IWC continues its partnership with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, for which it develops mil-spec timepieces, with three new additions to its Pilot’s Watches collection.
Timing is pretty important for flyboys. Knowing their time to or over a target, how long their fuel will last, or what time Top Gun is playing in the crew mess are just some of the facts fighter pilots might need a decent timepiece for. Because of this need, IWC has worked with world militaries for 85 years, developing mil-spec service watches like the British Royal Air Force’s Mark 11 designed to meet the needs of today’s aviation warriors.
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IWC continues this dialogue within the frame of its military program, which emerged from the brand’s partnership with the U.S. Navy. Since 2018, IWC is licensed to work on watches for the entire U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviation units, including Blue Angels and the 247 active and 100 inactive squadrons. IWC has since collaborated with more than a dozen squadrons to create special editions that are exclusively available to present and former members.
Now, IWC releases three new chronographs – limited to 500 units each – in its Pilot’s Watches collection, which are directly inspired by the brand’s collaborations with U.S. Navy squadrons, marking the first time these designs are available to non-pilots. The annual production of these chronographs will be limited to 500 pieces each.
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Strike Fighter Squadron 27, known as the Royal Maces, is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan and forms part of Carrier Air Wing 5. The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Royal Maces” (Ref. IW389107) is inspired by a military-exclusive edition IWC developed with members of the squadron and features a black zirconium oxide ceramic case, pushers and crown in Ceratanium, and a dial displaying the “Maces” patch at 6 o’clock as well as a yellow day-date indication.
The yellow stitching on the strap, the tip of the chronograph seconds hand, and the small seconds add details in the signature “Maces” colour. The case back is made of grade 5 titanium and features an engraving of the squadron’s F/A-18E Super Hornet jet next to the official squadron denomination “VFA-27”.
Naval Air Station Lemoore in California is the home base of The Strike Fighter Squadron 14, nicknamed the Tophatters. Having formed in 1919, VFA-14 is the Navy’s oldest active squadron. The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tophatters” (Ref. IW389108) has a case made of black zirconium oxide ceramic. as well as chronograph pushers and crown in Ceratanium. The squadron’s patch with the classic top hat can be found at 6 o’clock on the dial and engraved on the titanium case back. The day-date display, the tip of the chronograph seconds hand, the small seconds, and the stitching on the black calfskin strap add more details in the squadron’s characteristic red.
Finally, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Blue Angels” (Ref. IW389109) pays homage to the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, which was established in 1946 and which is made up of 141 members of the Navy and Marines.
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Inspired by the military-exclusive watch developed with Blue Angels members in Pensacola, the chronograph features a blue ceramic case, the bright blue colour of which is the result of mixing zirconium oxide with other metallic oxides. Here, too, the chronograph pushers and the crown are made of IWC-developed Ceratanium, while the iconic Blue Angels crest with the U.S. Navy Wings of Gold is at 6 o’clock on the dial and the characteristic lettering is engraved on the titanium case back.
Yellow details are provided by the chronograph seconds hand, the small seconds, and the day-date display at 3 o’clock, and the watch is fitted with a blue rubber strap with textile inlay.
The IWC-manufactured 69380 calibre movement powers the new chronographs. Consisting of 231 individual parts, this mechanical chronograph movement is engineered with a focus on robustness, reliability, and precision. A column wheel controls the stopwatch function, while the bi-directional pawl-winding system supplies the movement with energy, building up a power reserve of 46 hours.
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