Schaffhausen, 7th April 2021 – IWC Schaffhausen has launched the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” and the Big Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” at the digital Watches & Wonders exhibition. Continuing its series of TOP GUN models in sand-coloured ceramic, this is the first time the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer has used the material for the Big Pilot’s Watch. Dark brown subdued dials, sand-coloured hands and rubber straps, add to the eye-catching military-inspired design. Both models are powered by IWC-manufactured movements from the 52000 calibre family.

Engineered for maximum acceleration forces during manoeuvres in supersonic jets like the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, extended deployments on aircraft carriers and time-critical missions in any climate, TOP GUN watches from IWC Schaffhausen are technically-advanced precision instruments. Made from robust and corrosionresistant materials like titanium and ceramics, they can withstand the arduous duties of an elite US Navy pilot. Due to its extreme hardness and scratch resistance, ceramic, for example, is ideal for daily use in the tough confines of a jet’s cockpit.

In 2019, IWC launched the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert”, the first timepiece with a case made of sand-coloured ceramic. The design was inspired by the barren and dry landscape of China Lake. The US Navy’s largest single landholding is located approximately 150 miles north of Los Angeles in the Western Mojave Desert. Here, at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the military develops and tests airborne weapon systems and trains pilots in their use. Now, for the first time, sand-coloured ceramic is used for the cases of two new Big Pilot’s Watches. Both models feature dark brown subdued dials with sand-coloured luminous material and sand-coloured rubber straps with textile inlays.


The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” (Ref. IW503004) presents IWC’s legendary perpetual calendar in a sand-coloured ceramic case for the first time. The ingenious mechanical program, which automatically recognises different month lengths and leap years, was developed in the early 1980s by IWC’s former head watchmaker Kurt Klaus. The moon phase display correctly depicts the moon phase for the northern and southern hemispheres and only needs to be adjusted by one day after 577.5 years. Because its displays are perfectly synchronised, the calendar can be advanced easily via a single crown. The calendar module, which is constructed from 82 individual parts and features a four-digit year display, is powered by the IWC-manufactured 52615 calibre. The automatic Pellaton winding system, reinforced with virtually wearfree ceramic components, builds up a power reserve of seven days in two barrels. The movement, including key elements like the rotor and the balance wheel, is visible through the sapphire crystal case back. Production of the watch will be limited to just 150 pieces per year.


The Big Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” (Ref. IW506003) is the first Big Pilot’s Watch to be made in sand-coloured ceramic. Inside the 46-millimetre case, the IWC-manufactured 52110 calibre with Pellaton winding, two barrels and a seven-day power reserve is at work. A soft-iron inner cage effectively shields the movement from the effects of magnetic fields. The legendary TOP GUN logo is engraved on the titanium case back. This model will be limited to just 250 pieces per year.



The ceramic used for the sand-coloured cases is characterised by the very pure raw materials and highly sophisticated production processes used in its manufacture. Polycrystalline powders are mixed with several auxiliary materials to form a homogeneous mass, shaped and finally sintered in a furnace at extremely high temperatures. With a Vickers rating second only to that of diamonds, the so-called engineering ceramic is among the hardest substances on earth. The striking colour tone, reminiscent of desert sand, is obtained by combining zirconium oxide with other metallic oxides in a precisely defined mixing ratio. The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” and the Big Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” will be available from April 7th through IWC boutiques, authorised retail partners or online at The timepieces are eligible for registration under the My IWC care program and thus benefit from a 6-year extension to the standard 2-year International Limited Warranty.

Download our brand-new IWC APP – currently available for iOS from the App Store – to virtually try on the new Pilot’s Watches using Augmented Reality (AR) and discover exciting features and exclusive content from the IWC Schaffhausen universe.


In 1868, the American watchmaker and entrepreneur Florentine Ariosto Jones travelled from Boston to Switzerland and founded the ‘International Watch Company’ in Schaffhausen. His visionary dream was to combine advanced American manufacturing methods with the craftsmanship of Swiss watchmakers to make the best pocket watches of his time. In doing so, he not only laid the foundation for IWC’s unique engineering approach but also established the centralised production of mechanical watches in Switzerland.

Over its 150 year history, IWC Schaffhausen has developed a reputation for creating functional complications, especially chronographs and calendars, which are ingenious, robust, and easy for customers to use. A pioneer in the use of titanium and ceramics, IWC today specialises in highly engineered technical watch cases manufactured from advanced materials, such as titanium aluminide and Ceratanium®. Preferring the principle of “form follows function” over decoration, the Swiss watch manufacturer’s timeless creations embody their owners’ dreams and ambitions as they journey through life.

IWC sources materials responsibly and takes action to minimise its impact on the environment, creating intrinsically sustainable timepieces that are built to last for generations. The company prides itself in training its own future watchmakers and engineers, as well as offering an excellent working environment for all employees. IWC also partners with organisations that work globally to support children and young people.