The IWC watchmakers announced the launch of their new line of pilot watches at SIHH. Among those in the fleet was the IVC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun edition. The “Mojave Desert” example was the most popular in the group. It’s aesthetics take inspiration of a hot day in the desert with earth tones and a blend of elements that conjure the imagery found in the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station that is home in the California desert. This piece necessarily requires a closer examination to appreciate its unique features and capabilities.
The case of the Top Gun Mojave Desert
The case features a masculine feel in size and design with a 44.5 mm round case and a thickness of 15.7 mm. It is at home in a military spec kit. The tan coloring of the case is reminiscent of the sand that one would encounter in the Mojave. It’s completed in a matte finish so as not to reflect any glare or glints of bright light from the bright mid day sun. The specification for the case material is ceramic with the case back made of titanium. A softer inner case has been included to protect the chronograph movement from magnetism.
We now turn our attention to the dial which is expertly laid out against a background of brown in a taupe tone that lends a wonderful contrast to the light tan colored indexes applied to the face with the chronograph features in a 12, 6, 9 layout placing the sub dials in a symmetrical pattern, with a display for the day and date located at the three o clock position. The hands for the hours and minutes are nicely shaped in an elongated diamond pattern with a chunky middle and tapered ends. The hands are a nicely contrasting light beige color which has been outlined in a thick line of darker brown which lends a nice effect for the sake of legibility. The seconds hand is a needle style, also in the lighter beige coloring. It works against the darker background.
The movement that was used to power the IWC Pilots Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert is an in-house caliber 69380 chronograph movement. It’s an automatically wound type that beats at 4 Hz and provides a power reserve of approximately 46 hours. The size of the chronograph movement measures 41 mm in width, which accounts for the necessity of the larger dial diameter. It measures with a maximum of 12 hours. The functions of the movement are chronograph hours, Minutes, hours, seconds, day and date.
The dial of the watch is protected with a double sapphire crystal which has been treated with AR coating to reduce any glare that might be encountered and enhance legibility on bright sunny days. It also helps to protect the delicate inner workings from harsh impacts from a drop or from sudden air pressure changes for pilots.
The Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert is a military style watch that features an in-house chronograph movement and it offers an earthy accessory that is solid and well built. While it may appear large or bulky in size, the feel on the wrist is actually comfortable and light. The ceramic case contributes to this comfort level. It’s overall military desert them is enhanced by the tapered beige strap that is made of textile with leather lining. It fastens the watch to the wrist and keeps it secure via a deployant style clasp. It offers a natural aesthetic in earthy tones with high legibility.
Price and availability
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert is among the less expensive versions offered in a new and modern design that points back to previous members of the line. It is offered in a strictly limited edition to just 500 total pieces. The retail price of the watch is $8,200. Coming from a new line of Pilot’s watches, this one stands out with its distinctive aesthetics that pay homage to the California desert based military installation. It has the features of a classic with a modern interpretation that is solid and reliable and for the cost, it’s one of the more affordable versions currently offered by the brand.