The aviation heritage is one of the most powerful design influences in watches. While some watches were made specifically for issue to pilots and aircrew, many more have been made with aviation-linked design on the dial. Some brands have forged a powerful link with aviation, notably Breitling who have a whole fleet of aircraft. Other historic brands in this area include Longines, Omega and Rolex.
IWC have said that 2012 is going to be an important year for their pilot watches, and this piece, the Pilot's Watch Chronograph Top Gun, is a good example in its identity as a classic aviator watch. It is a chronograph with flyback function, and the in-house 89365 calibre is shielded against magnetism by a soft-iron inner case. The case itself is fairly large at 46 mm in diameter, and made of ceramic, which means that the watch is very light. It has a 68-hour power reserve. The dial provides many references to a flight cockpit, with an overall design that recalls an altimeter. Legibility is assured by the luminescent white hands and displays, against the black background. The stopwatch hand is central, and has a red counterpoise shaped like a jet. The flyback function enables a new time-recording period to be started at the touch of a button.
The small seconds dial has the hacking seconds function, which enables the second hand to be stopped, so that time can be set precisely. This is one of the functions that is often considered de rigueur for an aviation watch from the historical point of view.
The back of the watch features the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School Top Gun logo. The strap is in soft black fabric to complete the military look.
IWC's expertise in pilot's watches is indicated by the group below: