Introducing the IWC Mark XVIII

If you’re an aviator or you just like the look/style of aviation watches, IWC is a brand you’re probably already very familiar with. Ahead of this year’s SIHH, the Swiss brand has revealed its new Mark XVIII, an entry-level pilot watch that is purported to be the successor of the brand’s iconic Mark 11.

IWC has a new pilot watch, and it looks just right.

IWC has a new pilot watch, and it looks just right.

In comparison to some of the brand’s well known pilot watches, the Mark XVIII is classically sized. Its case measures 40mm in diameter, is 11mm thick and, on the inside, there’s a soft iron inner shell that protects the self-winding calibre 30110 from magnetic fields.

The movement isn’t an in-house calibre but rather a movement from Swiss movement manufacturer Sellita. The calibre isn’t particularly noteworthy (nor should it be considering the type of watches it’s designed for) but is a solid workhorse that offers a power reserve of 42 hours. The movement offers time and date complications, and has a hacking seconds mechanism.

There's no exhibition caseback - we reckon this is partially because the movement is basic but also because a sapphire caseback would expose the movement to magnetic fields.

There’s no exhibition caseback – we reckon this is partially because the movement is basic but also because a sapphire caseback would expose the movement to magnetic fields.

Being a pilot’s watch, the Mark XVIII is also designed to take on sudden air pressure drops – the sapphire crystal is screwed into the case, so it shouldn’t pop out in case of sudden changes in air pressure. The crystal also has antireflective coatings applied to both sides, while the watch as a whole is water resistant to six bars.

IWC says the goal with the Mark XVIII was ‘a reduction to essentials’. So, in contrast to the older Mark XVII, which offered an altimeter style date display, the Mark XVIII packs a standard date display. The dial also features large, legible Arabic numerals. IWC is releasing three different references of the Mark XVIII (check out the gallery below for details), and with every reference, the dial looks to offer serious contrast in terms of the dial in relation to the Arabic numerals and hands.

Each Mark XVIII (ref. IW327001 ∙ IW327002 ∙ IW32701 1) will be priced at approximately US $4000. While we haven’t yet handled the watches, we reckon that’s a fair price in terms of what you’re getting from IWC.

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