This IWC Pilot Chronograph-Top Gun timepiece is an awesome chronograph made of ceramics and titanium. IWC used a nicely finished ETA/Valjoux 7750 work-horse movement for that model and the dial had that typical 7750 lay-out, sub dials on 12, 9 and 6 o’clock.
The case is made of ceramics and beautifully designed and finished. The influences of the earlier IWC Pilot Chronograph watches are clearly there but have been super-sized. It sits nicely on the wrist and looks – to be honest – expensive. But I guess that is what most buyers of these watches expect it to be.
The black soft strap the watch comes on is very comfortable and feels like high quality. If I am not mistaken the strap I had for my IWC Ingenieur 3227 a few years ago was made of a similar material. The stainless steel bracelet was beautiful, but perhaps a bit too “smooth” for a real tool watch like the Pilot Chronograph. The soft strap comes with an IWC folding clasp that works perfectly.
The time is readable under almost all circumstances, which is exactly the point of a tool – in this case pilot’s – watch. The dial lay-out is a bit different from the other IWC Pilot Chronographs, as this model uses the in-house IWC 89365 caliber chronograph movement. This means the watch has two registers, located at 12 and 6 o’clock. On 9 o’clock you’ll see the brand’s logo in white and on 3 o’clock the 3 dates aperture. The large aperture is not for everyone I’ve noticed when reading some forum comments on this watch somewhere, and I am still a bit in doubt about it myself as well, but when the large minute hands indicates 15 minutes, you’ll be able to read today’s date by seeing the date before & after.
IWC does not use a modified ETA 7750 for these watches, but an in-house developed 89365 chronograph movement instead. As you can see on the dial, there is no hour counter so it’s only minutes and seconds that can be measured. However, the watch does feature a flyback function. Aside from the normal start/stop and reset procedure, you can also quickly restart the chronograph by simply pressing the lower pusher at 4 o’clock. This saves you two pushes if you need to restart the chronograph quickly again. The self-winding movement has a 68 hour power-reserve, so you can use another watch on Saturday and Sunday if you want. Of course, IWC chose to use a column wheel mechanism for their own in-house manufactured chronograph movement.
The caseback of the IWC Pilot Chronograph is the only thing that indicates we are talking about a Top Gun timepiece here. This watch, together with the Miramar edition, pays tribute to the elite pilot team from the United States. A few years ago, in 2012, when these watches were introduced, we had a thorough introduction on Top Gun by one of their pilots who came over to The Netherlands to visit.
Originally a tool watch, but now brought to the market as a life style pilot’s watch. No matter how the IWC Pilot’s Chronograph watch of today is marketed, it is a very well made and finished timepiece.