Known for its prowess with pilot’s watches, which it has been building since the early days of flight, IWC Schaffhausen regularly creates clean, easy-to-read pilot’s watches that are highly functional and precise. Now, it releases its first-ever Pilot’s watch with a fully luminescent dial. For this launch, the brand was inspired by its collaborations with the U.S. Navy Squadrons. The new Pilot’s Watch Automatic 41 Black Aces, which measures 41mm in diameter, features a striking white dial completely coated with Super-LumiNova. The solid disk emits a bright green light in the dark to allow for premium night visibility.
The watch is the result of years of working with professional pilots and with IWC’s engineers to develop timepieces whose function ability meets their needs. After partnering with the U.S. Navy and creating top-notch Top Gun affiliated pilot watches, IWC continues to develop high-level pilot watches in its Professional Pilot’s Watch Program.
The Pilot’s Watch Automatic 41 Black Aces harkens to a watch IWC created for Strike Fighter Squadron 41 – also known as the Black Aces. The Black Aces squadron (VFA-41) is based that the Naval Air Station Lemoore in California and was originally formed in 1950 as NAS Oceana. With a radio callsign of “Fast Eagle,” VFA-41 is attached to Carrier Air Wing 9.
In honor of the Black Aces, IWC creates this watch with a Lumicast dial that was developed in collaboration with the Black Aces pilots. The dial features high-grade Super-LumiNova pigments mixed with a binder, then cast and hardened for a ceramic-style strength and durability. This results in a solid disk that is fixed onto the dial blank (which is imprinted with black indices and numerals, as well as the Black Aces patch. In typical IWC fashion, the dial was tested and found to emit a bright greenish light for more than 23 hours. The Super-LumiNova ceramic compound emulates a light storage battery. Light energy is absorbed and then stored.
The watch is crafted in black zirconium oxide ceramic with a Vickers rating that is second only to diamonds. The titanium case back boasts an engraving of the Black Aces twin-engine jet. The watch is powered by the IWC-manufactured 32100 caliber that consists of a soft-iron inner case, anti-magnetic silicon escapement and more, making it resistant to magnetic fields. It offers power reserve of 72 hours and in addition to hours and minutes, the mechanical movement features a soft-iron inner case to protect from magnetic fields.
(This article by Roberta Naas first appeared on Forbes.com)