Science and emotion come together with IWC’s new TOP GUN collection in partnership with Pantone Color Institute.

Schaffhausen/Geneva, 2nd April 2022 – Throughout this week’s Watches and Wonders exhibition in Geneva, IWC Schaffhausen is hosting a series of three Signature Talks. During the third event, titled “The IWC Colors”, Christian Knoop, IWC Chief Design Officer, and Carola Seybold, Head of Global Key Accounts at PANTONE® talked about the language of color, the function of color in watch design, and how the Pantone Color Institute supported IWC’s creative specialists as they created new chronographs in colored ceramic.

In 1963, PANTONE® revolutionized the printing industry by creating an international language of color that would enable those working in the global printing industry to select and communicate color with accuracy. Today, PANTONE® offers a range of different physical and digital color language standards, supporting industries including textiles, apparel, beauty, interiors, architecture, and industrial design to achieve consistent reproduction of color anywhere in the world.


“The colors we wear and the colors we surround ourselves with reflect who we are and how we want others to perceive us,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice-President, Pantone Color Institute. “Consumers are increasingly comfortable with color and in our highly visual world look to color to help them create a unique statement that expresses their individualized style.”

After giving a general introduction into the history of PANTONE’s color standards products, Carola Seybold talked about how people all perceive color differently, and which factors influence their perception. Christian Knoop then elaborated on the role of IWC as a pioneer of colored ceramic watches, recalling how the brand had launched its first watches in white or green ceramic as early as in the 1980s. The engineering ceramic used to produce watch cases consists of zirconium oxide, which is mixed with other metallic oxides, shaped and then sintered at high temperatures in a kiln. This high-tech material is characterized by its extreme hardness and scratch-resistance. It is virtually wear-free and one of the most durable and long-lasting materials on earth.

Christian Knoop then explained in detail the creative journey that led to the development of the new ceramic colors “IWC Woodland” and “IWC Lake Tahoe.” He explained how IWC’s creative specialists had been inspired by the fascinating landscapes TOP GUN pilots use as training grounds, and how they concretized their inspiration with Pantone’s language of color, seamlessly integrating it into the process of engineering new ceramic colors and adapting all the other components of the watches to these new shades. Knoop also explained the difficulties involved in producing colored ceramic, from finding the right mixture of raw materials to fine-tuning the complex manufacturing process to achieving perfect quality and color consistency. IWC’s Chief Design Officer also revealed that Pantone’s color standards products form the foundation for all creative work by the IWC creative team, underscoring the importance of these tools.

IWC Top Gun "Woodland” and "Lake Tahoe"


“With about 80% of human experience filtered through our eyes, the first challenge is to grab the eye, and nothing does that better than the thoughtful use of color,” Laurie Pressman, Vice-President Pantone Color Institute explained. “Color is the first thing we see and the first thing we connect to, influencing up to 85% of product purchasing decisions which is why the use of color for product and how brands put their color themes and stories together is so important.”

As Knoop described the creative process, Seybold illustrated why the matching systems from PANTONE® are indispensable tools for creatives around the world, supporting them on their creative journey and enabling them to realize their visions. At the close of the talk, Seybold revealed her personal favorite from the new “Colors of TOP GUN” collection, admitting she is fascinated by the exceptional purity and the clarity of the Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe” in white ceramic.

The video of the talk is available on


Pantone provides a universal language of color that enables color-critical decisions through every stage of the workflow for brands and manufacturers. More than 100 million designers and producers around the world rely on Pantone products and services to help define, communicate and control color from inspiration to realization – leveraging advanced X-Rite technology to achieve color consistency across various materials and finishes for graphics, fashion and product design. Pantone Standards feature digital and physical color specification and workflow tools. The Pantone Color Institute is the business unit within Pantone that highlights the top seasonal runway colors, selects the Pantone Color of the Year, forecasts global color trends, and advises companies on color for product and brand visual identity. Through seasonal trend forecasts, color psychology, and color consulting, the Pantone Color Institute partners with global brands to effectively leverage the power, psychology, and emotion of color in their design strategy. Pantone B2B Licensing incorporates the Pantone Color System into different products and services, enabling licensees to communicate and reproduce approved Pantone Values and improve efficiencies for their users.