It’s hard to believe it was 36 years ago that the handsome and very young Tom Cruise hit our screens as Naval Aviator, Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun.

There are no doubt plenty of blokes out there, probably now well into their fifties, who back in 1986 when the film was released, dreamed of being behind the stick of an F-14 Tomcat fighter, and scoring the sexy blonde flight instructor. In fact, the movie had such an impact that the number of young men signing up to join the US Navy at the time, increased by a staggering 500%. The demand was apparently so high that recruitment booths were installed in some theatres!

The Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School is where the best of the best refine their flying skills. When Maverick joins the elite 1% that make it, his disrespect for the rules and cocky demeanor put him at odds with the other pilots, especially the cool and collected Iceman, or Val Kilmer as we know him. But Maverick isn’t only competing to be the top pilot, he’s also vying for the attention of beautiful flight instructor, Charlotte Blackwood, played by Kelly McGillis. If you were one of those “wannabee” pilots in 1986 you’ll feel very old when you hear that she is now 64!!

Obviously, no ace aviator can pop off to shoot down a Mig without the compulsory timepiece and Maverick was no different. On his wrist was a Porsche Design Chronograph, produced by Orfina. The watch is powered by the self-winding Lemania 5100 movement. It was one of the first on the market with a black PVD coating, not for fashion, but because the matte black treatment helped reduce reflections. Smart!

Top Gun. Top Timepiece.

The watch, like the movie itself and the great 80’s soundtrack has gained cult status around the world, but interestingly enough the original timepiece sat in producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s safe for well over three decades before it found its way back to Tom Cruise’s wrist for the new film, Top Gun: Maverick, which is about to hit our screens here in South Africa.

If you haven’t seen the original, you should. Yes, it’s old, but it’s got a whole lot of cool about it with great action scenes, superb special effects, and plenty of awesome aerial stunts which make it a worthy watch. You’ll also be up to speed, or should that be “the need for speed”, in time for the new installment!

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