IWC Schaffhausen celebrates the 75th anniversary of its iconic Mark series with the unveiling of two new versions of the Pilot’s Watch Mark XX.
The latest Mark XX watches pay tribute to the legendary Mark 11, originally developed for the British Royal Air Force (RAF), and feature silver-plated dials that beautifully complement the existing lineup of blue, green and black dials.
IWC Schaffhausen created the Mark 11 more than 70 years ago, a milestone in the brand’s history. This exceptional timepiece, designed for pilots and navigators, not only initiated the renowned Mark series but also set a new standard for technical features and functional instrument design in modern pilot’s watches. In 2022, IWC introduced the Pilot’s Watch Mark XX as a fresh addition to this extraordinary lineage. The esteemed Swiss brand now presents two versions featuring silver-plated dials: one with a black calfskin strap (Ref. IW328207) and the other with a high-grade five-link stainless-steel bracelet (Ref. IW328208).
The Pilot’s Watch Mark XX boasts a 40mm stainless-steel case that has undergone meticulous reengineering, resulting in a refined side profile and improved lug geometry. The slimmer and more curved lugs ensure an even better fit on any wrist. The dial’s high-contrast graphics, featuring numerals and indices, have been refined down to the tiniest details. Luminescent elements on the dial, along with black hands, guarantee impeccable legibility in all lighting conditions. Powering the Pilot’s Watch Mark XX is the IWC-manufactured 32111 calibre, an automatic movement with a silicon escapement and a double pawl winding system, providing a remarkable five-day power reserve. Furthermore, the front glass is specially secured to remain in place even in the event of a sudden pressure drop in the cockpit.
One of the timepiece’s practical features is the integrated EasX-CHANGE system, allowing wearers to effortlessly swap the strap or bracelet without the need for tools. IWC offers a wide range of straps and bracelets as accessories, allowing owners to personalise their timepiece. The selection includes calfskin straps, stainless-steel bracelets, as well as durable, flexible and waterproof rubber straps, available in vibrant colours. This versatility, combined with the 10-bar water-resistant case, establishes the Pilot’s Watch Mark XX as the quintessential sports watch.
In early aviation, pilots relied on sextants and chronometers for astronomical navigation. However, these watches faced challenges like magnetic interference on radar screens. To address this, the RAF commissioned IWC Schaffhausen to create a new navigation watch. In 1948, IWC developed the Mark 11, featuring a soft-iron inner case to shield it from magnetic fields. With its high-contrast dial and luminescent elements, the Mark 11’s functional design, reminiscent of a cockpit instrument, became a defining characteristic of IWC Pilot’s Watches. While interference-free radio beacons made astronomical navigation obsolete, the Mark 11 remained a crucial backup instrument for pilots in various Commonwealth countries until the 1980s.
The latest versions of the Pilot’s Watch Mark XX can be purchased at IWC boutiques, authorised retailers or online.