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IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Edition "MOJAVE DESERT" IW503004

February 24, 2023 4 min read

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Edition "MOJAVE DESERT" IW503004

An innovative and trendsetting approach with top-notch execution is what secured IWC a spot among the most renowned watchmakers. And, they have kept it for quite some time now.

Yet, they don't rest on their laurels and always manage to push the limit further and surprise their admirers with something special. This time round, it's their latest perpetual calendar marvel from the Big Pilot family: Top Gun Edition "Mojave Desert" IW503004.

IWC Top Gun Mojave Desert IW503004

Unique appearance of IWC Top Gun Edition "MOJAVE DESERT" IW503004 in all its glory


A brief background

Mojave Desert IW503004 has an interesting genealogy. It belongs to the exclusive Top Gun edition of the Big Pilot Watch family. The idea behind IWC Pilot Watch dates back to 1940 and led to producing IWC's first navigator watches. Inspired by the original idea, the first IWC Big Pilot Watch entered the horology scene in 2002.

Next, the first perpetual calendar Big Pilot Watch came out in 2006. A premier IWC Top Gun watch from the perpetual calendar Big Pilot Watch family followed in 2012. Finally, the latest Top Gun edition appeared in 2021 to mark the sequel of the legendary movie, with IWC Mojave Desert being one of its flagship models.

IWC Top Gun Mojave Desert IW503004 watch bands by Strapcode

Mojave Desert casual radiance when paired with 22mm Gunny X MT Light Brown Minimalist Snoopy-themed Handmade Watch Band


General features of IWC Top Gun Mojave Desert IW503004

  • Ceramic case, 46.5mm diameter and 15.5mm thickness, with traditional IWC Big Pilot oversized screw-in crown
  • 52615 Calibre, IWC produced automatic movement that has a staggering 381 parts in total. The self-winding mechanism features ceramic pieces and boasts a 168-hour power reserve
  • Anti-reflective coated Sapphire glass on the front and backcase
  • A perpetual calendar with four subdials displaying date, day, month, and northern and southern hemisphere perpetual moon phase. All segments of an elegant, dark brown dial with luminescence indices
  • 22mm beige-colored rubber watch strap
  • Mojave Desert IW503004 production limited to 150 pieces annually
IWC Top Gun Mojave Desert IW503004

Renowned IWC Pilot Watch signature oversized conical crown


Special features of IWC Top Gun Mojave Desert IW503004

Watches from all periods of Big Pilot Watch family production have been an immediate success from the moment they became available. Some, even the second IWC announced the plans to make them. That means that each new model had large shoes to fill. At the same time, they had to bring something new, even revolutionary, to keep up the pioneering nature of the watch family.

The Mojave Desert is no exception. The unique feature of this attractive watch is its sand-colored ceramic case. That's the first time IWC used ceramic for a watch from a Big Pilot series. In addition, the color choice is quite unusual for such a large-diameter watch. Of course, there's a good reason why IWC chose to go with it on this Top Gun special.

IWC Top Gun Mojave Desert IW503004

IWC Mojave Desert authentic ceramic case in one-of-a-kind 'desert sand color'

That particular shade of sand color perfectly mimics the color of the Navy pilots' flight suits. IWC engineers understandably wanted to keep the process of obtaining that specific sand color shade top secret. But, they did share it's a special mixture of zirconium oxide and other metallic oxides.

The Mojave Desert name is also closely related to the Top Gun sentiment. Namely, the Mojave Desert is the location of the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station - the largest training ground for Navy pilots. It's a place north of Los Angeles where the US Air Force develops and tests airborne systems, and, thus, a natural inspiration for a pilot watch.


Final thoughts

IWC crafted yet another actual horological work of art. The renowned, in-house developed mechanism, paired with its original appearance, radiates high quality and pristine appearance all the way. What is more, IWC engineers and designers perfectly paired the traditionally dominant size of a Big Pilot Watch with gentle earthly tone color without taking away a fraction of its masculinity. Such a uniquely successful combination of diligent engineering and design justifies the $40,000 high-end price of this special Top Gun edition.

Plus, Mojave Desert has another ace up its sleeve. There's a select choice of auxiliary watch straps available that give its camouflage appearance broad application possibilities.

IWC Top Gun Mojave Desert IW503004

Utter and timeless elegance of IWC Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert when paired with 22mm Gunny X MT Dark Brown Handmade Leather Watch Strap

Naturally, Mojave Desert is primarily a pilot's watch. Therefore, the earthy color watchstrap that comes with it is a natural extension of the atmosphere the watch radiates. However, when paired with carefully selected auxiliary watch straps, IWC Mojave Desert shows its full chameleon nature.

As the accompanying photos show, this stunning watch is equally at home in a casual, elegant, and sporty setting. As a result, it could easily be the only watch one would ever need in their collection. From that perspective, its high price becomes substantially more affordable.

IWC Top Gun Mojave Desert IW503004

IWC Big Pilot Watch Mojave Desert at home in any setting when paired with 22mm MiLTAT Blue Distressed DenimRivet Lug Replacement Watch Strap

IWC Top Gun Mojave Desert IW503004

IWC Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert business outlook transformation when paired  with 22mm MiLTAT Genuine Suede Dark Brown Leather Replacement Watch Strap


External references:

Written by S.K., images by Toni

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