When you think of watchmaking in aviation, IWC is the first name that springs to mind. There are, of course, a number of houses with a history closely linked to aircraft, such as Breguet with its Type XX or Breitling with the Navitimer, but the Mark XVIII and Big Pilot have a special flavor. While the Schaffhausen company’s white dials are nothing new, this is the first time the Manufacture has offered a Aviator Watch with a fully luminescent dial. Spotlight on this new timepiece Black Aces !
It’s not an insignificant English name. The Black Aces are members of Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41), a U.S. Navy squadron based in Lemoore, California (just like Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch), with whom IWC developed this timepiece as part of its Professional Aviator Watch program with the U.S. Navy. It is therefore designed by pilots for pilots. In the same vein as the ceramic Top Gun collection unveiled at Watches & Wonders 2022, this new Aviator’s Watch boasts a 41mm case designed in zirconium oxide ceramic to give it outstanding strength, second only to diamond on the Vickers hardness scale. A far from insignificant choice when you consider the flight conditions endured in a cramped cockpit. Its matte black color also prevents reflections so as not to disturb drivers’ vision. The caseback and crown are made of titanium, while the inner case is in soft iron to limit the impact of magnetic fields. Add a silicon balance spring and you’ve got a perfect duo!
As for the dial, the brand didn’t simply apply Super-LumiNova; it also mix luminescent pigments with a binder to cast the whole in a module where the whole has been hardened via a cross-linking processa chemical junction for create a massive disk with a hardness comparable to that of ceramic. The result: a photoluminescence operating for 23 hoursan unprecedented level! Unsurprisingly, the indexes were printed there, as was the Black Aces patchan ace of spades that adds a strong character and a much-appreciated touch of color. To liven things up, IWC has chosen the caliber 32100an automatic movement clocked at 4Hz and offering 72-hour power reserve. The whole thing is mounted on a textile strap and offered exclusively on the brand’s website for €7,500. And thanks to the My IWC program, you can add a further 6 years to the 2-year warranty!
FEATURES – IWC AUTOMATIC AVIATOR WATCH 41 BLACK ACES
Case : ceramic with soft-iron inner case – matte black finish – 41mm wide x 11.4mm thick – domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating – solid titanium caseback – screw-down crown – 6 ATM (60 meters) water resistance
Dial : white background – solid Super-LumiNova disc – printed minute scale and squadron patch
Movement mechanical self-winding – IWC calibre 32100 – hours, minutes & seconds – stop-second function – 155 components – frequency of 28’800A/h – 72-hour power reserve
Straps : black textile with leather backing – fitted cut – 20mm width at lugs – sandblasted stainless steel pin buckle clasp
Informations : reference IW326905 – only available on the IWC website – 2-year international warranty (6 additional years with My IWC extension) – price €7,500 incl. VAT