News July 2008

The double chronograph in the elitist Top Gun edition of the pilot’s watch is already airborne. It is now followed by the chronograph model with its unmistakable features: black, masculine – and built for extreme service. It takes its name from the elite at the joystick: the Top Gun pilots of the US Navy Fighter Weapons School.

Pilot’s Watch Chrono-Automatic
Edition Top Gun

New Member of the Squadron

The Watch Quote™ - July 8th, 2008

No compromises are permitted for anyone who wishes to be among the best. Not in himself, and not in his equipment. The combat pilots at the US Navy Fighter Weapons School are the best in their field. And the IWC pilot’s watches sporting the Top Gun logo, as flight-qualified and extremely robust timepieces, also represent the highest professionalism and operational readiness. After the double chronograph, which was the first to take wing in this top-flight category in 2007, the Edition Top Gun is now receiving its promised reinforcements. The arrival of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Automatic means that two extreme timepieces from IWC now bear the unmistakeable features of this range.

What the Top Gun models have in common:
They are black. Strong. Very masculine. They have a case made of a tough, yet lightweight high-tech ceramic material and a convex sapphire glass with an antireflective coating. They are worn on a lightweight nylon strap. Their water-resistance extends down to a depth of 6bar. The operating elements and the back are made of matt grey titanium. They bear the Top Gun logo on the back of the watch and – discreetly – on the left side of the case. Their mechanical precision movements are protected against magnetic fields. And their sapphire glasses will also survive a sudden drop in air pressure. The dials speak the clearest language known to time measurement: authentic cockpit design, with white hands and indicators on a black background, luminous, matter-of-fact. Two small, signal red elements permit rapid checking of the functions: the small seconds hand and the counterweight of the centre seconds hand – in the form of a tiny jet fighter. This is the recognition sign of the Edition Top Gun . And because every gram counts not only when flying, but also for the wearing comfort of such a powerhouse, they are attached to the wrist with ultra-light soft straps.

What sets them apart: With this new model, the chronograph without a split-seconds hand has now earned its wings at IWC as a useful tool for the aeronautical elite. The chronograph with aggregate time recording up to 12 hours differs externally from the double chronograph by its ceramic case that is smaller by two millimetres (44mm) and the absence of a third button at “10.00” for the split-seconds function. The dial and the nature of the display are otherwise identical. It also has a day indicator on board, as well as the date display inspired by the altimeter in the cockpit. The combination of ceramic and titanium also joins forces here. IWC was the first manufactory to introduce these two advanced materials, unbeatable in terms of their robustness, into horology as early as the 1980s. – on the left side of the case. Their mechanical precision movements are protected against magnetic fields. And their sapphire glasses will also survive a sudden drop in air pressure. The dials speak the clearest language known to time measurement: authentic cockpit design, with white hands and indicators on a black background, luminous, matter-of-fact. Two small, Naturally, in a pilot’s watch of this class, Top Gun always denotes maximum protection of the movement against magnetic fields by the soft iron inner case. This speciality has characterized IWC pilot’s watches ever since the Mark11of 1948, the legendary pilot’s watch that did service with the Royal Air Force as a navigation watch in the cockpit. Also included, of course, is the design feature of protecting the antireflective sapphire glass against a sudden drop in air pressure inside the cockpit; without this securing mechanism – introduced at IWC decades ago – the watch glass would pop out. This ultimate robustness is also served by the case, machined with diamond-tipped tools from zirconium oxide powder and a binding agent that are “baked” at a temperature of up to 2,000 degrees. It is non-magnetic, acid- and impact-resistant, light in weight and, like titanium, particularly hypoallergenic. Precisely what is required for extremes of service.

The school for the best

The combat pilots of the US Navy, who today successfully complete the Top Gun course in Fallon/Nevada, are surrounded by an aura of invincibility. Yet this was not always so. The United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, originally stationed in Miramar/California from 1969, came into being after a critical analysis had revealed deficiencies in the air combat skills of its fighter pilots. The Navy responded and established Top Gun . The official title of the course, which only the best-qualified combat pilots complete, is US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI).

The popular epithet of Top Gun has been retained, however. The course specializes in aerial dog-fights under realistic conditions. In the early days, the pilots flew the newly introduced F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft types on daredevil interception missions against their instructors, who used a turbo version of the A-4 Skyhawk and the F-5 Tiger aircraft. The training profile was eventually adapted to the actual conditions and was expanded to include air-to-ground combat.

The Top Gun concept has since become so successful that the US Air Force also sends its best pilots on the courses, in spite of maintaining an elite pilot training facility of its own in Nellis/Nevada. The actual qualification of “fighter pilot” is only acquired gradually as the training programme proceeds. These are the fastest- reacting and most courageous military pilots, true dog-fighters and audacious rather than cautious pilots. That has always been the case, in fact, every since military aviation first began.

Top, indeed.

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IWC Pilot’s Watch Chrono-Automatic Edition Top Gun

Ref.: IW3789

Mechanical chronograph movement with aggregate time recording up to 12 hours, day and date display, small seconds hand with stop function, case made of high-tech ceramic and titanium, soft iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields
Vibrations:28,800/h / 4Hz
Power reserve:44h
Material:ceramic, titanium
Glass:sapphire, convex, antireflective, protected against drop in air pressure
Water-resistant:6 bar
Watch in zirconium oxide
with black soft strap
Watch with black soft strap:9250 €

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