IWC introduced new Top Gun watches during SIHH in 2019, presenting their Ceratanium material without precedent for the Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph. Among the new deliveries was the “Mojave Desert” chronograph featuring a sand-shaded artistic, and the dark earthenware Top Gun Automatic, filling in as a passage highlight the assortment. Drawing on IWC’s grounded Pilot’s Watch plan language, the Automatic offered a recognizable face while utilizing the brand’s new(ish) 32110 in-house type. A couple of years later, we’re investigating the Automatic Top Gun to perceive how it tolls today, both as a Top Gun passage point, and as an IWC Pilot’s Watch.
Review: The IWC Automatic Top Gun
Case Black Ceramic Movement IWC 32110 Dial Matte Black Lume Lens AR Coated Sapphire Strap Black Reinforced Fabric Water Resistance 6 Bar Dimensions 41x51mm Thickness 11.5mm Lug Width 20mm Crown Screw Down Warranty 2 Yrs Price $5600
IWC & Top Gun
It’s worth investigating the relationship between IWC’s Top Gun assortment, and the US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, otherwise known as Top Gun, from which the assortment takes its name. The US Navy conceded IWC restrictive permit to produce Top Gun named watches in 2005, with the main watches showing up with the IWC Pilot’s Watch family in 2007 as a Double (rattrapante) Chronograph. The main thrust here is to deliver watches befitting the first class pilots bearing the afflictions of the multi week Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) program (which probably includes less shirtless sea shore volleyball than you’re imagining).
IWC was allowed time on the US Navy’s plane carrying warship USS Ronald Reagan to improve feeling of the preparation routine of these pilots, an activity that laid the basis for the one of a kind materials and presence of Top Gun watches. The dark fired cases and matte surfaces are conceived from the need to eliminate any potential intelligent surface that could meddle with the pilot’s perceivability. The material should likewise have the option to withstand the thumps that without a doubt come with the high G powers experienced inside the cockpit during preparing.
Unlike the exemplary Pilot’s Watch equation created by IWC in 1949 with the notable Mark 11, Top Gun watches are planned and worked around the advanced, innovative conditions involved by pilots today. Notwithstanding, the plan language utilized does without a doubt incline toward the brand’s grounded Pilot’s Watch personality, and this is particularly clear in the Automatic Top Gun introduced here.
For the inquisitive, the permit expense paid by IWC to the US Navy goes to a beneficent organization supporting resigned Top Gun pilots.
The Top Gun Automatic
initially, the Automatic Top Gun is plainly recognizable gratitude to the common dial configuration found all through IWC’s extensive Pilot’s Watch family. Also, in light of current circumstances. It’s a plan that gets intensely from the first Mark 11 produced for RAF pilots in 1948. Every hour is obviously set apart with its Arabic numeral, every moment gets a hash mark, and at 12 o’clock we discover the triangle accompanied by two specks on one or the other side. That’s basically it, and that’s by design.
The allure of the Pilot’s Watch is its effortlessness and common sense. It’s simple to peruse initially, there are no monumental complications, and its bashful stature keeps it flying under the radar (sorry) when not being used. Obviously, the OG Mark 11 had no date, and its hour and moment hands were far more straightforward, yet the plan all in all holds up strikingly well over 70 years later. To my eye, there’s nothing that immediately dates the plan of the Mark 11, and it looks as important as could be expected today as it did in ‘48. Indeed, I see a congenial nature in the Mark 11 that is some way or another lost on its cutting edge partners, and that’s not a thump on IWC or their advanced watches, yet rather a demonstration of the force of a great design.
If I may derail a second. We laude Omega for their cutting edge Speedmaster Professional as they’ve figured out how to save the better subtleties of the first model to a wonderful degree. While the Speedmaster brand itself has extended into all way of absurd bearings, the Professional model has stayed a robust of the first vision. I say this in light of the fact that the Mark 11 was simply such a plan, and I regret the way that I don’t see it protected as such inside the advanced line of IWC Pilot’s Watches. The impact is unmistakably there, yet villain is in the better subtleties that stay missing on the fresher watches.
I notice something very similar with the “ Tribute to 3705 ” – which makes a wonderful showing of catching the first 3705 in current features, however it’s obviously not implied as a re-issue or re-creation. It’s something different altogether, it’s ‘inspired by’. This is clearly deliberate with respect to IWC, who aren’t occupied with delivering 1:1 revamps of their memorable plans. While I incline toward the extents of the more modest registers and by and large elements of the real 3705, the “Tribute” makes changes that give greater degrees of neatness and convenience, as in, the progressions are driven by function.
The utilitarian changes found in the advanced Mark XVIII and Spitfire just as the Automatic Top Gun are found in the plan of great importance and moment hands, the consideration of a date complication, and the extents of the moment and hour bars and hashes at the edge of the dial. These are little things, yet as noted, there’s very little else going on here, so every little switch amounts to a major difference.
Let’s talk about these hands. The Mark 11 features a more slender, made right hour hand, and a pencil minute hand. They characterize the vibe of the watch and remain as one of a kind identifiers to IWC legacy. They are completely special, and IWC holds them for ‘tribute’ watches created in restricted amounts. The wide blade style hand configuration featured all through the Pilot’s Watch assortments today are predictable, and give a dramatic move in appearance from the more established plan. Inclination is emotional, obviously, however to my eye the made right baton and pencil hands offer a more grounded personality that IWC ought to possess. Alternately, the hands they are utilizing are decipherable and convey a solid measure of lume, so a simple contention for the change truly reduces to reasonableness.
The matte dark dial gets negligible marking here with the logo at 12 o’clock and the ‘automatic’ name at 6 o’clock. A splendid red ‘Top Gun’ gives the lone trace of shading in sight. A fascinating purpose of material difference occurs at the rehaut, which gives off an impression of being brushed steel, and may help secure the gem against removal by drop in pneumatic stress. It feels a little crude in appearance compared to the remainder of the watch, however I sort of like it as a result.
The other seemingly insignificant detail that’s-possibly really a-major thing is the date window. The little opening showcases a shading matched date circle, content to not carry undesirable attention to itself. The way it’s executed is okay and functions admirably. The issue comes with where it’s actualized. The actual window is at the 3 o’clock position, implying that hour numeral is missing from the dial, and keeping in mind that any remaining numerals are a predictable separation away from their hour markers, the date window gives off an impression of being meandering toward the focal point of the dial, with barely enough open space among itself and 3 o’clock hour creator as to point out an uncomfortable measure of itself. You could contend I’m being exorbitantly nit-meticulous here, and you’d be totally correct, yet once more, there’s not a ton else going on with this dial, so every single detail matters here. Is it a major issue? Presumably not, yet on the off chance that the date window on my Sinn can figure out how to be entirely flush with the 3 o’clock marker, there’s no explanation this $5k+ IWC shouldn’t have the option to pull off the equivalent feat.
The purpose behind that date window situation is likely because of the development inside. IWC is utilizing their own 32110 automatic type with a great 72 hours of hold. The design depends on that of the ETA 2892, and is delivered by ValFleurier, Richemont’s development producer (think Kenissi and Tudor). The development sits inside a delicate iron case for help in overseeing attraction, and the getaway haggle switch are made of silicone for additional protection from wear.
All of this is contained inside the matte dark artistic case that estimates 41mm in measurement and just shy of 12mm in thickness. The case is uniform in surface and appearance put something aside for the titanium caseback which is decorated with the Top Gun logo. On the off chance that you’re into dark cases, this is a decent one, and combines well with the dark supported texture lash to complete the look.
Strap & Wearability
This tie may seem like some other texture, NATO style lash however on the wrist it’s very unique. This is no normal lash, featuring leather support on all surfaces that touch the skin. Therefore, it feels a lot more steady on the wrist than a normal NATO may offer, yet accompanies a couple of disadvantages. In the first place, it’s hard to eliminate from the watch without likewise eliminating the springbars, not an immense arrangement but rather if you’re the sort that likes to trade ties spontaneously it’ll cause some hesitation.
More critically, the thickness of the lash causes some wearability issues. When the watch is gotten on wrist, the excess piece of lash that’s normally turned around through the attendants is excessively thick to really oversee such a move easily. This is because of the leather support along its underside, just as the extra leather support around the clasp openings. Everything looks cool, and feels pretty impenetrable, however by and by things get somewhat chaotic. While the tie feels very powerful in quality, it’s fringe unfeasible for wrists under 7 inches.
The actual watch wears all around given its sensible impression at only 41mm in measurement. The greatest astonishment was the drag to haul estimation, which is only north of 50mm. For reference, the Sinn U50, which additionally quantifies 41mm in distance across (and which I likewise end up being wearing right now) measures 47mm from haul tip to drag tip, and is quite normal for watches of this size. The IWC doesn’t seem to have long drags, yet the calipers don’t lie. They do integrate smoothly into the state of the case, which should conceal a portion of the length naturally. The watch is still effectively wearable, yet the estimations came as a shock, and if the lash will give you issues, the 50mm+ drag to haul may as well.
If the size and tie feel excessive for you, it’s worth thinking about the Spitfire Automatic , which is measured at 39mm and is offered on more conventional tie choices. The Spitfire additionally utilizes a similar 32110 development and depends on a similar plan language found in the Top Gun so except if you need the dark case, you’ll discover a ton to adore there. It’s likewise more than $1k less expensive.
Pricing & Conclusions
The IWC Automatic Top Gun is valued at $5,600, which puts a strong premium on the ceramic case and in-house development. The genuine Top Gun association (while without a doubt cool) is hard to completely become tied up with for the normal individual, who may not think that its compelling enough to legitimize the premium over other IWC Pilot’s Watches.
Setting that aside, this is an extremely cool watch on the off chance that you appreciate the strategic nature of the case and tie. It’s a cutting edge interpretation of a noteworthy plan from the brand, and keeping in mind that it positively doesn’t bring out any wistfulness on account of its execution, it seems like a continuation of a story that’s generations old, and that weight tops through the generally dark stone monument of a tech-forward apparatus that is the Automatic Top Gun. IWC .