The legendary Mark 11 watch, introduced in 1948, has deeply influenced the design of contemporary classic pilot watches. In 2016, the Swiss watchmaker IWC also presented the entry-level Mark XVIII Pilot’s Watch with a calfskin strap or a stainless steel bracelet.
IWC Mark XVIII Pilot’s Watch_IW327011
In 1941, the Royal Air Force (RAF) found that most of their positioning was imprecise. One reason is that the Royal Air Force lacks the support of precision navigation watches accurate to the second. Navigation through precision navigation watches and sextants was the most accurate way of navigation at the time. In addition, the strong magnetic field and temperature changes in the cockpit also affect the accuracy of the watch’s travel time. Finally, a sudden drop in pressure in the cabin can rupture the mirror. This prompted the Royal Air Force to order the Mark XI Precision Navigation Watch created by IWC after the war. IWC has now become well-known through ‘pilot-made watches’ and large pilot watches. The watch was delivered in 1949, and one thing quickly became clear: the Mark 11 watch is synonymous with precision navigation watches accurate to the second. This watch is precise, sturdy, temperature-resistant, water-resistant, and extremely easy to maintain. The watch has a soft iron inner case that protects the movement from magnetic fields. The screw-in watch can withstand sudden pressure drops without loosening. In order to meet the core purpose of displaying navigation time with absolute precision, the appearance of this ‘pure watch’ is streamlined because the fuel tank display has become a standard feature of the cockpit instruments. The watchmaker even abandoned the chronograph, because at the time, the use of any additional features would affect the accuracy of the time. The simple design of this watch is a model of design and is still the blueprint for pilot watches today. This watch has a production cycle of more than 30 years, from 1948 to 1984, and has been continued with many subsequent models. The Mark Eleven watch is one of the most coveted collections of top quality.
IWC Mark XVIII Pilot’s Watch_IW327011
No more, no less, just right
In 2016, IWC opened a new chapter. Three stainless steel Mark 18 pilot watches (models: IW327001 / IW327002 / IW327011) make their grand debut, featuring black (model: IW327001 / IW327011) or silver-plated (model: IW327002) dials. Their common features are: Core elements. The dial and display are in sharp contrast, very close to the perfect classic pilot watch. Therefore, it is not surprising that designers took inspiration from the cockpit dashboard of the Junkers Ju52 in the 1930s, which can definitely be called the blueprint for classic pilot watches. The circular display is large and neatly arranged. The future ‘cockpit design style’ was born: no more, no less, just right, everything is based on clarity and layout at a glance. The Arabic numerals are large and round in shape, and they are located at their respective positions, with two exceptions: the number ’12’ is replaced by white triangle marks with dot marks on both sides for higher readability. ‘3 o’clock’ is the date window-a touch of modernity is still essential. The bottom of the watch is engraved with the Ju52 pattern. The wearer can choose between two different straps. Both watches feature a stylish black Santoni calfskin strap (model: IW327001 / IW327002) with orange leather lining on the inside of the strap. The third watch is paired with an elegant stainless steel bracelet (model: IW327011). All Mark XVIII Pilot’s Watch models can now also be paired with a two-tone fabric strap, inspired by the historic Nato strap. In addition, the Mark XVIII Pilot’s Watch each launched a ‘Little Prince’ special edition and a TOPGUN Navy Air Combat Force watch series.
IWC Mark XVIII Pilot’s Watch_IW327001?
The origin of the name Mark XI
The name Mark XI is derived from the Royal Air Force. At that time, all equipment in the army was named ‘Mark’. Although produced by many manufacturers, it was interchangeable because the installation dimensions were the same as the fixed points. The correct spelling of Mark XI is ‘Mk.11’, because shortly after the end of World War II, the RAF abandoned the Roman alphabet as the numbering method and used Arabic numerals as the counting method. In just a few months, Mark Eleven beat all competitors with its superior ruggedness and accuracy. In the following years, IWC produced more than 8,000 military mark eleven watches for the Royal Air Force, and it was not retired from the Royal Air Force as a precision navigation watch until 1981. In addition to military watches, the watch factory also produced about 1,500 civilian versions. The last watches were delivered to retailers in 1984. Ten years later, the IWC watch inherited the Roman spelling tradition from Mark Twelve, and continues to this day.
IWC Mark XVIII Pilot’s Watch_IW327002?
Model IW327001 ∙ IW327002 ∙ IW327011
Mechanical movement – Date display – Central seconds hand with stop device – Soft iron inner case protects the movement from magnetic field effects – Screw-in crown – Glass watch is firmly assembled to withstand sudden pressure drops without loosening – Special engraved case back
Vibration frequency: 28800 times / 4 Hz
Power reserve 42 hours
Material Model IW327001: Stainless steel case, black dial, black Santoni calfskin strap, stainless steel pin buckle
Model IW327002: stainless steel case, silver-plated dial, black Santoni calfskin strap, stainless steel pin buckle
Model IW327011: stainless steel case, black dial, stainless steel bracelet with fine adjustment
Double-sided anti-reflective convex sapphire glass
Water resistance 6 bar
40 mm diameter
Thickness 11 mm