Riding the wave of vintage revivals and tribute watches comes IWC now with its own homage to the famous Pilot’s Watch Mark 11. The latest offering is based on the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII from 2016 but features the original design of the historic Mark 11.
The Pilot’s Watch Mark 11 with a black dial and luminescent white Arabic numerals was produced in Schaffhausen from 1948 until the early 1980s. It was primarily supplied to the Royal Air Force but was also used by other Commonwealth armed forces. In 1994, a subsequent civilian model – the Mark XII – started the tradition of Mark Pilot’s Watches, with the last one, Mk XVIII, being released at SIHH 2016.
Unlike the original from 1948 which used a 36 mm steel case, the tribute version is cased in 40 mm matte stainless steel with a soft iron cage to protect the movement against magnetic fields. It is fitted with a sapphire crystal and has stainless steel caseback.
The watch’s matte black dial uses is inspired by the original watch. The small rectangles at “3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock” and the hands are coated with luminescent material to ensure optimal legibility, even at night. The model differs from the Mark XVIII from the current collection in that the indices are thinner and the triangular index at “12 o’clock” is not flanked by two dots.
Also unlike the original, this one has a date window. So in that respect, this is more like the Mark XII that came out in 1994. Like the original from 1948, the watch is paired with a green Nato strap. The watch is powered by Cal. 35111, which is what IWC calls the reskinned Selita SW300.
This special edition is limited to 1,948 (a reference to the birth year) and will be available exclusively from Harrods in London for three months starting in July 2017. After this, it will be available for purchase at all IWC boutiques and authorized retailers. Price? $5,456 (AED20,040).
Tribute watches and vintage revivals have all been the rage in recent years. Most recently at Baselworld, Blancpain unveiled a stunning tribute to a diver's watch it made in the Fifties and Seiko re-issued a cracking tribute to the first diver's watch it made in 1965.