Military Surplus: IWC Launches Trio of Squadron-Inspired Pilot’s Watch Chronographs for Civilians


Continuing the expansion of its popular aviation collection, which has taken center stage for the brand this year, IWC this week has introduced three new ceramic-cased models as part of its Pilot’s Watch Chronograph series. The trio includes the “Royal Maces,” “Tophatters,” and “Blue Angels” editions and are the latest collaborative pieces produced in partnership between IWC and the United States Navy, with each model directly inspired by its namesake squadrons and emblazoned with that squadron’s patch at 6 o’clock on the dial.

Since 2018, IWC has worked on watches for the various U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviation units, collaborating with more than a dozen squadrons to create special editions exclusively available to current and former members. These latest special editions draw similar inspiration as the military-exclusive models but are available to civilians, offering unique styles previously reserved for those in uniform.

While visually distinct in their details and colors, each of the new models uses the same general case design, materials, and movement. At a glance, each features a zirconium-oxide ceramic case, sized in line with the traditional proportions of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph series, at 44.5 mm in diameter by 15.7 mm thick. The cases’ pushers and the crown are made of Ceratanium, a special titanium alloy employed by IWC which combines the best qualities of both the lightweight metal and ceramic. In terms of specifics, the “Royal Maces” edition is produced in black and yellow, the “Tophatters” in black and red, and the “Blue Angels” in blue and yellow.

On the dial, the shared attributes between the models continue, underpinned by the familiar IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph configuration. The dial is highly legible, with excellent contrast between the white markers and their dark background, with visual elements signature to the series such as the flieger-inspired 12 o’clock marker and hand shapes. The chronograph subdials are arranged vertically at 12, 9, and 6 o’clock, with the top two featuring a circular engraving, and the bottom indicator sporting the squadron patch of the “Royal Maces,” “Tophatters,” or “Blue Angels.” A day and date indicator alongside a small IWC logo resides at 3 o’clock, bringing some balance to the otherwise asymmetrical design.

Powering each of the new models is the IWC-manufactured Caliber 69380. The automatic movement features a column wheel controlling its chronograph functionality, while a bi-directional pawl-winding system supplies the movement with energy, building up a power reserve of 46 hours. Like many IWC watches, the timepieces also feature a soft-iron inner case to protect the movement efficiently from the effects of magnetic fields. Each of the special editions features an engraved titanium caseback, each engraved with the patch of its respective squadron.

All three special editions of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph are available now, each priced at $10,900.

To learn more, you can visit IWC here.

One Response to “Military Surplus: IWC Launches Trio of Squadron-Inspired Pilot’s Watch Chronographs for Civilians”

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  1. And once again IWC launches another pilot “Ltd edition”. I really wanna know all you watch journalists aren’t you bored already?

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