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IWC Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI” Resurrects an Iconic Pilot Watch Design


Even with new watches flooding the market every day, there are still a few iconic classics that fans can’t get enough of. One of those classics is the IWC Mark 11 — probably the most quintessential pilot’s watch there is, produced by IWC from 1948 until the early 1980s. Even though other models came before the Mark 11, and even though IWC has continued the “Mark” series beyond it, the Mark 11 still stands out among the rest. So, while the most recent iteration of the series, the Mark XVIII, is significantly different in its design, IWC has now unveiled a special edition of that watch that will incorporate design elements from the historic model: the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI.”

IWC: Mark XVIII "Tribute to Mark XI"
The IWC Mark XVIII “Tribute to Mark XI”is limited to 1,948 pieces.

One notable difference between the “standard” Mark XVIII and the Tribute to Mark XI are the indices, which are thinner on the special edition. Also, the dots at the triangular index at 12 o’clock are missing. Like the Mark 11, the Tribute to Mark XI has small rectangles at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock that are coated with luminescent material. The hands have received a luminescent coating as well. And speaking of the hands, those are also in the same style as on the Mark XI, including the very recognizable rectangular hour hand.

IWC: Mark 11, 1948
Photo: Heinz Hassler, Schaffhausen
The original IWC Mark 11, from 1948

The Tribute edition is powered by the automatic Caliber 3511, which is nestled inside a soft-iron cage to protect it from magnetic fields. This is another nod to the 1948 Mark 11 model, which had to be resistant to magnetic fields because of the technical specifications from the British Royal Air Force (RAF), to whom the watch was primarily supplied. Last but not least, the Tribute to Mark 11 is equipped with a NATO strap just like its ancestor.

IWC: Mark XVIII "Tribute to Mark XI", caseback
Under the solid casebackis an automatic movement in a soft-iron magnetic-resistant cage.

The differences between the original Mark 11 and the Tribute edition include the size – the Mark 11 measured 36 mm, while the Tribute to Mark XI’s steel case is 40 mm – and the date window at 3 o’clock that appears on the modern timepiece. Because the Mark 11 was released in 1948, IWC will produce 1,948 pieces of the new Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI,” priced at $4,150 each.

For more about the IWC Mark 11 and its history, check out this article about the iconic Pilots’ Watch.

2 Responses to “IWC Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI” Resurrects an Iconic Pilot Watch Design”

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  1. Robert Eames

    Wished there’d been a side by side comparison shot. For those that prefer everything brand new, they have a nice option. I much prefer the original, without the date window. Part of the charm is the simplicity and symmetry with all the numbers. But that’s just me.

    Reply
  2. Dr. Bart Labiner

    I love the IWC Pilot Watches! Its just a simple classic watch to look at.

    Reply
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