|Quick specs IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition Tribute to Mark XI
Price: € 4.790 | £ 3,790 | approx. $ 4,150
Size: 40 mm
For a lot of people, the IWC Mark series is the proper pilot’s watch. The original is the Mark XI and it was introduced in 1948 for Royal Air Force use. The current edition, the Mark XVIII, gets a vintage makeover for the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition Tribute to Mark XI.
The Mark XI was used by RAF pilots and ticked all the boxes for the British Ministry of Defense. Good legibility, accuracy and magnetic resistance.
The Mark series was never very modern, but some later editions strayed a bit too far from the initial design. That is, in our honest opinion. So, it is nice to see the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition Tribute to Mark XI is going back to the original. The original with reference 6B/346 has a diameter of 36 millimeters, plexiglass and features a manual-winding caliber 89.
At that time IWC used their full name International Watch Co. which is printed on the dial. The original has no date indication. For the first model IWC used radium for the luminous material. But as radium is radioactive, and therefore less safe, tritium was used for later models, probably from around 1951. These models have a ‘T’ in a circle on the dial implying that tritium was used for the luminous material.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition Tribute to Mark XI is limited to 1,948 pieces
The RAF selected 12 brands in the 1940s to supply pilot’s watches. These brands were Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger-LeCoulte, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex. Collectively they are referred to as The Dirty Dozen. All their models looked more or less the same due to the specifications stated by the RAF. Most of these models were also used by the BOAC (British Overseas Airline Corporation) and the Australian Air Force, amongst others. The Mark XI by IWC can still be found against very fair prices (starting at around 5k).
Back to the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition Tribute to Mark XI. Historic ‘nods’ can be found in the yellow ‘Balkenkreuz’ insignia and baton hands. The small rectangles at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock position and the hands are coated with luminescent material to ensure optimal legibility.
Like the original from 1948, the watch is worn on a green NATO strap. A soft iron cage protects the automatic caliber from magnetic fields and the sapphire glass is secured against sudden drops in pressure in the cockpit.
This new model differs from the Mark XVIII in the current collection. The indexes are thinner and the triangular index at 12 o’clock is not flanked by two dots. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition Tribute to Mark XI is limited to 1,948 pieces, inspired by the year the original was launched.
The IWC ref. 6B/346 with radium, with tritium and the Jaeger-LeCoulte 6B/346
technical data IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition Tribute to Mark XI
IW327007 (limited to 1.948 pieces)
IWC 35111 (base Sellita SW300-1) | Automatic | Diameter: 25.60 mm | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Jewels: 25 | Côtes de Genève| Hours, minutes, seconds, date | Power-reserve: 42 hours
|Case & dial:
40 mm | Stainless steel | Thickness: 10.8 mm | Sapphire glass, convex, anti-reflective coating on both sides | Engraved case back | Glass secured against displacement by drop in air pressure | Black dial with luminescent indexes and hour and minutes hands | Water-resistance: 6 ATM / 6 bar / 60 meters / 195 feet
Green NATO strap
|Price IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition Tribute to Mark XI:
€ 4.790 | £ 3,790 | approx. $ 4,150