Produced for the British Royal Air Force in the 1950s, the Mark XI is arguably the timepiece that put IWC on the path to becoming synonymous with pilot’s watches. The modern day IWC pilot’s watch collection started in 1994 with the introduction of the Mark XII, which was essentially the Mark XI in modern dress.
The new Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI” is a no-frills reissue that’s affordably priced and limited to 1948 pieces. Ostensibly a remake of the military-issue Mark XI, the new limited edition edition is more precisely a Mark XII remake, having a similar dial featuring a date window at three. A triangle at 12 o’clock and baton markers at the quarters are taken from the vintage original, as are the pencil-shaped minute hand and baton hour hand.
The rest of the watch is essentially stock Mark XVIII, which means a 40mm steel case with a soft iron cage inside for protection against magnetism. Inside the soft iron cage is the cal. 35111, which is actually a SW300, a clone of the ETA 2892. It’s automatic with a 42-hour power reserve.
Having seen the watch at SIHH 2017, I can say it’s attractively styled with a recognisable military inspiration, but because of the relatively slimness of the case versus its diameter, feels significantly flatter than the originals.
Price and availability
The Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI” (ref. IW327007) is a limited edition of 1948 pieces that will be available only at Harrods in London from July to September 2017. After that it will be available at IWC retailers and boutiques worldwide, priced at €4790, including 19% European VAT.
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