Bert E. Casal
April 13, 2022     |    

The Year of the Pilot

IWC extends TOP GUN collection with new models in Ceratanium® and Black Ceramic.

2022 is the year of IWC TOP GUN with the launch of the new “Lake Tahoe” in white ceramic and “Woodland” in green ceramic. Filling up the slots for this line of watches are two new models, each of them achieving “firsts” in the collection’s history.

The first is the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 TOP GUN Ceratanium®, the first 41-millimeter Chronograph in this collection with a case, pushers, and crown made of Ceratanium®. This is a material that IWC concocted that has the scratch-resistance of ceramic, and the weight and robust features of titanium. Outstanding as these features are, the most striking is its matte-black color. IWC and Pantone have specified this color as “IWC Ceratanium®”. The dark and slightly metallic shade results from a unique manufacturing process: it develops on the surface of the material when the case components are fired at high temperatures in a kiln.

But despite its name, Ceratanium® is not a mix of ceramic and titanium. To create a Ceratanium® case, you start off by crafting the case with titanium. Then you do the surface treatment; in this case, it’s sandblasting. Next comes the most important step, which is the thermal treatment. The case is placed in an oven. It is heated to a specific temperature for a specific amount of time to get the black color that you see in the final product. This process is what gives the case its ceramic quality. The final step is the assembly of the watch. What you see on the watch is what came out of the kiln. No painting is involved in this process.

The IWC-manufactured 69385 calibre chronograph movement is visible through the tinted sapphire glass case back. It has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz) and has a power reserve of 46 hours. The 41.1 mm case is water resistant to 100 meters and has a height of 14.5 mm. The timepiece is fitted on a black rubber strap with textile inlay.

The second watch is the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 TOP GUN. It features a case made of black zirconium oxide ceramic. The engineering ceramic used for the case offers maximum protection against scratches. “IWC Jet Black” is the official name of this color, as specified by IWC and Pantone. This is the first time that this model is presented in its 43-millimeter case size.

IWC was the first watch manufacturer to present a case made of black zirconium oxide ceramic back in 1986. The process is based on a complex manufacturing process. Powdered raw materials, primarily minerals or silicates, are mixed with auxiliary substances. They are then shaped and sintered at high temperatures in a kiln. The result is a durable and corrosion-resistant case.

This watch carries the IWC-manufactured 82100 automatic calibre that beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph and holds a 60 hour power reserve. The sapphire glass is secured to the case to prevent it from popping off when atmospheric pressure drastically change. It is armed with a soft iron inner case to protect the movement from magnetic fields. This timepiece is water resistant to 100 meters. The precise measurement of the case is 43.8 mm in diameter and 13.9 mm in height. This watch comes with a green textile strap with a folding clasp.

The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 TOP GUN Ceratanium® and the Big Pilot’s watch 43 TOP GUN will be available through IWC boutiques, authorised retail partners or online at IWC.com. The timepieces are eligible for registration under the My IWC care program, benefiting from a 6-year extension to the standard 2-year International Limited Warranty.`