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The IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar “Mojave Desert”

Limited to 150 pieces worldwide, the new IWC Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN “Mojave Desert” watch is a scratch-resistant ceramic perpetual calendar inspired by the location where the Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake resides


Over the years, some luxury watch brands have paved the way to success with their innovative research and material development, creating watches with improved resistance to all sorts of extreme conditions. Now, watch cases crafted from ceramic are not such an unusual concept. We have the likes of Rado, for example, to thank for pioneering the use of ceramic in watches that date way back to the 1980s. Watches that incorporate ceramic in their bezels are another common feature found in the luxury watch industry. The new IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar ‘Mojave Desert’, however, takes things a step further.



IWC Schaffhausen has long been associated with its use of ceramic for movement components. The brand was doing this long before other competition had caught on to the benefits of this material. This was the IWC way of thinking. Ceramic is a material that is resistant to wearing down and is scratch-resistant too. Not only this, but the material is also more durable than other metals used in modern-day movement manufacture. The release of the first ceramic IWC Schaffhausen watch was back in 1986. It was coupled with a perpetual calendar and named the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar. After this, the Maison released the Ceratanium DoppleChronograph watch, clothed in a sleek all-black outfit and released in the same year as the manufacturer’s first Big Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN edition ‘Mojave Desert’ and the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Edition ‘Mojave Desert’. Both models took inspiration, as their names suggest, from the Mojave Desert where the Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake is situated. The distinctive feature of both watches has always been their sand-coloured and beige aesthetics paired with a textile strap and a stunning brown coloured dial. Also, IWC Mojave Desert Special Edition watches have always been powered by movements from the 52000 series, a family that has been well-utilized throughout the manufacturer’s long line of luxury pilot’s watches, as well as many IWC Portugieser watches, namely the perpetual and annual calendar versions.



One of the most striking features of this new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Edition Mojave Desert is the unusual colour of its ceramic case, which sits at a depth of 15.5mm on the wrist. The case size – a confident 46.5mm - certainly creates a lot of presence, elevated of course by the chic colour of this remarkably scratch-resistant material. The case also features a screw-in crown and a 60-meter water resistance. Its convex sapphire crystal glass top is secured against displacement by a drop in air pressure and has been treated with layers of anti-reflective technology to grant a clear view into the dial whilst ridding any undesirable glare from its surface.  The back of the case is also sealed with another piece of sapphire glass, which enables the Calibre 52615 to perform effortlessly whilst all its finest features are put on show.



Onto the dial and the matte brown colour of the IWC Big Pilot’s “Mojave Desert” dial is the perfect backdrop for luminescent hands and Arabic numeral hour markers. The Perpetual Calendar counters are beautifully balanced across the display. At the 3 o’clock location you can see the date combined with a 7-day power reserve dial. At the 6 o’clock location is the indication of the months of the year and next to this, a smaller indication that shows the leap year function. The 9 o’clock sub-counter displays a running seconds function shared with the days of the week. The 12 o’clock location is where the moon phase indications reside with northern and southern hemispheres.


Clearly, the enjoyment of owning an IWC Schaffhausen watch has always run much deeper than aesthetics. The Perpetual Calendar was first developed by Kurt Klaus in the 1980s who, at the time, was the head of watchmaking at the company. The legendary innovation came about during the quartz crisis when mechanical watches were still very much oppressed by the domineering quartz-powered watch. Still, that wasn’t enough to put the expert watchmaker off. Before then, perpetual calendars were only offered up by those sitting right at the top of the industry – the likes of Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet, for example. IWC perpetual calendars were more affordable and accessible, resonating for the very first time with a new type of audience.



Inside the new IWC Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” watch is the Calibre 52625 whose regulating organ beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, producing a useful 168-hour power reserve. As mentioned, the status of the watch’s remaining power levels can be tracked via the indicator at 3 o’clock. The movement also comes equipped with a pellaton winding system and comprises a total of 368 hand-assembled individual parts that all work seamlessly with one another. Of course, through the watch’s transparent caseback, the traditions Cotes de Geneve finishes and perlage decoration can all be admired among other exclusive finishes and techniques.


Reflecting the sandy tones of the desert, the new IWC Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN “Mojave Desert” comes fitted on a beige rubber strap with a textile inlay and a deployment clasp. For more information on this IWC Big Pilot’s watch, you can speak to a member of our sales team at Jura Watches on 01335 453453 or view the whole of the company’s collection here.


Technical specifications of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN “Mojave Desert”

  • Case; Width; 46.5mm – height:15.5mm – ceramic – 60-meter water-resistant – convex anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass front – secured by displacement against a drop in air pressure – screw-in crown – transparent sapphire glass caseback
  • Dial: Matte dark brown – luminescent Arabic numeral hour markers – date and power reserve at 3H – months of the year at 6H – leap year indicator at 7H – days of the week and small seconds at 9H – moonphase at 12h
  • Movement: Calibre 52616 – in-house designed – pellaton winding system – 168-hour power reserve – 28,800 v.p.h – 54 jewels – day, date, leap year, month, hour, minutes, small seconds, moonphase, power reserve functions
  • Strap: Sand-coloured – beige rubber – textile inlay – deployment clasp
  • Reference: IW503004
  • Availability; Limited to 150 pieces worldwide
  • Price: £28,600
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