IWC Big Pilots Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert Watches Review

IWC Big Pilots Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert Watches Review

Lined in stealthy sand-coloured ceramic with matching rubber straps and brown subdued dials, the duo of IWC Big Pilots Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert watches are the latest delivery from the Schaffhausen-based manufacturer as part of their incredible 2021 Watches and Wonders releases.

Two years ago in 2019, when Watches and Wonders was SIHH, IWC unveiled a group of new watches to their Pilots Top Gun collection all taking influence from the U.S Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program. Part of the series was an IWC Pilots Chronograph Top Gun Edition nicknamed the “Mojave Desert” which brought to life a unique sandy-coloured aesthetic inspired by the Mojave Desert, home of the largest land are a owned by the U.S. Navy. The well-received IWC chronograph was the first of its kind to be engineered from sand-coloured ceramic, and now, this material is incorporated into the brand’s Big Pilots collection for the first time as two new watches: the IWC Big Pilots Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert under reference IW506003 and the IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert IW503004

Ceramic as a watch material is nothing new, but it remains increasingly valuable and coveted in the luxury watch market. IWC Schaffhausen in particular are no strangers to ceramic, having mastered the use of the lightweight and scratch resistant material in many of their other designs. In the two new IWC Big Pilots Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert watches, ceramic is utilised for the entirety of the case and bezel and is carefully manufactured using a highly sophisticated production process. Its sand colour is also no easy feat and is obtained by combining zirconium oxide with other metallic oxides in a precisely defined mixing ratio. This sand-like hue is really what makes the IWC Mojave Desert Editions so unique, and although arguably not the most legible colour choice for a pilots watch, still delivers a handsome design for use on land.

IWC Big Pilots Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert IW506003

The first reference out of the Mojave Desert duo is the IWC Big Pilots Top Gun Edition IW506003 which delivers classic three-hand with date complication and a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock. This is certainly not the first time we have seen this layout in the Big Pilots line and like others in the collection is powered by the IWC-manufactured 52110 calibre with Pellaton winding with two barrels and an impressive power reserve of 7 days. The sand-coloured ceramic case measures to 46mm in diameter and is equipped with a soft-iron inner cage to shield the movement against the effects of magnetic fields.

Externally, the IWC Big Pilots Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert watch is as expected, dressed in sand-coloured ceramic with a smooth unadorned bezel, large knurled crown and a water resistant rating of 60 metres. The case measures to 46mm in diameter and presents the dark brown dial decorated with Superluminova hands and numerals beneath scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating on both sides. Also protecting the movement is a screw down titanium case back engraved with the legendary Top Gun logo. Limited to just 250 pieces a year, you can order the IWC Big Pilots Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert reference IW506003 on the Jura Watches website here at a retail price of £13,600.

Specifications:

  • Case Size: 46mm
  • Case Material: Sand-coloured ceramic
  • Bezel: Fixed
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
  • Crown: Screw down, titanium
  • Case Back: Exhibition
  • Water Resistance: 60 metres
  • Movement: IWC manufacture calibre 52110, automatic
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 168 hours (7 days)
  • Jewels: 31
  • Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Dial: Dark brown
  • Strap: Rubber with textile inlay
  • RRP: £13,600
  • Release Date: Available now

IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert IW503004

The more expensive, limited and complex of the two is the IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert under reference IW503004. Dressed in the same sand-coloured ceramic, dark brown dial, Superluminova accents and sand rubber strap with textile inlay, the release delivers one of IWC Schaffhausen’s most coveted complications: the perpetual calendar. Developed by IWC’s former head watchmaker Kurt Klaus, the perpetual calendar automatically recognises different month lengths as well as leap years and requires no manual correction until the year 2100.

Powered by the IWC-manufactured 52615 calibre fitted with a Pellaton winding system and ceramic components, the new IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert boasts a date display and power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock, the month at 6 o’clock, weekday and small seconds at 9 o’clock and a colourful double moonphase display at 12 o’clock which needs to be adjusted by only one day after 577.5 years. The movement, including key elements like the rotor and balance wheel, are made visible through the sapphire crystal case back and the case comes in a little larger to its time-day counterpart measuring to 46.5mm in diameter. Limited to just 150 pieces a year, you can order the IWC Big Pilots Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert reference IW503004 on the Jura Watches website here at a retail price of £28,600.

Specifications:

  • Case Size: 46.5mm
  • Case Material: Sand-coloured ceramic
  • Bezel: Fixed
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
  • Crown: Screw in
  • Case Back: Exhibition
  • Water Resistance: 60 metres
  • Movement: IWC manufacture calibre 52615, automatic
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, perpetual calendar with displays for the date, day, month, year in four digits and perpetual moon phase for both Northern and Southern hemispheres
  • Power Reserve: 168 hours (7 days)
  • Jewels: 54
  • Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Dial: Dark brown
  • Strap: Rubber with textile inlay
  • RRP: £28,600
  • Release Date: Available now
  • Limited Edition: 150 pieces

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