At SIHH 2016,IWC launched their new pilot’s watch-Mark XVIII.It is inspired by the 1948 Mark 11 watch. The watch looks simple, but a handsome base IWC designed for maximum legibility, and is my idea of simplicity at its best.
IWC is making 2016 the year of IWC’s Pilot Watch update, and along with releasing large watches like the IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48 & 55 available in 48mm and an almost comically large 55mm, but there does seem to be an overall pattern of shrinking the line down a bit. Interestingly, they are releasing the IWC Mark XVIII just one millimeter narrower than the current Mark XVII. At 40mm wide, IWC has also made a decision that applies to a few of their Pilot watches this year, the removal of the triple date display. All these aesthetic decisions have to do with IWC‘s desire to go back to a more traditional look for the Pilot’s watch line. This involves design cues like bringing back the “9” that was taken out of the Pilot line in 2002. The “12” is replaced with a slightly pareidoliaic triangle with dot on either side. The entry-level IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII is going to be available on either the calfskin strap or the stainless steel bracelet and comes in either a black or silver-plated dial. Also, there is 60 meters of water resistance for this watch.
On the case back, you’ll see the Junkers Ju 52 airplane, which was the most common aircraft used for civilian travel in the 1930s. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII has the automatic 30110 calibre movement, which operates at 4 Hz and has 42 hours of power reserve. This is the same as the outgoing Mark XVII and is a solid workhorse movement.