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The IWC Top Gun Watches

The IWC Top Gun Watches

The IWC Top Gun collection has been a part of IWC since 2007. However, IWC have been designing watches specifically for aviation for nearly a century, and their range of Pilot watches is mainly associated with the brand.


They have emphasized developing technically advanced watches that optimize aviation experience whilst still being sophisticated, elegant and aesthetically appealing timepieces.


IWC started developing these watches by supplying timekeeping instruments to military forces. These watches inspired many of the collections within the brand we have come to know and love.


Because of the brand's rich heritage and history, these models are now not only favourites among actual pilots but also among average civilians and watch enthusiasts.


How Did the IWC Top Gun Story Begin?

IWC introduced the very first Special Pilot's Watch in 1936. It had several incredibly technically progressive features, such as shatter-resistant glass and antimagnetic escapements. These essentially mean the watch would continue running perfectly even if exposed to any magnetic fields.


It was highly legible with high-contrast hands and numerals and had a rotating bezel that featured an arrowhead index. The watch was convenient for military purposes as it was legible and highly resistant to temperature changes.

IWC Top Gun

In 1940, IWC introduced what was to be the first watch in their well-known Big Pilot collection. The model was designed with the German Air Force in mind, and there were only 1000 pieces made.


This watch's primary and most notable feature was the central hacking second's function, which meant pilots and navigators could sync their watch down to the nearest second.


Another feature of this model was the extra long leather strap specifically designed to fit over a flight suit with no issues or discomfort. As its name states, the Big Pilot's watch is the largest wristwatch IWC has ever created, with its diameter coming in at a staggering 55mm.


In 1948 IWC released their next pilot's watch: the Mark XI. This watch was developed for the British Royal Air Force, and its most significant feature was its antimagnetic capabilities.


This model had a unique inner case designed for the movement, made of iron. This model undoubtedly set the standard for pilot watches to come.

The Introduction of the IWC Top Gun Watch

These early models paved the way for the IWC Pilot's watches that we know today, including the IWC Top Gun models. The name of these watches comes from IWC's partnership with the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School.


Within the school, there is a course called 'Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor, but it is more colloquially known as 'Top Gun'. Most people would know about this course from the original movie released in 1986 with the same name.

IWC Top Gun Watch

In this movie, Tom Cruise plays Maverick, a brave fighter pilot with a need for speed. This program and fighter pilots inspired the name 'Top Gun' for these watches.


This advanced fighter weapons school was established in 1969 and had never allowed its prestigious 'Top Gun' name to be associated with any other watch brand.


However, IWC was patient and had put so much hard work and development into their range of pilot's watches for various naval forces. That all changed in 2007 when they were fortunate enough to be the first licensee of the U.S. military.


The first model in the Top Gun line was the Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph Edition Top Gun. As the name states, this model featured a unique double chronograph function, allowing the wearer to measure two-time intervals at once.


The watch also featured a day/date function, the legendary ceramic case and a textile wristband. The model had a military aesthetic.


IWC Pilot Top Gun Watch


The original Top Gun model was met with such positive feedback and success that in 2012 IWC decided to make an independent line of Top Gun watches within their Pilot's Watch collection.


Nowadays, the brand has several models falling under the Top Gun name and continuously releasing more. In 2019 IWC introduced the Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium. This was the first IWC watch to be released with a jet-black colourway.


More significantly, it was also a debut for this new innovative hybrid material called Ceratanium, which is unique to IWC. The material combines the toughness of titanium with the hardness and scratch-resistance of ceramic and showcases IWC's engineering expertise.


This exquisite new material has several benefits, as it is super lightweight, unbreakable, has excellent skin compatibility and has a high degree of corrosion resistance. The material couldn't be more ideal for watch-making and truly exhibits the progressiveness and forward thinking of IWC engineers.

Top Gun Today

IWC have stated that 2022 is the year of Top Gun. At Watches and Wonder in March this year, they unveiled an incredible, aesthetically pleasing collection of five new models under the Top Gun name: The Jet Black, The Ceratanium, The Mojave Desert, The Lake Tahoe and The Woodland.


These models were designed in partnership with Pantone, the paint company, and therefore are incredibly elegant and sophisticated, with each watch having a monochrome colourway created specifically for IWC by Pantone.


This release could not have come at a better time, as not even two months later, the new Top Gun movie, a sequel to the original, came out.


IWC Top Gun Automatic


This star-studded feature film was once again led by the original 'Maverick', Tom Cruise, and although many say a sequel can never be as good as an original, I believe this one comes extremely close.


IWC are a highly innovative and constantly developing brand made clear by its dedication to continually releasing groundbreaking models in daring colours and materials.


Their dedication to creating the ultimate Pilot's Watch is no joke; they are constantly pushing boundaries and bettering their designs, with the core focus being the practicality of the timepiece in regard to aviation.


Us civilians are waiting alongside the aviation fans to see what IWC could come up with next.