Event

Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun
and Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar

Tradition reinterpreted

The Watch Quote™ - January 27th, 2012



Heading up the professional Pilot’s Watches from IWC Schaffhausen is the new 2012 Top Gun collection. And in the vanguard is the new Miramar line: a tribute to the birthplace of the Top Gun legend in California.



The pilots who pass out from the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School in Fallon, Nevada, are part of the world’s flying elite. Their insignia: Top Gun. Top Gun is also the name of an IWC watch collection offering the very best in mechanical watchmaking today. And in 2012, five new models will be taking off. Three of them feature the classical Top Gun design, recognizable from the instrument look of the dial and the attractive mix of materials consisting of ceramic for the case, titanium for the push-buttons and crown, as well as the soft strap material. They are joined by two timepieces in the new Top Gun Miramar line. The design of the case and dial was inspired by old observer’s watches. The most conspicuous visual features are the shimmering metallic grey of the ceramic case and the rugged green textile strap.



The Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun (Ref. 501901) combines the clear-cut instrument look of the 1940s with ultra-modern watch technology from the 21st century. Fully wound, the IWC-manufactured 51111-calibre movement consisting of 311 components will keep the movement running for 7 days. And if it is not already clear, the Top Gun insignia on the case back says it all: the Big Pilot’s Watch has entered the age of supersonic flight. The Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar (Ref. 501902) incorporates precisely the same technical features but comes in three colours: matte grey, beige and green: in design terms a first for IWC.


Asking the ultimate of man and machine

The Edition Top Gun has held a permanent place in IWC’s Pilot’s Watch family since 2007. It takes its name from a special training course offered by the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, the “Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor”, better known by the legendary accolade “Top Gun”. Pilots who successfully complete this course are part of a tiny elite comprising the best trained, fastest reacting and most courageous of their breed. The technology used is state of the art. Within the space of a few seconds, the jets reach their take-off speed of just under 300 km/h. During training flights above the endless deserts of Nevada, they hurtle through the air at up to twice the speed of sound.

As exacting as the demands placed on the young pilots, they are no less stringent than those placed on the equipment. The quality standards required of a watch designed for flying are formidable, and IWC Schaffhausen swears by two materials that it was the first to use in watchmaking worldwide: high-tech ceramic for the case and titanium for the crown and controls. The zirconium oxide case is sintered at 2,000 degrees Celsius and machined with diamond tools. It is also nonmagnetic, acid-resistant, light and, like titanium, very skin-friendly. IWC introduced titanium to watch case-making while working with Porsche Design. Both companies were forerunners in the machining of this high-tech material, which is corrosion-resistant and tougher than steel but weighs only about half as much.



During dogfights – air-to-air combat calling for spectacular manoeuvres that any pilot must master – both man and material are subject to enormous g-forces. The cockpit occupant briefly undergoes the equivalent of up to nine times the acceleration of gravity. He is pushed back forcefully into his seat: his body contorts and even his watch presses deeply into his wrist.

During regular centrifuge sessions, the pilots have to tolerate 9 g for 15 seconds, which seems like an eternity, without losing consciousness, as their own weight increases to around 600 kilograms. In a similar test with a centrifugal accelerator, IWC Pilot’s Watches have withstood forces of up to 30 g for minutes at a time. So what possible use could that be? Generally speaking, none at all. But when the ejector seat is used, it generates forces of up to 20 g and the Pilot’s Watch designers in Schaffhausen think like the Top Gun instructors in Fallon: it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun
and Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar

A tribute to the supermen of the skies


More than 70 years after its maiden flight and 10 years after a greatly publicized relaunch, the Big Pilot’s Watch finally enters the jet age in 2012 thanks to the Top Gun line. The Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar reminds us of those magnificent men in their legendary flying suits.



Designed by IWC for professional pilots back in 1940, the Big Pilot’s Watch came with an original pocket watch movement and large central seconds. Together with the IWC Special Pilot’s Watch and the Mark 11, it established the cockpit-style design that has remained to this day. The black dial of the certified observer’s and deck watch came with a white chapter ring and arrowhead index at “12 o’clock”, striking luminescent hands and big luminescent numerals. Its legibility was exemplary.

In 2002, the Schaffhausen-based manufacturer IWC revived its own Big Pilot’s Watch heritage. The enormous timepiece created quite a stir, and unmistakably drew on its historic forebear with the 52 T. S. C. pocket watch calibre. Its classical design and the efficient movement with a 7-day power reserve and Pellaton automatic winding combine the tradition and innovation typical of IWC in the production of professional pilot’s watches.

Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar

Tribute to a legend

With identical specifications, the Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar (Ref. 501902) is a tribute to the original Marine Corps Top Gun flight school in Miramar, California. It was from here that the reputation of the ultra-cool elite pilots in their even cooler flight gear spread all over the world. The new Miramar line picks up on elements of the military design. The shimmering metallic ceramic case and the anthracite-coloured dial lean on the typical colour and material repertoire as do the hands and chapter ring in beige and the green textile strap. The separate depiction of the minutes in the outer ring and the hours on a smaller inner ring is reminiscent of the deck watches of the 1930s and 1940s. Back then, the aircraft’s position and flight time were determined with the aid of octants and deck watches.

The Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar is one of the very best of its kind. A claim underscored by the elaborate Top Gun engraving on the titanium case back.




The new Top Gun Miramar design line

Team spirit and tradition


Inspired by the spirit of the first Top Gun flight school in Miramar, California, two models in the Top Gun collection race into 2012: the Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar and the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar. At the same time, both timepieces reference IWC’s longstanding tradition in the manufacture of deck watches.

The United States Navy Fighter Weapons School – the official title of the Top Gun flight training programme – was based in Miramar, California, from 1969 to 1996. In the eyes of aircraft enthusiasts all over the world, the small town about 30 kilometres north of San Diego, is the origin of the Top Gun legend.



And because Top Gun pilots spend so much time in the air, it’s vital that they also keep their feet on the ground. Shared values like camaraderie, team spirit and a sense of tradition are reinforced at barbecues and veteran reunions. But the feeling of belonging common to the elite pilots is best shown by their famous hand-made G1 flight jackets. Authentic signs of wear and tear indicating countless missions, increase the jacket’s sentimental value, while sewn-on patches closely document the pilot’s career: the aircraft types he has flown, clubs and societies, aircraft carriers and successfully completed training courses. Of these, the Top Gun insignia commands the highest respect. Pieces of military clothing such as the flight jacket are considered to be timeless classics and have long had an influence on civilian fashion.



The military design and the extensive experience of IWC in the manufacture of so-called deck watches were a source of inspiration to IWC Schaffhausen in its creation of the Top Gun Miramar line. The desired visual effect is reached by the metallic sheen of the grey ceramic case, the beige of the hands and chapter ring and the green of the textile strap.


The historic legacy of the deck watches

The chapter ring contains another surprising new feature for IWC’s Pilot’s Watches: the outer numerals indicate the minutes while the hours are shown in a signal red inner circle. The unusual division into an external chapter ring and an inner hour circle is a reference to the deck watches of the 1930s and 1940s, and consequently the historic legacy of IWC’s Pilot’s Watches. In order to determine the astronomical position on long-haul flights, it was vital that the minutes and seconds on deck watches could be read off with maximum precision. The enormous importance of precise time for pilots can be seen from the lengths they went to in order to obtain it: prior to take-off, the navigator would set his observer’s watch by a surface chronometer in the flight preparation centre; this was set using a time signal on the radio, which in turn took the time from a central seconds pendulum clock. Once aboard, the navigator passed on the exact time to the captain, who usually wore a chronograph.

With its new Top Gun Miramar line, IWC Schaffhausen addresses watch lovers who consciously celebrate the historical legacy behind the Pilot’s Watches, but do not wish to forgo the technological advances of the 21st century.

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IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar

Ref.: IW501902


Features :Mechanical movement,
Pellaton automatic winding,
date display,
power reserve display,
Glucydur® beryllium alloy balance,
Breguet spring,
screw-in crown,
glass secured against displacement by drop in air pressure
Movement :Calibre 51111
Frequency :21,600 A/h / 3 Hz
Jewels :42
Power reserve :168 h
Winding :automatic
Watch :polished ceramic case, anthracite-coloured dial
Glass :sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant :6 bar
Diameter :48 mm
Case height :15 mm
Strap :green textile
Pin buckle :in stainless steel, blasted

Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun

Haute Horlogerie and high-tech materials



In 2012, yet another Big Pilot’s Watch will be taking its place among the other IWC giants: the Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun (Ref. 501901) in its ceramic case. It offers a more contemporary take on functionality with new materials and design elements. The clearly arranged dial with the striking black-and-white contrast remains, as do the power reserve and date displays. The most conspicuous addition to the popular cockpit look of the design is the small, signal red aircraft silhouette that serves as a counterpoise on the seconds hand and has established itself as one of the distinctive features of the Top Gun line. Also typical of the Top Gun are the high-tech materials: first, zirconium oxide, the tough, hard-wearing and scratch-resistant ceramic used for the case, which is water-resistant to 6 bar. Then there’s the extremely rugged titanium used for the crown. And finally the black soft strap used to secure the 48-millimetre case securely and comfortably to the wearer’s wrist.



The 51111 calibre is one of the largest automatic movements manufactured by IWC and, with its patented pawl-winding system, builds up a 7-day power reserve in virtually no time. But the power reserve mechanism is smart and allows it to run for only 168 hours before stopping the movement. This way, it is certain that the watch will keep perfect time for 7 days when it is fully wound. On the front, the sapphire glass has antireflective coating on both sides and is secured against sudden drops in pressure. And on the reverse side of the watch, the Top Gun insignia explains why: this watch has earned “airworthy” status.

monTitreVote
 1     2     3     4     5   

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun

Ref.: IW501901


Features :Mechanical movement,
Pellaton automatic winding,
date display,
power reserve display,
Glucydur® beryllium alloy balance,
Breguet spring,
screw-in crown,
glass secured against displacement by drop in air pressure
Movement :Calibre 51111
Frequency :21,600 A/h / 3 Hz
Jewels :42
Power reserve :168 h
Winding :automatic
Watch :ceramic case, black dial
Glass :sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant :6 bar
Diameter :48 mm
Case height :15 mm
Strap :black soft
Clasp :folding clasp in stainless steel, blasted

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