The historic IWC Schaffhausen Mark 11 makes a comeback
An oldie but a goodie
The magic number is 1948. That was the year IWC Schaffhausen Pilot's Watch Mark 11 came onto the haute horlogerie scene, and it would go on to outfit the Royal Air Force until the '80s. Give or take another decade and this favored aviation timepiece transitioned into civvie use, kickstarting the perennial trend for pilot watches as we know it. As tribute to this house icon, IWC has launched a special version of the Mark 11 dubbed the Pilot's Watch Mark XVIII Edition 'Tribute to Mark XI', which incorporates all the design elements that made it a hallmark.
A bonafide retro revival, the dial is marked with small luminescent rectangles at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock markers with indices in the same vintage print as the 1948 original, though sized to be just a tad less blocky. Encased in a soft-iron cage to protect its automatic calibre from magnetic fields and shielded by a sapphire glass against pressure drops in the cockpit, the Pilot's Watch Mark XVIII even comes outfitted in a green Nato strap — the same textile bracelet that dressed the first-generation Pilot's Watch. And remember about 15 lines ago when we said the year 1948 was important? Indeed, IWC is bumping up the significance behind the numbers by releasing — you got it — 1, 948 units of this limited edition timepiece. Now this is a vintage straight out of the pilot's handbook.
The Pilot's Watch Mark XVIII Edition 'Tribute to Mark XI' is available at IWC Schaffhausen boutiques and authorised retailers from October.