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IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN “Lake Tahoe” Review

Dressed in a striking white-coloured ceramic case, the new limited edition IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN “Lake Tahoe” of just 1000 pieces worldwide is inspired by the winter landscape that surrounds the US Navy’s TOPGUN school.


The design of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph originated in the 1940s and was initially known as the "Baumuster A" (Type A) watch. It featured sword-shaped hands, Arabic numeral and luminous indices – all of which still appear on modern IWC Pilot’s Watches today, including the company’s chronographs, with added day-date displays and superior anti-magnetic technology in the form of a soft-iron inner cage. Many Pilot’s Watch Chronographs have a caseback inscribed by a famous aircraft like the P-38, the Spitfire or the Ju-52. The collection is incredibly dynamic and is home to several case sizes, styles and materials.



One particular sub-category of this pilot’s watch collection by IWC Schaffhausen is the TOP GUN series, characterised by its extraordinary cases crafted from a special titanium-ceramic alloy named Ceratanium. Up until recent years, these watches had always been noted for their sleek matte black finish. These models forged a unique DNA of their own with their black zirconium oxide ceramic cases and titanium casebacks, however, more recently we’ve seen the maison experiment further, developing its first sand-coloured ceramic model named the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert”, which we covered in more detail here. Today, two new chronographs in white and green ceramic mark a new chapter to the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN story. Both have been unveiled in time for Watches & Wonders 2022. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN “Lake Tahoe” White watch.


The new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe” Ref. IW389105


Limited to 1000 pieces worldwide, the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN “Lake Tahoe” white watch boasts a captivating colourway. A white ceramic case that has undergone, by far, one of the most sophisticated engineering processes to achieve its striking colour surrounds a black dial in this new pilot’s chronograph watch. This entirely new shade of ceramic is inspired by the winter landscape that forms a backdrop to a training ground used by pilots of the Navy Fighter Weapons school in a location known as Lake Tahoe. The area sits between California and Nevada not far from the home of the US Navy’s TOPGUN school, Naval Air Station Fallon. The glistening waters of this beautiful freshwater lake and the white uniforms worn by personnel of the US Navy influence this new watch ref. IW389105, with other materials like the watch’s steel caseback and stainless steel push-pieces creating a unique mix of contrasting textures, tones and shades. Matching this new ceramic colour to several other components and materials within the design is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination, yet it is this unwavering ambition from IWC Schaffhausen to achieve these advanced feats that demonstrate another layer to every IWC watch and its complexity. Luminescent-coated accents, rubber straps, and textile inlays all play an integral role in this clever balance.



Advanced ceramic colours


IWC Schaffhausen first used ceramic within the Pilot’s Watch collection with the release of its Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Ceramic ref. 3705 back in 1994 but had been experimenting with this material in different colours for some years before. The process involves combining zirconium oxide with several other metallic oxides to achieve a different colour using specific mixing ratios. Temperature and sintering processes also come into play – each one adapted to suit the requirement of the watch’s unique shade.


Inside the 44.5mm IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN “Lake Tahoe” watch is the Calibre 69380, which beats at the rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour. It provides a 46-hour power reserve and contains a total of 33 jewels, offering chronograph 30-minute, 12-hour and second functions, together with main hours, minutes and small seconds, a day aperture and date feature. To protect the movement from magnetic damage, the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Model is equipped with a soft-iron inner cage.



As aforementioned. the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN “Lake Tahoe” watch is clad in a stunning white ceramic case with stainless steel push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock, an easy-grip crown, and a stainless steel caseback. A convex sapphire crystal glass front with anti-reflective and scratch-resistant properties protects the surface of the watch’s black dial with matching black hands. Luminous material adorns the surface of the central hands and large visible Arabic numeral hour markers in this design, whilst other matching white elements include the scales, numerals and hands of the sub-counters, the IWC lettering, and the day-date feature at 3H.


Water-resistant to 60 meters, the new white ceramic limited edition IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN “Lake Tahoe” watch is completed on a fresh white rubber strap that secures into place on the wrist with a folding buckle.



If you’d like more information on any of IWC Schaffhausen’s latest releases for Watches & Wonders 2022, please call and speak to a member of our Jura Watches sales team on 01335 453453 or check out all the newest releases in our 2022 Watches & Wonders online catalogue here.

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