08.07.2021 - IWC

IWC Top Gun watch still set to take the breath away following delay

Fans who feel the need for speed are desperate for the long-awaited Top Gun: Maverick movie to hit the big screens next July – two years later than originally planned. But watch collectors will be thrilled to know that IWC has released 1,500 pieces of its latest Top Gun watch – a 44.5mm chronograph.

Two years back, IWC launched the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor”, as an exclusive for graduates of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN – where the elite of the elite train. Now the Swiss manufacturer brings the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition SFTI to the forefront but many of the details are similar to the Strike Fighter’s version.


The watchmaker has been the official creator of the legendary TOP GUN fighter school since 2007, building timepieces in collaboration with the instructors which were not even available for us mere mortals to buy. However, the latest offering is civilian-friendly and is the closest thing to the official instructors’ watch that any non-pilot can ever own!

Created with Ceratanium – a combination of ceramic and titanium that the Swiss watchmaker began using in 2017 – it’s an incredibly light and robust material but still scratch-resistant.

It’s the first matt black dial with matching hands on a NATO green textile strap… just in case the wearer ends up behind enemy lines.

Boasting the 69380 calibre, the automatic watch is self-winding and has a smashing 46-hour power reserve, with no fewer than 231 components and 31 jewels in total. Touches of red on the small seconds hand accentuate the dial. Some may think the little red plane on the chronograph second hand makes the watch look cartoony but, well, we quite like it.

Tried and tested 

It may look like an accessory for Tom Cruise to go trick or treating in, but the watch has actually been fully tested by an ex-Navy Captain with 25 years’ experience! Jim DiMatteo reported that being in a fighter jet is a violent experience as you get smacked about the sides and the G-forces are incredible.

He added that he thought a timepiece is a critical piece of gear for pilots who need to reference them all the time but need critical functions, precision and durability. Even the sapphire glass in the new watch is secured against displacement by drop in air pressure, with anti reflective coating on both sides.

Military units will often order custom limited edition watches, perhaps with a badge or silhouette of the plane flown. These types of watches exist in civilian aviation, but the equivalent of a secret handshake proves popular amongst armed forces personnel.

The price has now been updated to around £8,550. 

Expert advice

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