IWC Schaffhausen has launched three new ceramic chronographs in its Pilot’s Watches collection that are inspired by timepieces that the brand created in the context of its military program in collaboration with selected squadrons of the U.S. Navy. The Pilot’s Watches Chronograph Editions “Royal Maces”, “Tophatters”, and “Blue Angels®” all feature the respective squadron patch on the dial.
Since 2018, IWC is licensed to work on watches for the entire U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviation units, including Blue Angels® and the 247 active and 100 inactive squadrons. IWC has already joined forces with more than a dozen squadrons to create special editions that are exclusively available to present and former members. Now, the brand releases three new chronographs in its Pilot’s Watches collection that are available to non-pilots. The annual production of these chronographs will be limited to 500 pieces each.
Strike Fighter Squadron 27, known as the “Royal Maces”, is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan and forms part of Carrier Air Wing 5. The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Royal Maces” (Ref. IW389107) draws inspiration from the military-exclusive edition IWC has developed with members of the squadron. The chronograph features a black zirconium oxide ceramic case. The pushers and the crown are made of Ceratanium®. The dial features the “Maces” patch at 6 o’clock and also has a yellow day-date indication. The case back is made of grade 5 titanium and features an engraving of the squadron’s F/A-18E Super Hornet jet next to the official squadron denomination “VFA-27”.
Naval Air Station Lemoore in California is the home base of The Strike Fighter Squadron 14, nicknamed “Tophatters”. The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tophatters” (Ref. IW389108) features a case made of black zirconium oxide ceramic. The chronograph pushers and the crown are manufactured Ceratanium®. Developed by IWC, this material is as light and robust as titanium and at the same time hard and scratch-resistant like ceramic. The squadron’s patch with the classic top hat can be found at 6 o’clock on the dial and engraved on the titanium case back.
Established in 1946, the “Blue Angels®” U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron is currently made up of 141 members from the Navy and Marines. The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Blue Angels®” (Ref. IW389109) features a blue ceramic case. The bright blue color is the result of mixing zirconium oxide with other metallic oxides. The chronograph pushers and the crown are made of IWC-developed Ceratanium®. The iconic “Blue Angels®” crest with the U.S. Navy Wings of Gold is at 6 o’clock on the dial. Yellow details are provided by the chronograph seconds hand, the small seconds, and the day-date display at 3 o’clock. This watch comes on a blue rubber strap with textile inlay.
The new chronographs are powered by IWC-manufactured 69380 caliber movement that consists of 231 individual parts. A column wheel controls the stopwatch function. The bi-directional pawl-winding system supplies the movement with energy, building up a power reserve of 46 hours. The front glasses are secured to avoid displacement in the case of sudden drops of air pressure.