Ceramic as a material has been associated with the watchmaking industry for a long time. Lighter and harder than steel, completely scratch-resistant, and with a mirror-like, wonderfully smooth surface. However, watch enthusiasts often are picky with their timepieces in ceramic due to the durability factor. But, who would want to miss out on Top Gun Pilot’s Watch by IWC- extremely durable, lightweight, and a high-tech material for your wrist launching at Watches and Wonders 2022. Let’s dive into the details!
IWC Top Gun’s Chronograph for 2022
At Watches & Wonders 2022, IWC has introduced a unique white ceramic version – the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe” and a dark green ceramic edition – the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Woodland”.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe” (Ref. IW389105)
The chronograph is housed in a 44.5-millimeter strak white ceramic case with a pitch-black face and luminous black hands. The ceramic hue is called “IWC Lake Tahoe” by both IWC and Pantone. Stainless steel has been used for the pushers and crown, while titanium is used for the case back. The eye-catching design is complemented by a matching white rubber strap with a striking embossing.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Woodland”
The unusual colour of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Woodland” is inspired by the flight suits of naval aviators (Ref. IW389106). The ceramic case and dial are painted in a new “IWC Woodland” green, while the numerals and hour markers are printed in a lighter tint. Ceratanium® is used for the pushers and the case back, which is matte black. This material, which was developed by IWC, combines the lightness and structural integrity of titanium with the hardness and scratch-resistance of ceramic. The pattern is completed by a matching green rubber strap with a textile inlay.
The IWC 69380 calibre, a durable and dependable chronograph with a column-wheel construction, powers both clocks. They also have soft-iron inner cases that shield their movements from the effects of magnetic fields. To survive unexpected reductions in air pressure, the front glasses are tightly fixed. Both watches are water-resistant to 6 bar and have an engraving of the distinctive TOP GUN emblem on the case back.
All About Ceramic
IWC is a pioneer in the sector, and the Manufacture’s range of ceramics has grown over time. The TOP GUN Pilot’s Watches’ colourful ceramic is made up of a mix of zirconium oxide and other metallic oxides.
Ceramic is an ideal choice for the case of a mechanical watch because of its unique features. Of course, carefully developed engineering ceramics are utilised instead of delicate porcelain for this purpose. These non-metallic, inorganic materials are extremely resistant to physical and chemical forces.
They are unaffected by temperatures above 1000 degrees Celsius. Technical ceramics have a wide range of applications outside of timepieces, including capacitors and dental implants, as well as components for aviation turbines and high-performance engines.
A Complicated Manufacturing Process
The manufacture of ceramic casings for mechanical watches is a technical marvel. The fact that ceramic shrinks by about a third during the sintering process are one obstacle. This shrinkage must be considered as early as the design process to guarantee that the movement later fits properly within the case. Ceramics are influenced by the separate steps of the production process, unlike metals, whose properties are well defined and finalised before machining. As a result, end products made from the same basic materials might have drastically varied qualities depending on the sintering process used, as well as the grain size and sintering temperature used.
A Colourful Experience
IWC has also experimented with various ceramic colours from the beginning. The Manufacture began producing small series or prototypes in white, blue, green, and even pink porcelain in the 1980s. The manufacture of coloured ceramic casings is a very difficult task.
High-tech material on the wristUnique formulas and sophisticated manufacturing processes go into the sand-colored case of the Big Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert,” the white case of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe,” and the dark green case of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Woodland.”
IWC boutiques, authorised retail partners, and IWC.com will sell the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe” and the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Woodland.” They’re qualified for the My IWC care program, which gives them a 6-year warranty extension on top of the usual 2-year International Limited Warranty.
Powered by IWC calibre 69380 the new models’ annual manufacturing will be limited to 1000 pieces each. IWC Schaffhausen has built a reputation for innovative, sturdy, and easy-to-use functional complications, particularly chronographs and calendars, throughout the course of its 150-year history. This timepiece lives up to it in all aspects, particularly that white ceramic edition.