The 2012 IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar (ref. IW388002) was unveiled at the SIHH 2012 trade fair. The chronograph is named after the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California, USA. Almost 43 years ago, the military installation gave birth to the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School that was immortalized in a Hollywood movie starring Tom Cruise and is now mostly known to the general public as TOP GUN.
As the name implies, the new IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar automatic chronograph is big. No, it is huge! In fact, it is even bigger than the other IWC Big Pilot watches that were released during the recent years.
Its polished black ceramic case, which is crafted from zirconium oxide is around 46 millimeters in diameter and is also thick, too, measuring more than 16 millimeters top to bottom. The Swiss watchmaker says that the case was made so huge in order to accommodate their new IWC caliber 89365 self-winding chronograph movement. However, I somehow doubt that statement.
Besides a handy flyback chronograph function, the new caliber also features impressive 68 hours of guaranteed power supply, which means that you only have to fully wind it on Friday night and never worry that it will run out of steam on Monday morning, in the worst possible moment a man can imagine.
If you compare this new model with other Top Guns (like the 2008 Double Chronograph Edition TOP GUN timekeeper,) you will notice only a few differences here and there.
As usual for the B-Uhr-inspired watches, the model features a deliberately short hound hand that (again, in a nod to historic timekeepers from the 1940s) circles around its own chapter ring, which is printed in crimson red over the anthracite black dial.
The other elements of the dial, those including all five hands, hour markers, the traditional triangle at 12 o’clock, as well as the Arabic numerals on the minutes scale, are painted with beige-colored Superluminova making the watch easily readable in any lighting condition.
Although the Swiss watchmaker officially targets the new IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar Automatic Chronograph as a watch of choice for the real pilots and navigators, in reality, the gadget may be also successful among the hundreds of thousands of men who always wanted to pilot a combat-ready F-14 or SU-27 jet fighter, but never got a chance, like yours truly.
The asking price of $13,000 (depending on your local taxes, of course) doesn’t look too high if you take into consideration the mix of materials the timekeeper’s case is crafted from and the refined mechanism that powers it.
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar (ref. IW388002) specification
Price: $13,000 (MSRP)
Movement: IWC Caliber 89365, automatic, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 38
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Open-worked oscillating weight, circular Geneva Stripes, polished screws
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, date
Power reserve: 68 hours
Case and Bezel: Black ceramic (zirconium oxide)
Size: 46.00 mm
Case height: 16.50 mm
Dial: Black anthracite
Numerals: Arabic, beige
Hour markers: Luminous, beige
Hands: Luminous, beige, diamond-shaped
Water resistance: 60 meters
Strap: Green textile NATO strap with titanium pin buckle
Back: Solid titanium