That’s right, if you like your watch coloring on the darker side and your pilot’s chronos on the smaller side (that’s relative to other IWC offerings), this new Ceratanium 41mm Top Gun chronograph should certainly be on your radar. Ceratanium is a special material that mixes the weight benefits of titanium with the scratch-resistance of ceramic, making it an ideal material for a great sports watch.
For this latest and very stealthy creation, the case, pushers, and crown are made of Ceratanium and the caseback is of the display variety and employs a tinted crystal. Seen through that darkened crystal is IWC’s 69385 chronograph movement, which is an expression of a movement similar to that found in watches like the 41mm Chronograph Spitfire (a watch I really enjoyed reviewing). Originally based on the 69370 – which itself is based on the ETA 7750 – the 69385 is an automatically wound column-wheel chronograph movement with a day/date display and a 12-hour maximum chronograph measure.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Ceratanium comes fitted to a black textile strap with a matching Ceratanium buckle and will hit IWC retail with a list price of $12,600.
Look, for what is basically a line extension, I think they’ve got a winner on their hands. I remain a big fan of the brand’s 41mm Pilot’s chronographs (like the previously linked Spitfire) and the move into a full Ceratanium expression feels like it will resonate with a lot of IWC fans as it’s likely the sort of evolution that many have been waiting for. It’s casual, well-made, handsome, and speaks directly from IWC’s position as one of the hallmark brands in the world of pilot’s watches.
My only concern is with the stealth dial markings, as I was never really a big fan of the whole “phantom” trend we had several years ago as it spawned a lot of watches that looked amazing in ideal lighting but were tough to read in actual day-to-day illumination. While this specific execution by IWC looks to have enough contrast via a grey-on-black coloring, I’m excited to see this watch in person and get a feel for its on-wrist legibility. Also, one can only assume that more iterations will come in the future, my vote is for something with a big dose of color, similar to the boutique editions of the Big Pilot QP from a few years back. Bright yellow or orange markings.
Other than that, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Ceratanium is largely a known (and well-respected) quantity now rocking the brand’s most sporty construction. If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the eventual release of smaller Ceratanium models, today is the day those dreams finally touch down on the runway of reality.