BY DHANANJAY PATHAK

For SIHH 2019 IWC is focusing on what they do best which is to produce some great aviation-inspired timepieces. Initially aimed towards helping pilots with their timekeeping needs inside the cockpits, pilot’s watches these days are more about aesthetics than function. But there are some pilot’s watches such as the IWC – Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “Mojave Desert” which not only look good but have been designed with practical usage in mind. This new watch features a nice tactical dark brown colorway and a robust sand colored ceramic case to tackle tough situations.

The Top gun line of watches is being produced by IWC since 2007 and take their name from the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program in the U.S. Navy which provides rigorous flying and tactical training to the best Navy Pilots. The top gun watches are therefore especially designed with robust materials such as ceramic and titanium to meet the specific requirements of elite jet pilots.

The dark brown dial has been finished in Matt which along with the beige highlights nicely complements the sandblasted case. Being a chronograph the dial features sub-registers at 6, 9 and 12 to track running seconds, elapsed chronograph minutes and elapsed chronograph hours. The subdials have been decorated with some nice circular graining and have also been slightly recessed give a nice sense of depth to the dial. All hands except for the Chronographs seconds hand are sword-shaped and have been filled with beige colored luminous paint to aid low light visibility. A nice touch is that the central chronograph hand has been color matched to the dial and gives it a nice stealthy look.

The military theme of the watch continues on the case which is one of the major highlights of this watch and has been rendered in a special color inspired by the Mojave Desert. This desert is home to the naval Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake – the largest land area of the U.S. Navy. It exactly matches the uniforms worn by Navy pilots and is the result of a combination of zirconium oxide with other metallic oxides. It is 44.5mm wide and around 15.7mm tall making this a certainly large watch, but that is exactly how pilot’s watches are meant to be bold and legible.

While the layout of the watch looks similar to the one found on watch equipped with the 7750 chronograph movement, this watch is powered by the brand’s in-house caliber 69380. This movement operates at a frequency of 4 Hz, features a column wheel for smooth chronograph operations and offers a   power reserve of around 46 hours. It is also surrounded by a soft-iron cage giving the watch enhanced protection against magnetic fields.

The IWC – Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “Mojave Desert” is a solid new addition to the brands existing top gun collection of watches. It would be produced in a limited quantity of 500 pieces and would come equipped with a nice beige textile strap. The retail price of the watch would be EUR 9,250. Visit IWC here.