IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition
The IWC Pilots Watch Mark XVIII Edition captures the design DNA of the iconic Pilot’s Watch Mark 11.
This article is about the IWC Pilots Watch Mark XVIII Edition ‘Tribute to Mark 11’. It includes details IWC’s history of making pilot’s watches, harking back to the 1930s
IWC has become synonymous with pilots’ watches ever since it produced the legendary, horological colossus, the Big Pilot’s Watch 52 T.S.C in 1940. In 1948, the famous watch company from Schaffhausen unveiled the historic Mark 11, a timepiece which continued in production until the 1980s. During this period, the Mark 11 was widely used by the British Royal Air Force along with other Commonwealth armed forces. In 1994, civilian derivatives were produced, starting with the much-admired Mark XII.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition sympathetically captures many of the design elements of the 1948 original. The rectangular indexes at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock are coated with a yellow luminescent treatment. Moreover, the baton hands also emit a glow in restricted light, courtesy, once again, of luminous coating.
The triangular index at 12 o’clock omits the two dots usually found at noon, distinguishing this timepiece from many other IWC pilots’ watches. This particular detail is shared with the original 1948 model. The watch movement is shrouded in a soft iron cage, mitigating the risk of magnetism adversely effecting the self-winding movement within the timepiece.
To ensure reliable operation in the cockpit, the glass is ‘secured against displacement by drop in air pressure’.
As previously mentioned, the original watch was intended for military use, hence the watch is equipped with a hacking seconds facility. This feature allowed pilots to synchronise their watches when embarking on sorties, ensuring all parties were working to exactly the same time. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition faithfully includes this feature.
In order to appeal to modern tastes, the new limited edition is larger than its vintage counterpart, measuring 40mm in diameter. It is supplied on a green NATO strap.
Initially, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition will be sold exclusively in Harrods, however, from October 2017 all IWC boutiques and authorised retailers will stock this timepiece.