Date — 16 January, 2012
The sheer power and technical superiority of the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN are clear for all to see. Much like the hangars housing the state of the art supersonic jets at the elite flying school in Fallon, Nevada, the impressive high-tech ceramic case of this watch accommodates some of watchmaking’s greatest achievements.
High-tech meets Haute Horlogerie: The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN (Ref. 502902) comes with features guaranteed to send the adrenaline level of watch lovers soaring. It starts with the IWC-manufactured 51614-calibre movement with Pellaton winding system, one of the most efficient automatic winding systems in the history of watchmaking. After just 1,960 revolutions, the spring-mounted rotor and Pellaton pawl-winding system build up a 7-day power reserve. To put this in perspective: on average, human beings move their arms about 3,000 times a day. The power reserve display in the subdial at “3 o’clock” is a constant reminder of the movement’s efficiency. It generates enough energy to power a wealth of watchmaking complications, such as the perpetual calendar with its four-digit year display and the date, day and month displays. All the displays are easily adjusted via the crown and advance automatically. The perpetual calendar will not require intervention by a watchmaker until 2100, a year that breaks with the conventional 4-year cycle and will not be a leap year. The current century slide bears the numbers 20, 21 and 22 and will therefore come to the end of its service life on 31 December 2299. Two discreet air-craft silhouettes on the moon phase display at “12 o’clock” indicate the state of the moon as seen from the northern and southern hemispheres. In each lunar month, i.e. about 29.5 days, the watch’s imitation of the moon’s orbit deviates by about 12 seconds. Other highlights hidden away in the movement include a Glucydur® beryllium alloy balance and Breguet spring.
After just 1,960 revolutions, the spring-mounted rotor and Pellaton pawl-winding system build up a 7-day power reserve
Pilot’s Watch design leans on historic forebears
The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN makes no secret of its illustrious past, parading it confidently in its very name. In 1940, its historic forebear established the design cues for the Pilot’s Watch as we know it today. The modern version combines the classical instrument appearance – contrasting a white chapter ring with an arrowhead index on a matte-black dial – with the sporty design of the TOP GUN line. The ceramic case and titanium crown allude to the technological leadership traditionally held by the Schaffhausen-based manufacturer: IWC introduced titanium as a case material and discovered ceramics for the watchmaking industry way back in the 1980s. The 48-millimetre case is secured with a black soft strap that is as rugged as it is comfortable to wear.
The Top Gun logo on the back of the case is an unequivocal statement that this timepiece is high technology at its best and one of the most complex pilot’s watches ever built.
*IWC Schaffhausen is not the owner of the Glucydur® trademark.
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