibre 32100, which is a simplified version of the calibre 32110 used in other Pilot’s watches. The reason for the simplification with this new watch is that it’s lacking a date feature, which is a bonus here. The 32110 movement is made by ValFleurier, a workshop making ebauches that’s owned by Richemont, much the same as how Swatch owns ETA. The beat rate is 4Hz and the power reserve is 72 hours.

The watch comes on a fabric strap but the price is still quite high at $6,800 before taxes, it’s also an online exclusive watch currently.