On a chilly evening in Geneva, Switzerland, something truly significant was about to unfold. While it wasn’t a specific watch revelation per se (despite us being in Geneva for Watches & Wonders), it was in fact a special, once in a lifetime experience hosted by Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen.
You see, we were about to witness a very intimate, very special performance from Oscar award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, who happens to be a friend of the IWC brand.
Zimmer, who was fresh off the back of winning an Oscar for the best original score for DUNE, performed beautifully for two hours straight, playing the hits you both know and love (think compositions from Lion King, Inception, Gladiator plus more).
As an official IWC ambassador, Zimmer also composed the official sounds to the new IWC Pilot ‘Top Gun’ collection.
Titled ‘The Sound of Color‘, Zimmer was commissioned to compose five original, unique scores to support the five new watch releases from the IWC Pilot ‘Top Gun’ collection: Lake Tahoe, Mojave Desert, Woodland, Ceratanium and Jet Black. What unfolded was a night of pure adulation, adrenaline and admiration.
Beyond the alliteration cliche, it really was a night to cherish. Zimmer wasn’t in a rush to perform his most notable hits, either. Speaking with IWC CEO Chris Grainger-Herr for almost 30 minutes pre-show, Zimmer explained the rationale behind creating the sounds to accompany IWC’s latest releases.
On the watches, the new Pilot ‘Top Gun’ collection is no small feat, either. Elite in fact, in the way that they enlisted the help of Pantone – colour gods – to curate a very-first colour palate that is completely their own.
A watchmaking first, the results speak for themselves.
A brand new colour to feature under IWC’s ceramic portfolio, the dark green hue is inspired by the flight suits and uniforms that elite pilots would have worn in the TOPGUN flight school. It also resembles the vast forest landscapes these pilots would fly over.
The newly engineered, dark green ceramic case is gorgeous. The IWC-manufactured 69380 calibre is also a workhorse movement, ensuring precision and reliability.
In contrast, the muted whiteness of Lake Tahoe is an effective and impressive sight. The white ceramic case is inspired by white US Navy uniforms and the classic winter landscape around Lake Tahoe.
Sporting the same reliable manufactured 69380 calibre movement, Lake Tahoe is truly exemplifies IWC’s ceramic material expertise with the emblematic white hue.
Back in 2019, Mojave Desert marked IWC’s foray in coloured ceramics. A sophisticated process, the colour is achieved by the zirconium oxide mixing with other metallic oxides and then sintered at extremely high temperatures.
Mojave Desert is is an earthy colour inspired by flight suits and the barren desert landscape around China Lake, where the famous TOPGUN flight school is located.
This classic, all-black – but not quite black – design is made of IWC’s uniquely engineered Ceratanium, a material which lends itself to a sophisticated manufacturing process. Ceratanium offers the lightness and robustness of titanium combined with the hardness and scratch-resistance of ceramic.
Under the hood, you will find the workhorse 69385 caliber movement – a highly robust, reliable, and precise chronograph movement in column-wheel design, assembled by hand at IWC.
This deep, jet-black Pilot’s Watch 43 TOP GUN is inspired by the coatings and technical components of modern jets. It’s an exciting colour pairing to and exciting watch, which utilises 82100 movement calibre.
The Pellaton winding system has been reinforced with ceramic components and with movement of the rotor in both directions, it builds up a power reserve of 60 hours.