A watch’s lume is an interesting case. Nearly every analog timepiece seems to have some sort of way for you to read the time in low light or even complete darkness. However, telling the time on lumed hands and/or numerals can often still take a few moments longer than if the dial were visible in actual light. IWC, a watchmaker with strong ties to aviation, has focused on illuminating the negative space around the hands and numerals for its latest iteration on its Pilot’s Watch — its very first with a completely lumed dial.
Collaborating with United States Strike Fighter Squadron 41 VFA-41 (also known as Black Aces), the German firm has given its iconic Pilot’s Watch a full disc of Super-LumiNova so that instead of reading the illuminated numbers, you get to see them contrasted with glowing green lume instead. Decorated with the Black Aces logo, the dial itself is white in daylight, made of a Lumicast dial that’s charged with the sunlight, which is stored inside of its high-tech ceramic compound and can emit its glow for up to 23 hours. With a 41mm case that’s made of matte black zirconium oxide ceramic, the watch is powered by IWC’s manufactured 32100 caliber automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve. It’s adorned with a black textile strap lined with leather.
If nothing else, IWC has become known as an aviation-driven watch brand, debuting its very first pilot’s watch in 1936. Since then, the company has dedicated much of its R&D to making simplified, innovative, attractive, and useful instruments for flight, such as the eponymous Pilot’s Watch and Big Pilot’s Watch lines. And yet, it may be somewhat surprising that this Black Aces edition sports its first-ever fully-lumed watch dial.
Unlike many other U.S. Navy watches from IWC, the Pilot’s Watch Black Aces Edition is not limited in edition size. You can grab your own example from the company’s website for $6,800.