IWC focusses heavily on the Pilot’s Watch collection and there are many new models and many old models have been re-designed. One of the re-designed models is the IWC Mark XVII, the follow-up of the Mark XVI.
The biggest change in comparison to the Mark XVI, is the increased diameter. While the Mark XVI was 39 mm in diameter, the new Mark XVII is 41 mm. Compared to its ‘ancient’ predecessor, the Mark XI and Mark XII, which is consider the true pilot’s watch by aficionados, measures 36 mm in diameter. The new Mark XVII keep most of the design elements of its predecessor, the Mark XVI.
Besides the increased diameter, the date window has changed to now show 3 date numerals, while a red arrow points at the actual date. The dial keeps its great legibility, with the matte black dial and crisp white hour markers and hands. Inside ticks caliber 30110, which is actually an ETA 2892, with a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz). The movement has a power reserve of 42 hours.
Like all its predecessors, the Mark XVII meets the requirements for professional Pilot’s Watches from IWC. Therefore it features a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields and the front glass is secured against sudden drops in pressure. The protection of the movement with a soft-iron inner case is done to prevent it from the magnetism emitted by radio, and later, radar instrumentation. This way they are simply guided around the movement.
The new Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII is available with a black alligator leather strap and pin buckle or, alternatively, with the newly developed stainless-steel bracelet featuring a folding clasp with precision adjustment. Personally I find the new bracelet an improvement over the older one. The new bracelet has less polished parts and this makes it less shiny and a bit more suitable for a tool watch as the Mark XVII. Personally I prefer the 39 mm diameter, however I’m sure many watch aficionados will welcome the increased size.