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IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI”

Marina Milojević | 07.10.17 | 09:01 AM

IWC Schaffhausen has just introduced a special new version of the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII. This time, the famous timing instrument pays tribute to the historic Pilot’s Watch Mark 11, which was first introduced in 1948.

The legendary pilot’s watch, Mark 11, was designed by International Watch Company and Jaeger-LeCoultre, according to the specifications provided by the British Ministry of Defense (MoD). The exact specifications were awarded to 12 different watch companies, Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lemania, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor, Vertex, and Longines. The resulting watches, later dubbed the Dirty Dozen, were all approved for military use, but most of them weren’t reliable enough to be used in aviation. Eventually, IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre secured the commission with the iconic Mark 11, a watch that was subsequently supplied to the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth armed forces.

Dirty Dozen Watches

Photo Credit: Watches of Knightsbridge 

In 2017, the house of IWC revamps its take on the legendary Mark 11 model. Given the strict terms laid out by the British Ministry of Defense, both marks from IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre are fairly similar in appearance but, over time, these professional timing instruments underwent some notable design changes.  The Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI” incorporates some notable aspects of the original design of the historic Mark 11. The watch is, just like the original, crafted from stainless steel, but it features a significantly broader diameter: 40mm vs 35.98mm.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI”

The small rectangles at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock, and the hands, are coated with luminescent material to ensure optimal legibility in low light conditions. The indices are much thinner than on the Mark XVII watches from the current collection, and the triangular index at 12 o’clock is not flanked by two dots. Just like the original Mark 11, the new model is worn on a functional green textile strap (Nato strap), and it features a soft-iron cage that protects it from magnetic fields.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI” is powered by the IWC caliber 35111, which beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and provides around 42 hours of power reserve. In addition to hours and minutes and central hacking seconds, this model also offers a date display at 3 o’clock.

In reference to the year in which the first Mark 11 was produced, the new IWC model is limited to 1948 watches. This special edition will be available exclusively from Harrods in London for three months starting in July 2017. After this period, the watch will be available for purchase in all IWC boutiques and authorized retailers worldwide. IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI,” reference IW327007, retails for £3,790.  When it becomes globally available, it will retail for $4,150. For more information, visit IWC.com.

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