In recent times IWC has been working hard towards increasing the mass appeal of its pilot’s watch collection. In this vein, the brand recently unveiled more wearable variations of its Big Pilots and Pilots chronograph reference. Now IWC has further expanded its Pilots collection with three new chronographs, that pay a tribute to US Navy squadrons.
Created as a part of the brand’s military program in partnership with the US Navy, these new watches are dedicated to the “Blue Angels”, “Tophatters” and “Royal Maces” squadrons. To cater to the challenging conditions faced by Naval aviators all the three watches are equipped with a ceramic case that measures 44mm in diameter has a thickness of around 15.7mm, and is water-resistant to 60 meters with the help of a threaded crown.
All watches are powered by IWC’s in-house column wheel-based chronograph movement, the calibre 69380 which is hidden underneath the Titanium case back. This movement operates at a frequency of 4Hz and offers a respectable autonomy of around 46 hours. In terms of functions, the movement can track time, day and date, elapsed chronograph seconds, minutes, and hours. As far as dial goes, all watches feature a familiar and highly legible display that is characterized by bold printed white Arabic numerals. The tricompax arrangement has been presented in the common 3, 6, 9 layout, and completing the dial is the neat looking day/date display at 3. To make things visually exciting, the dial, the case, and the strap have been sprinkled with bright colorful accents. Furthermore, both the dial and case also highlight the US navy connection. Now, let’s look at the individual references.
The Pilots Chronograph “Blue Angels”
This variation features a case that is made from blue ceramic. The bright blue hue perfectly matches the blue color on the dial and is a result of mixing zirconium oxide with other metallic oxides. The running seconds register showcases the iconic “Blue Angels” crest with the U.S. Navy Wings of gold, and the case back has been engraved with the characteristic lettering. The chronograph seconds hand, the day and date complication, and the chronograph pushers showcase sporty yellow accents that offer a great contrast to the blue background. The watch comes attached to a blue rubber strap with textile inlay.
The Pilots Chronograph “Tophatters”
This model is equipped with a black ceramic case and a matt black dial. The 6 O’clock position this time around has been occupied by the “Tophatters’” patch with the classic top hat and the same has also been engraved on the case back. The colorful touches this time around are in red. This watch comes attached to a black leather strap with red contrast stitching.
Like the “Tophatters” edition, the Pilots chronograph “Royal Maces” watch comes with a black ceramic case and black dial. However, this time around, the dial showcases bright yellow accents along with the “Maces” patch at 6. The case back has been engraved with the squadron’s F/A-18E Super Hornet jet next to the official squadron denomination “VFA-27”.
The new IWC Pilots Chronograph U.S. Navy Squadron Edition watches are limited to 500 pieces per reference, per year, and would retail for $10,900.