IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar case with American military colours and a strap in embossed green calfskin. It use the self-winding movement providing 42 hours power reserve. The watch has a ceramic case 41 mm in diameter, 11 mm thick, with a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar is not just a visually different edition, as all the materials and the dimensions aren’t identical to the normal black dial version. The latter benefits from interesting evolutions. The case first, with a slightly smaller diameter – is now 40mm instead of 41mm. Then, the triple date window that used to cluster the dial has been removed and changed for a more classical version, with an aperture showing only one numeral. The red triangle that used to point the date has also been removed. Therefore, we see now a contrasting dial that come very close to the ideal of the classic pilot’s watch inspired from the 1930s Junkers Ju-52 cockpit instruments, which have served as the model per se for classic pilot’s watches. The classical black dial Mark XVIII is cleaner, more toolish and certainly has one the best legibility possible.
Then, the treatment of the dial is also rather different. Thankfully, it features the simple date. The hands, which are still shaped like propellers, are filled with beige luminous paint, to match with the rest of the dial. This dial not only has a different colour but also a different layout. As the rest of the IWC Pilot’s Watches, it is inspired by antique B-Uhr. However, while most show large hour indexes around the dial, this Top Gun Miramar edition chose the second possible layout used on B-Uhr, with large minute track on the periphery and smaller hour track inside the dial, here painted in red. The rest of the indications are painted in beige and the dial comes in a military-like anthracite grey. Overall, the look is slightly vintage and much more original than the black editions.
This military look of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar is complemented by a very pleasant strap. Textured and coloured in military green, it looks like a fabric strap but it is actually made of embossed calf leather. The combination of this shiny black ceramic case, with the matte grey dial and the textured strap really works in the flesh – and on the wrist. One regret concerns the crown, which IWC chose to leave in nude metal instead of coating it black. It somehow doesn’t match with the rest of the watch. Strange but usual choice from IWC. Inside the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar is a known and robust mechanic: the Calibre 30110 , basically an ETA-clone movement, with 42 hours of power reserve, a date display and a hacking second mechanism.
This movement is naturally invisible as enclosed in a soft-iron case – as all good Pilot’s Watches, the Mark XVIII has to be protected against magnetic fields. The plain caseback instead of revealing the movement shows a “Top Gun” engraving. It is made in stainless steel and screwed to ensure a 60m water resistance.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar is a special but non-limited edition, available in boutiques and official retailers of the brand.