The nine-day event will showcase professional military watches and pieces from the current collection, as well as a host of unique experiences.
Any IWC Schaffhausen aficionado will know the brand’s reputation for creating functional complications, especially chronographs and calendars that are ingenious, robust and user-friendly. However, IWC fans will also be familiar with the 154-year-old brand’s expertise of materials that has remained unique until today. The Swiss manufacture unveiled the very first titanium wristwatch in 1980. Then, in 1986, the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, housed in an innovative case made of black zirconium oxide ceramic, was introduced.
In recent years, the high-tech material of ceramic has been incorporated into the range of Pilot’s Watches, mainly for Top Gun models. These high-performance timepieces are engineered for daily use in the tight confines of a fighter jet cockpit and on long deployments on aircraft carriers.
Ceramic is the perfect material choice since a high resistance to scratches and corrosion are essential requirements here. Technical ceramics are characterised by the purity of their raw materials and highly complex manufacturing processes. Raw materials of polycrystalline powders – mostly minerals such as silicates, aluminium oxide or silicon carbide – are mixed with several additives into a homogeneous mass, shaped and then treated in a furnace process at high temperatures.
Launched at Watches and Wonders Geneva 2022 earlier in March was IWC’s new Top Gun collection in its iconic Pilot’s Watches family. Expressed through Pantone colour codes, the ceramic timepieces evoke the hues of the uniforms, and iconic landscapes seen by pilots of the US Navy Top Gun School during training, such as the Mojave Desert, Lake Tahoe, and leafy woodlands. IWC engineered completely new ceramic colours based on these shades, resulting in timepieces boasting a striking muted monochrome design.
IWC Top Gun Exhibition
From Oct 22 to 30, the IWC Top Gun Exhibition will take over the entire third level of Design Orchard. The space will be fully swathed in dark green, representing Woodland, one of the Colours of Top Gun. A new shade in IWC’s ceramic portfolio, the dark green hue draws from the flight suits and uniforms worn by the elite pilots in Topgun, a nickname for the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program, and the vast forest landscapes these pilots fly over.
In addition to Woodland, other Colours of Top Gun include Lake Tahoe, a muted white with a mysterious shimmer; Mojave Desert, an earth shade with notes of beige and khaki; Ceratanium, the almost-black shade of IWC’s proprietary material; and Jet Black, a deep, matte black inspired by the coatings and technical components of modern jets. All colours have been jointly specified by IWC and Pantone.
IWC Squadron Watches
And for the first time, 14 professional military watches that were manufactured for pilots from the US Navy and Marine Corps aviation units by IWC will be on display. IWC is the only watch brand that is officially licensed to work on watches for the entire US Navy and Marine Corps, including Topgun, the Blue Angels, and the 247 active and 100 inactive squadrons. An interesting point to note: All IWC squadron watches are available exclusively to current and former members of the respective units and feature an individual engraving of the owner’s name and call sign.
Using IWC’s virtual 3D environment in the metaverse – a bespoke, digital version of the physical high-tech shipping container-style booth at Watches and Wonders – created by architect, Hani Rashid, visitors can also explore the monochromatic worlds that represent the Colours of Top Gun.
IWC’s virtual 3D environment lets visitors unlock unique and exclusive experiences for an immersive experience between the virtual and physical worlds. Guests can go on a virtual guided tour, while wearing VR headsets as they venture into each monochromatic world where they’ll learn the history and the mechanics behind each Top Gun timepiece.
Exclusive Singapore Token
Aside from a host of unique experiences such as watchmaking classes, talks and coffee workshops, visitors are also invited to collect an NFT (non-fungible token) specially dedicated to Singapore. In honour of IWC’s founding year of 1868, only 1,868 tokens are available for collection on a first-come, first-served basis to clients, watch enthusiasts and the general public. The token unlocks exclusive utilities and benefits, like curated virtual events within the 3D space and future physical events and services.
The IWC Top Gun Exhibition is open to the public and entry is free. Registration prior to entry is mandatory and visitors are encouraged to pre-register and book their preferred date and timeslot for priority entry below. Walk-ins are allowed but will be subject to mandatory on-site registration and hourly venue capacity.