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IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Oceana IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Oceana

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Oceana

Borna Bošnjak

The IWC Ingenieur stole the show at this year’s Watches & Wonders, and while that may seem as a detriment to the remainder of IWC’s releases, watch nerds should rejoice. This means that pieces like the ceramic-cased Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun models won’t be as wildly popular – a blessing in disguise for many collectors. While we already picked out the rose gold-cased Pilot’s Chrono as a bit of a sleeper, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Oceana and its blue ceramic case are even more deserving of the sleeper title in my eyes. Not only is it not as flashy as the rose gold model, courtesy of the powdery blue tones that grace the entire watch, but it also has the unique intrigue of a blue ceramic case, something we don’t see all too often.

Blue-jean baby

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Pilot’s watches can be a bit difficult towards the high-end, as their initial purpose and design was to be as tooltastic as possible. Oversized, simple case designs and flat legible dials are what make pilot’s watches, well, pilot’s watches – so you need something that spruces it up a little. A blue ceramic case would just about do it, and given IWC’s expertise in the field, it’s no surprise they’ve introduced yet another shade to their Colours of Top Gun collection. When compared to the black ceramic variant, however, the Oceana comes in at a significant premium, surely due to the complexity in producing a coloured ceramic case. Let’s not forget their 2022 Lake Tahoe and Woodland 44.5mm releases (coincidentally priced the same as the Oceana), which still command lengthy waitlists.

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While the two larger chronographs caused an exciting stir in the watch community, I feel that the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Oceana easily stands on its own. The powdery blue dial is matched to the case perfectly, and still stays somewhat dynamic in the light, changing to a steely blue-grey. The brushed titanium hardware is the perfect accompaniment to this, as is the black-rimmed handset. No kidding, the first line of Elton John’s Tiny Dancer is what popped into my head when first seeing this watch. Considering that IWC was inspired by the U.S. Navy’s work overalls, I’d say that’s not a surprise. With a textile insert in the rubber strap, how cool would this thing look once worn in, just like a faded, patinated pair of jeans. I wonder whether Elton was talking about selvedge?

Larger than the name suggests

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Even though its legal name is the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Oceana, the numerical part of its name isn’t entirely accurate. The Oceana actually measures in at 41.9mm, just like its black ceramic counterpart, though it makes sense for IWC to keep the naming consistent across the range of its smaller Pilot’s Chronographs. The strut-like lugs jut out a decent amount, making the Oceana wear large, something highlighted by the significant 15.5mm thickness. Thankfully, ceramic is a notably lightweight material, meaning the Oceana wears a lot easier than metal-cased Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 variants.

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The thickness is surely contributed to by the IWC 69380 calibre, an automatic, column wheel chronograph that sports a 46-hour power reserve and beats at 4Hz. It’s a mid-range chronograph offering in IWC’s line-up, though with some pleasant industrial decoration like the semi-skeletonised rotor, circular Geneva striping, and mainplate perlage.

The perfect casual watch

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Just like your favourite piece of overpriced Japanese denim (I do not judge, as I partake myself), the Top Gun Oceana has that air of understated luxury that makes it ideal for everyday wear. It’s not flashy by any means, but the quirkiness of the well-finished, blue ceramic case accompanied by the buttery smooth actuation of the titanium pushers lend the stealth wealth vibes it needs. Though I don’t see this one being dressed up too much given the blue case colour, I do see it being perfectly versatile in casual scenarios, helped by the 20mm lug width and 10 bar of water resistance.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Oceana pricing and availability

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Oceana is available now for enquiries as a boutique exclusive (no longer available). Price: A$17,300, US$11,700, CHF 12,000

Brand IWC
Model Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Oceana
Reference Number IW389404
Case Dimensions 41.9mm (D) x 15.5mm (T)
Case Material Ceramic
Water Resistance 10 bar
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Matte powder blue
Lug Width 20mm
Strap Blue rubber with denim insert
Movement IWC 69380, automatic, column wheel chronograph
Power Reserve 46 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds, day, date, chronograph
Availability For enquiries, limited availability, select boutiques only
Price A$17,300, US$11,700, CHF 12,000