Materials innovation is looking like quite a thing in 2019 and for you, the watch buyers, that has to be good news: more aesthetic choices and (hopefully) better performance. Which brings us to IWCís new Top Gun Double Chronograph Ceratanium. Ceratanium? Itís a naturally matt-black finish, but differs from PVD/DLC in one crucial respect: rather than a coating, itís integral to the base material (its name being a contraction of ceramised and titanium). Itís the product of five years R&D within IWC, and is made by first milling the parts (case, pushers and crown) from a titanium alloy, then subjecting them to intense heat. The composition of the alloy triggers what IWC calls a ďdiffusionĒ process, which transforms the structure of the alloyís surface into ceramic. The result is a best-of-both worlds material Ė as light and unbreakable as titanium, and as hard and scratch-resistant as ceramic. Whatís more, being part of the material itself, the finish cannot chip or wear off as a coating might. To the eye it looks deeply black, with neither sheen nor texture, but seeming to absorb every last suggestion of light. In the hand, the watch feels light yet very substantial. Although Ceratanium isnít…

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