Written by: Holly Troupe
IWC Schaffhausen, luxury watchmaker and manufacturer of precise, sturdy aviator timepieces since the 1930s, has unveiled two new Pilot’s Watches scheduled for release at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), January 16th, 2012: The Big Pilot Watch Top Gun Miramar and the Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar. These timepieces are just two of the Pilot’s line that are scheduled for exhibition at SIHH.
The Big Pilot Watch Top Gun Miramar has a 48mm metallic grey case, and is outfitted with the IWC’s largest automatic movement—caliber 51111—which has a power reserve of 168 hours. The face displays a separate inner hour circle in red and an outer chapter ring in beige, a nod to IWC’s military roots, since navigational efficiency dictates that the minutes and seconds take priority over the hours. The watch strap is green textile, and the watch hands are luminescent beige outlined in black. The case back and controls are titanium.
The Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar has a 46mm case with a caliber 89365 chronograph movement. Like the Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar, the watch face has a separate hour circle and chapter ring display, and has similar design facets, such as the green watch strap and the dark grey case. IWC’s long tradition of manufacturing first-rate deck watches greatly inspired the new line. “The new Miramar line is such a perfect fit for IWC,” said Christian Knoop, the Creative Director for IWC. “Premium-class watches with outstanding mechanics and a rugged, almost hard-edged feel.”
The Top Gun Pilot Watch line was first made public in 2007, “Top Gun” also being the moniker for a special training program in the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School. The line was an addition to the Pilots line, which had a 70 year history of crafting aviator watches to suit the needs of a rapidly advancing aeronautics industry. The Pilots line was designed in the 1930s and 40s to meet military specifications for deck and navigation watches; the Mark 11—the best known of IWC’s Pilot’s watches—was manufactured for the Royal Air Force beginning in 1948, and was used for more than 30 years.
The name “Miramar” is a tribute to the California location of the storied United States Navy Fighter Weapons School pilot training program. “Flying enthusiasts all over the world think of Miramar in California as the birth place of the Top Gun legend,” said Karoline Huber, IWC’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “With our new TOP GUN Miramar design line, we are addressing watch lovers who consciously embrace IWC’s long-standing tradition of manufacturing Pilot’s Watches, but who also wish to benefit from the technological advances of the 21st century and the inimitable quality typical of IWC.”