IWC introduced the Top Gun branding in 2007 on a version of the Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph. Named for the instructor of the special training course for United States Navy pilots, the Top Gun line refreshed the classic pilot's watch looks with modern military sensibilities. The key aspects of most Top Gun watches include the following
In 2012, IWC added a second look to the Top Gun line with the Miramar. This is named for the pilots school of the United States Marines at Miramar, California. The Miramar models have the following elements
The original Double Chronograph Top Gun, Ref. 3699 exemplified these elements, with a 46 mm ceramic case, matte black dial, and red airplane-shaped accents on the double chronograph seconds hands. The pushers and crown as well as the caseback were done in gray titanium, adding to the military-spec look. Like all other Double Chronographs, the Ref. 3699 used Cal. 79230, a modified ETA 7750 automatic chronograph movement with a novel double chronograph module. This was the only Top Gun model for five years.
In 2012 IWC created an entire sub-model line of five “Top Gun” watches within various IWC Pilot's Watch lines. The most exotic was the Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun, which simplified its busy four-register, seven-pointer dial with matte black and white and a massive 48 mm case. Then there were “Top Gun” and “Top Gun Miramar” versions of the Big Pilot's Watch and Pilot's Watch Chronograph. The Miramar versions, named for the former Marines flight school, have a gray case, green dial and strap, beige markers and accents, and a red inner hour track on the dial. All five watches remained in the catalog through 2015, with the Perpetual Calendar lasting one more year.
The Top Gun line was refreshed for 2016 along with the launch of the Mark XVIII. This was the first time the classic IWC Pilot's Watch got the “Top Gun” treatment, albeit in “Miramar” grey ceramic with green accents. The chronograph model was refreshed as well, with the Top Gun Chronograph, Ref. 3890 reflecting the look (though not the “doppel”) of the original in a 44 mm case. The “triple date” window was removed from the new Ref. 3890, and the “9” was restored to the dial. A Top Gun Miramar Chronograph was also available. The Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun, Ref. 5020 was also new, with a 46 mm case and Cal. 51111. This was retired after two years with no new Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun in the Ref. 5010 Big Pilot line.
Before SIHH in 2019, a new version of the venerable Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph, Ref. 3718 was released. This used the classic Cal. 79230 from the original 2007 Top Gun, and had a similar look, though the pushers and crown are now black and the case is constructed of IWC's Ceratanium. The new Chronograph Top Gun, Ref. 3891 was launched at SIHH, in both Top Gun black and a new sand-colored Mojave Desert look. This watch features a new 44.5 mm case and in-house Cal. 69380, which moves running seconds to 6 00. Also new is the Pilot's Watch Automatic Top Gun, Ref. 3269 with a 41 mm case derived from variants of the Mark XVIII and IWC's new Cal. 32110. The oddest new Top Gun model is the Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun "Rodeo Drive", Ref. 5030. This is the latest Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar but combines the Top Gun's black ceramic case with the blue dial of the Le Petit Price edition.