IWC’s Pilot’s collection is predominantly a tribute to the past – to the golden age of aviation, and of course WWII. But amidst the vintage squadron of Junkers and Spitfires there flies a much more modern creation, a supersonic F-14 Tomcat in the shape of the Top Gun Miramar collection. Named for the flight school made famous by Maverick and Goose, the IWC’s Top Gun collection is the boldest, most contemporary design in their Pilot’s collection, and the Mark XVIII epitomises this spirit.
In addition to the layout, the colours are a modern take on vintage too, with the typical white replaced with a cream or ecru colour, to replicate the look of decades of patina.
A case in point is the differences between the regular Mark VXIII and this version. The model we reviewed here features a simple dial – black with white Arabic numerals – whereas the Top Gun mixes things up. The anthracite dial shifts from near-black to a pale grey. On top of this, the dial layout is quite different, with a prominent minutes track. This is what’s known as a ‘B-Uhr Type 2’ dial, and speaks to the original Pilot’s watches as navigational instruments, where minutes were far more crucial than hours. In addition to the layout, the colours are a modern take on vintage too, with the typical white replaced with a cream or ecru colour, to replicate the look of decades of patina. Often this effect can be over the top, but IWC manage to pull it off here, thanks largely to it being a key part of a cohesive colour palette and design.
The other novel element in the Top Gun is the case. Brushed steel makes way for polished black ceramic, which is lightweight and virtually scratchproof. The cutting-edge case material and heritage design language creates an interesting juxtaposition of old and new. The modern treatment continues on the strap, which is a new style for the brand. It’s calfskin, in an appropriately military khaki green, that has been embossed to give it the look of ballistic nylon. IWC’s Top Gun line pushes their design envelope, but with the no-fuss Mark XVIII, the colours, ceramic case and utilitarian/luxe case all work well together, creating the most youthful, expressive member of the IWC Pilot’s family.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar Australian pricing
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar, ceramic on leather, $8250.