The latest pilot-tested timepiece from International Watch Company Schaffenhausen, or IWC, is inspired by the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) model that was made exclusively for graduates of the "TOPGUN" Navy Fighter Weapons School.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “SFTI” boasts an ultra-durable black zirconium oxide ceramic 44mm case—IWC notes that the material is second only to a diamond with regard to hardness. Ticking within is IWC's 69380 calibre movement in a classic column wheel design that can keep stopwatch times up to 12 hours, as well as date and time.
The caseback and chronograph pushers are crafted from IWC-engineered matte-black Ceratanium, which is as strong as titanium and as scratch-resistant as ceramic. A tactical aesthetic is completed by an all-black dial, luminescent black hands, a unique red second hand that's shaped like a fighter jet, and a green textile strap.
Those specs sound great to us civilians. But Robb Report spoke to Jim DiMatteo, a 25-year-long veteran and former Navy captain who has amassed over 5,000 hours in five different fighter jets, to get an expert opinion.
“It’s pretty violent when you fly around in a fighter jet—you’re moving, you’re turning, you’re looking and you’re reaching,” said DiMatteo, who's also an IWC ambassador. “The watch gets smacked against the sides of the canopy and the jet, which is all metal. So it needs to be durable and not get scratched and, of course, there are also a lot of little tiny parts, so if it’s not high-quality then the G-forces will impact that. It doesn’t with the IWC at all.”
Priced at $9,150, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “SFTI” is available to purchase from IWC's website now.