The IWC Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium® previewed
Some of the 2019 IWC's new timepieces were previewed last week during a press conference held at the Goodwood Aerodrome and they all belong to the Pilot's Watches collection. IWC keeps therefore focusing on a collection that many, the undersigned included, identify with the brand itself. The three new watches unveiled in the UK are very different from each other and, if we exclude the stunning tourbillon only a few lucky collectors will be able to secure in their safe (the Big Pilot's Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition Le Petit Prince), they confirm that IWC has updated its bezel-operated world time complication introduced two years ago with the Timezoner (albeit in a simplified version and no longer coupled to a chronograph) and has decided to step up its Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph and welcome back the Top Gun insignia.
There's no doubt the Top Gun collection by IWC and the partnership signed between the brand and the Fighter Weapons School of Miramar is one of the most allluring and coolest agreements ever signed in the entire industry. If, with the Spitfire collection, IWC has reaffirmed once again its nod to the origins of modern aviation, the Pilot's Watches Top Gun collection represents instead a line-up of products aimed at grabbing the attention of die-hard fans of military-inspired watches who look for cutting edge technology and advanced materials, such as Ceratanium® that appears for the very first time on a Pilot's Watch.
Ceratanium® is a patent by IWC and was first launched on the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date and Month last year. The name is the crasis of Ceramic and Titanium and is the result of the union of a metal and zirconia oxide ceramic. The outcome is an alloy that combines the mechanical properties of titanium (high mechanical strength and lightness, but low resistance to scratches) and the characteristics of ceramics (vice versa) featuring a jet black color that reminds the reference 3705, the first ever ceramic-made IWC Pilot's Watch Chrono launched in 1994 but whose style draws instead inspiration from reference IW3799-01, which is the first ever Double Chronograph in the brand's history to sport the Top Gun logo. However, the 2019 IWC Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium® IW371815 is 44mm wide, hence 2mm smaller than the original IW3799-01 was.
The mechanical movement that equips the IWC Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium® is the caliber 79230 that features an in-house developed double chronograph complication applied to a Valjoux base movement, a choice that makes sense since it represents a very reliable and cost effective technical solution.
However, IWC also launched their in-house three-register chronograph caliber 69380; that means we might expect the 79230 to be sooner or later replaced by a new caliber derived from the 69830. It is too early to talk pros and cons of the IWC Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium® which, as far as we are concerned, we'll get our hands-on the week commencing the 15 January. What we can instead confirm is the approximate retail price of €14,400, whose amount is in my opinion mainly due to the use of Ceratanium®.
(Photo credit: courtesy of IWC Watches)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®