IWC Mark XII Mellow Yellow – The Saab that will keep its value

Today rumors said Saab was filing for bankruptcy. Apparently the rumors where just rumors, however it was close… again. So let us show you a Saab that will keep its value. This is the IWC Mark XII Mellow Yellow, a special edition from 1997. 

In 1997 Saab produced a special version of its 900 CE Cabrio, which was called “Mellow Yellow”. Every buyer of this car received a special edition of the IWC Mark XII Pilot’s Watch. Limited to 210 pieces this has become a true collector’s item and you won’t find many for sale. Besides the print on the dial there are more changes compared to the regular Mark XII Pilot’s Watch.

IWC made more than a few changes to the Mark XII and probably the most visible is the yellow strap and the printing on the dial. Instead of “Mark XII Automatic” it now reads “SAAB AUTOMATIC”. The triangle at the 12 position, which is so typical for pilot watches, has been replaced by the Arabic number 12. Maybe you wouldn’t have noticed it at first glance, but the dial isn’t black but dark grey.

The titanium case (stainless steel on the regular Mark XII) is satin finished. The dimensions remained unchanged and measures 36 mm in diameter and 10.40 mm in height. The sapphire crystal has antireflective treatment on both sides and is secured against displacement by drop in air pressure, like IWC does on all pilot watches.

Another typical IWC pilot watch feature are the luminous indices at 3-6-9-12 o’clock, which I find much easier to read at night than most dive watches with luminous hour markers. I guess when waking up during the night, the four luminous markers are easier to differentiate with sleepy eyes, than 12 luminous markers. I always found this a big advantage of the IWC Pilot Chronograph 3717 I used to own. It is water-resistant to 60 m.

The set was completed with Saab embossed in the matching yellow box.

Almost none of the IWC special editions have been depicted in the white hardcover IWC catalogues over the years. You can find some information in the IWC ‘in-house’ collector’s forum.

Frank Geelen

Frank Geelen is an expert on Haute Horlogerie and his horological heart beats faster from beautiful hand-finished mechanical movements. He loves to explain all technical details of complications like tourbillons, minute repeaters, constant force escapements and column-wheel chronographs and he has been doing that for more than seven years. Besides publishing daily here at Monochrome Watches, Frank also writes for several other publications, both online and offline.

View all articles by Frank Geelen

One Response to “IWC Mark XII Mellow Yellow – The Saab that will keep its value”

  1. Franz Mattes says:

    Great information about an interesting watch. One other special thing is that the other Mark XII models from IWC used a Jaeger Le-Coultre Caliber 889/2 based movement and the Mark XII Saab special edition uses an ETA 2892A2 based movement. This Movement was then also used in the Mark XV and XVI. You can find information about all Mark XII special editions here: http://www.fliegeruhr.ch/mark_xii_limited.htm

Leave a Reply