The materials nerds among you have something new to get excited about, as IWC has expanded their Ceratanium offerings by 2 recently. In addition to the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner TOP GUN Ceratanium seen here, the brand has also released a new Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar in the same material on a matching bracelet. We’ll focus on the Timezoner for now, but do check out the new Big Pilot on IWC’s website if a full Ceratanium bracelet is your thing.
The Timezoner is an interesting watch for the novelty of its complication. This is a GMT watch in a hearty pilot’s format where the time zone adjustments are made entirely through the bezel. Simply depress and turn the bezel so that the city that corresponds with the time zone that matches up with your local time sits at 12:00, and the local hour hand, 24 hour display, and date all move with it as necessary. It’s incredibly straightforward and intuitive, and offers some genuine practicality for frequent travelers.
IWC has released several Timezoner variants in recent years, including models equipped with chronographs, but this is the first time we’ve seen one in their Top Gun series. The Top Gun watches have been an outlet for IWC to experiment with ceramic cases (in a growing range of colors), so the Ceratanium used here is a choice that makes quite a bit of sense. This is a material that starts off as titanium, but when fired in a kiln takes on scratch resistant properties similar to ceramic, as well as a matte black color. IWC first began using the material in 2017, and has been slowly rolling it out to new watches in the years since.
Because Ceratanium is so lightweight, it’s a natural fit for the Timezoner, which is kind of a hulking presence even on big wrists (a natural byproduct of the complication that makes the watch special). It’s 46mm in diameter and 15.1mm tall. In steel, that’s enormous and borderline unwearable for many, but in Ceratanium we’d expect it to be easier to pull off given the reduction in weight.
Given the complication and the materials used, it’s no surprise that this watch carries a hefty price tag, with an MSRP of $16,900. Not cheap, by any means, but it’s an interesting take on a watch that is often overshadowed by the more accessible watches (in terms of price and size) in IWC’s expansive pilot’s watch collection. We’re curious to see how IWC continues to use Ceratanium throughout their product line, as it not only has some very obvious functional benefits, but can also completely transform a watch’s aesthetic. IWC