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IWC unveils a limited-edition watch strap with Singaporean Mark Ong of SBTG at new Top Gun Exhibition

Admire real military watches, enjoy gourmet coffee and walk away with a Singapore-only NFT.

Head up to Level 3 of Design Orchard from now till Oct 30  and you will find a space decked out in a dark, beautiful shade of green. It’s the colour of US Navy flight suits, one of IWC’s new monochromatic ceramic Top Gun chronographs and, most recently, a limited-edition watch strap created in partnership with Singapore’s own Mark Ong of streetwear and sneaker customisation label SBTG. Dubbed “Woodland”, the colour is part of a series specified by Pantone for IWC’s new range of ceramic Pilot’s Watch Top Gun watches, and is currently enjoying a celebration of all its military inspirations at the IWC Monochromatic Top Gun Exhibition. Seeing as Woodland shares a similar hue to the flight suits worn by the US Navy’s pilots, as well as the vast forests they often fly over, it makes sense for the watch brand to collaborate once more with the camouflage-loving Ong.

(Photo: IWC)

SBTG (short for “sabotage”) is known for hand-painted camouflage patterns on sneakers, though the motif has found itself on everything from gaming chairs to camping gear as the brand’s cult status grew. This time, it has made its way onto a calfskin strap that is compatible with a range of IWC Pilot’s watches. The 20/18mm version will fit on the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII and XX, Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41, Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire, and Pilot’s Watch Automatic Top Gun, while the 21/18mm size will be suitable for the Pilots Watch Chronograph 43mm, Big Pilots Watch 43, Pilots Watch Double Chronograph and most versions of the Pilots Watch Chronograph in 44.5mm. The SBTG strap was designed for use with watches that feature IWC’s EasX-Change system for effortless strap swaps, but each box set will include a pin buckle and fitting spring bars to help mount the strap onto older models.

The SBTG strap was designed for use with watches that feature IWC’s EasX-Change system for effortless strap swaps. (Photo: IWC)

“Camouflage has always been used to conceal, but in streetwear we have reinterpreted it and used it to stand out instead,” said Ong at the press preview of the exhibition. “It has been an obsession of mine to paint it and explore it, and it has been an honour to have that same obsessive discussion with Christian [Knoop, IWC’s creative director]. When he came to visit my studio the other day, he didn’t want to leave.” This isn’t the first time SBTG has collaborated with IWC. During last year’s Big Pilot Exhibition, Ong and his team held customisation demonstrations and offered a one-of-a-kind jacket as the prize for winning the exhibition’s photo booth contest.

From left: Mark Ong of SBTG with Christian Knoop, IWC’s creative director. (Photo: IWC)

“The world has changed,” said Knoop, who was also present at the preview. “There is a trend toward casualisation and even though we have a product with a long history, we are also constantly evolving and getting influences from other industries. Working together with Mark, who is a super inspiring person, is a very exciting way for us to think forward.”

Only 1,000 straps have been made, and they are available for purchase at the exhibition, IWC boutiques in Singapore, and online at Even if you’re not looking to increase your watch’s street cred, there is still plenty to enjoy at the exhibition. Fourteen professional military watches made by IWC for the US Navy and Marine Corps aviation units are on display for the first time. IWC is actually the only watch brand officially licensed to develop these timepieces for said units, and each watch comes with an engraving of the owner’s name and call sign.

(Photo: IWC)

VR headsets are available for those who want to jump into IWC’s metaverse world, which includes a virtual recreation of the brand’s booth at this year’s Watches and Wonders in Geneva designed by architect Hani Rashid, and an exploration of the other IWC colours with Pantone. As part of its ongoing steps into web3, the watchmaker has also released 1,868 collectible NFTs specially dedicated to Singapore. Each token will unlock access to future physical and virtual events as well as token-gated community channels.

Alongside the current collection of watches on display will be watchmaking classes for adults and children, a junior NFT class and a coffee workshop.

Register for priority entry here.

Source: CNA/bt