Dispelling The Dark

A fully lumed dial that glows for more than 36 hours. Need we say more about the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic 41 Black Aces?

Nov 13, 2023 | By Daniel Goh

Fighter jets are just freaking cool. The supersonic speeds, the feats of aerial acrobatics these multi-million dollar machines can achieve, and the sheer power of the engines, if these are things you find appealing, chances are, IWC’s latest Pilot’s Watch Automatic 41 Black Aces may be right up your alley. Before we even dig into the rest of the watch, it just has to be said that this timepiece featured here represents the brand’s very first Pilot’s watch with a fully luminous white dial.

READ MORE: In Conversation With Christian Knoop, Chief Design Officer of IWC Schaffhausen

We are well aware that the concept is not exactly novel but when you put IWC’s attention to quality into the mix, well the results are nothing short of spectacular. To achieve this brilliant glow, the dial is basically made of a solid disc of Super-LumiNova. You read that right. The dial is not a layer of luminescent material covered with clear lacquer, not luminescent paint slathered generously on the dial, no, IWC decided to make a dial out of a solid block of Super-LumiNova. To do this, they mix high-grade Super-LumiNova pigments with a binder and through a specially developed curing process, it is hardened to ceramic-like durability.

The Super-LumiNova pigment used behaves like a light storage battery where light from the sun or artificial sources causes the electrons in the material to enter a higher energy state. In the absence of light, as the electrons gradually return to their normal state, the stored energy is released as a glow. Through the generous use of this pigment, IWC reports that in their testing, the bright greenish glow lasted for more than 23 hours.

The idea for this timepiece was inspired by a watch that IWC engineered for members of Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41), also known as the “Black Aces”. This explains the name – Pilot’s Watch Automatic 41 Black Aces – and the playing card logo at the 6 o’clock position is their insignia. The squadron is based in California and even has a cool radio callsign “Fast Eagle”.

To match the modern and dynamic vibe of the dial, the watch is cased in black zirconium oxide ceramic which has a hardness rating second to that of a diamond. Inside, it has the IWC-manufactured Calibre 32100 movement with an anti-magnetic silicon escapement and 72 hours of power reserve. Additionally, the watch also comes with IWC’s double pawl winding system for better winding efficiency.

Watch Information
Movement Self-winding Calibre 32100; 72 hours power reserve
Case 41mm; ceramic case; white full-lume dial
Strap Black Textile
Price MYR 30,600

This article was first seen on WOW’s Autumn #70 Issue. 

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