Before green took over the watch world as the colour du jour this year, blue was the go-to dial hue for those looking beyond more muted, traditional options like silver and black. Those who find that amount of blue insufficient, however, should check out two of IWC’s latest releases, which feature the brand’s first blue ceramic cases — along with blue dials and straps.
While we have seen similarly deep blue ceramic cases from a few brands including Hublot and Omega, they remain relatively uncommon. One reason is that achieving a saturated, uniform finish for certain coloured ceramics can be challenging, involving a process where powdered zirconium oxide is mixed with other metallic oxides, shaped and then sintered at high temperatures.
Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good”
Introduced in early September, the first such timepiece from IWC was the Pilot’s Watch Automatic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good”. The Laureus Sport for Good foundation supports over 250 programmes in 50 countries, using sport to help underprivileged children and young people. The 15th watch launched by IWC in support of the foundation features a 41mm blue ceramic case to match the dial in signature Laureus blue.
The highly legible pilot’s watch is powered by an IWC-manufactured 32111 automatic movement with a five-day power reserve and antimagnetic properties courtesy of a soft iron inner cage. Completing the palette on this timepiece is a blue rubber strap with a textile inlay.
The titanium caseback follows another longstanding IWC Laureus watch tradition. It features an engraving of the winning entry from a design competition organised by the Swiss watch brand. This year, Melissa Mejia Castilla, a 12-year-old from Colombia, won with her drawing Vivir en Armonia, or Living in Peace.
Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Blue Angels”
Just a week after it launched its automatic pilot’s timepiece in blue ceramic, IWC followed up with another bigger timepiece in the same case material. The 44.5mm Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Blue Angels” is one of a trio of ceramic timepieces inspired by the brand’s collaborations with three US Navy Squadrons — nicknamed Royal Maces, Tophatters and Blue Angels.
Since 2018, IWC has been licensed to create timepieces for the US Navy and Marine Corps aviation units. To date, it has worked with more than a dozen squadrons to create special editions for their members past and present. Limited to an annual production run of 500 pieces, each of the three new watches are available to non-pilots for the first time.
While the Royal Maces and Tophatters editions are cased in black ceramic, the Blue Angels version comes in the same blue ceramic as the Laureus pilot’s watch, with chronograph pushers and crown made from IWC’s ceramic-titanium hybrid material Ceratanium.
Established in 1946, the “Blue Angels” US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron comprises 141 members from the Navy and the Marines. The Blue Angels crest is at 6 o’clock, while accents in yellow — including the central chronograph hand, the small seconds hand and the day and date — add sporty contrast. Like the Laureus edition, this chronograph is completed with a blue rubber strap with a textile inlay.
The watch is powered by the in-house 69380 automatic movement with a column-wheel chronograph, which is protected by magnetic fields from a soft iron inner cage. With these two new offerings, it’s a good time to be feeling (the colour) blue.