IWC’s pilot’s watch heritage stretches back decades. From observation watches of the Second World War to the midcentury Mk. XI and the seemingly endless variations of the more modern Big Pilot, the Schaffhausen-based firm’s aviation-themed timepieces have few equals.
The latest watch to join the stable is the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun SFTI. Inspired by 2018’s StrikeFighter Tactics Instructor made in honor of the US Naval Aviation Community — and only available to Top Gun graduates — the new SFTI, which features a black ceramic case with a Ceratanium case back and pushers, is limited to 1,500 pieces at a price of $9,150. Even if you don’t take your F/A-18 Super Hornet to work, you’re clear to buy this version as a civilian.
The super scratch-resistant, black zirconium oxide ceramic case is 44mm wide and water-resistant to 60m, with a Vickers hardness second only to that of a diamond. Ceratanium pushers and a Ceratanium case back ensure an almost absurd level of robustness despite the material’s light weight. Paired with a black dial and a day-date display with a black background, the look is entirely stealthy and tactical. A three-register chronograph, powered by the IWC manufacture caliber 69380 with column wheel design and 46 hours of power reserve, gives the user running seconds, 12-hour and 30-minute counters. Paired with a green textile strap, the look is pure, military-inspired cool.
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