If the Pilot’s Watch series of IWC often brings to mind the oversized, almost provocative Big Pilot model (and we mean the real one, not the smaller, simpler 43mm version), there’s another watch that, even though more discreet, might be of even greater importance… The Mark series. First introduced as a watch for the pilots of the British Royal Air Force, under codename Mark 11, it has later become one of the most classic series of the brand, with the launch of the Mark XII in 1993, as a replica now also intended to civilian amateurs. Now known as the entry-level model in the Pilot’s Watch series, this no-nonsense watch entered its Mark XX version last year, and IWC now releases two new silvery-white editions.
As a quick reminder, the IWC Mark XX is the direct descendant of a series that started in 1948 with the Mark 11 for the RAF, and actually made it to standard production in 1993 with the Mark XII, followed by the Mark XV (1999), then Mark XVI (2006), Mark XVII (2012), and Mark XVIII (2016). A case study in incremental evolution and consistency of the design, the Mark XX (there’s no Mark XIX, for some reason) brought several evolutions, both in terms of design, proportions and mechanics.
While the case retains the classic 40mm diameter we’ve come to expect since the Mark XVIII (previous models either were 36mm, 38mm, 39mm or 41mm), it has a slimmer profile of 10.8mm, a screw-in crown and a comfortable water-resistance of 100m. Also, the case was reduced in length (from 51mm to 49.2mm) for better comfort. The overall finishing is classic IWC Pilot’s series, with an overall rugged look, mostly using brushed surfaces, only with some discreet polished accents to make the watch more appealing.
As for the dial, no surprises. It’s all very much Mark series, with a clean layout, highly legible markers and tracks and a time-and-date display. The Mark XX brought some minor evolutions, such as slightly redefined numerals and indices improving time reading and contrast. And the date disc was rendered in white with black numerals, which won’t be a topic of debate on this new silvery-white dial. Indeed, in addition to the classic black model, as well as sunray-brushed blue and green editions, there are now two new references with silver-plated dials, blackened hands and black tracks – except for the indices marking the quarters, which are white and luminous.
The main evolution in the IWC Mark XX was a new manufacture movement, the calibre 32111, replacing the ETA/Sellita movements of the past series. Also used in the recently launched Ingenieur, this engine is part of the ValFleurier catalogue (Richemont Group’s movement production site) however for the Schaffhausen-based brand, it features a double pawl winding system and a silicon escapement. Also, the power reserve is a solid 5 days or 120 hours.
Available either on a black leather strap (IW328207) or a 5-link stainless steel bracelet (IW328208), both equipped with EasX-CHANGE system to effortlessly change straps, the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XX White Dial is available immediately through all channels and is priced at EUR 5,700 (incl. taxes) or USD 5,250 (excl. taxes) on leather strap, and EUR 6,800 (incl. taxes) or USD 6,150 (excl. taxes) on steel bracelet. For more details, please visit www.iwc.com.