Watch Review: Iwc Pilot Mark Xviii

The introduction of the IWC Mark XVIII was one of the major highlights of this watch season. It is the new entry-level watch from Schaffhausen and is especially interesting for a younger audience as well as for those who want to venture into the world of aviation watches with their next purchase. The best thing about it: Mark XVIII is more strongly oriented than its ancestors on the legacy of the legendary Mark XI. With round 40 millimeters it also measures considerably less than most other fly clocks. Sounds like a round thing. We have looked more closely at the Mark XVIII in three variants.

Design: The Quintessence Of An Airplane Clock

The three present models are the Mark XVIII with white dial and black calfskin leather strap, the one with black dial and metal dial in, as well as the variant in dark blue with brown ribbon in the special “Petit Prince”.
Firstly, in contrast to the predecessor Mark XVII, the altered date window as well as the marking triangle, which is again placed well below the minutiae. Especially on the changed date window many could be liked. This is significantly reduced in the optics, since it only shows the current day, no more first and last day. If you look at the individual dial variations in detail, especially the dark blue with its fine textured, hardly visible strip cut is interesting. This can be seen only at a certain angle to the light and lends the watch a stronger luster, in contrast to the other two models. With the black and white counterpart, the surface looks somewhat dull, even a little grainy. At the same time, it should be noted here that the black dial shines a little more than in many pictures that are circulating in the Internet.At some angles, because of the reflection with the case glass, it shines even in a dark blue tone, which does not differ very much in color from the dark blue variant.
The Mark XVIII has a diameter of 40 millimeters. The edges of the stainless steel housing are angled and become wider towards the hinge joints. The material surface is finely brushed and reinforces the impression of a robust timepiece, which is hardly too bad in everyday life. The floor plan of an airplane is engraved on the bottom of the case. At the special edition in Dunkelblau, the Petit Prince theme also finds itself in the form of a corresponding motif of the novel figure of Antoine de Saint Exupéry.

Technical: Modified ETA 2892 And 6 Bar Water Tightness

From a technical point of view, too, it is a timepiece that concentrates on the essentials. The caliber 30110 is a modified automatic movement based on an ETA 2892 with a reserve time of 42 hours. The watch is equipped with a date switch and a screw-down crown to protect water from entering the interior of the watch.With a water tightness of 6 bar, the clock is not suitable for water activities. This may perhaps deter some potential buyers who had hoped for a robust all-rounder from Mark XVIII. At the same time, however, the water tightness is even higher than in some comparison models, such as the IWC large pilot watch or the Zenith Pilot Big Date, each with a max. 50 meters (5 bar).

Haptic: A Watch That Is Worn Like Your Own From The First Second

On account of the relatively long band-bumps, the marrow of the XVIIIth century is more delicate than the 40 milliliters. Not least because of the relatively strong curvature of the belt impacts, the watch also snaps very comfortably on narrow wrists and makes an outstanding figure overall. The wearing comfort is harmonious and you get used to haptics and design right away. It is one of these clocks, which will become from the very first moment of wearing to their own watch, due to a feeling of intimacy that goes from it.
The leather bracelet of the Mark XVIII belongs quite clearly to the more robust variety, just as one is used to it from PIlotenuhren. Here it is really worth to put on a stiff, double-layered leather. Since the bracelet is also relatively heavy at the same time, the watch is extremely comfortable and is never copious. At the beginning, the bracelet squeaks on the wrist, when the bracelet rubs against the inside of the banding. This is due not only to the texture of the leather, but also to the fact that here IWC prefers a somewhat more rigid movement in the direction of an all-too-free play. The folding clasp of the variant with stainless steel is high quality processed and the handling is very intuitive. The fine adjustment of the bracelet length can be done in self-regulation using a small screwdriver. A nice detail of the folding clasp is the pearl bead on the outside of the foldable limbs.Some would have probably also wanted for the variant with leather strap a folding clasp. However, the watch remains faithful with its pin buckle of its reduced line.

Bottom Line: A Watch That Does Not Want To Inspire With All Violence

With its moderate housing diameter and a list price of under 5.000, – EUR, the clock is surely a sweet spot for many and is especially interesting for all those who have hitherto from the purchase of an IWC Fliegeruhr. For pilots and frequent flyers is perhaps the incentive, just because the watch without GMT function. The Mark XVIII is not only the ideal first flight clock due to the historical legacy of the Mark series of IWC, but also because, due to its design, it also represents the entire pilot’s watch genre.
From our point of view, the Mark XVIII looks outstanding in the three variants presented. With the black version you can not make much mistakes, because it is so close to the classic Mark XI as few of its predecessors. The Mark XVIII represents exactly what IWC has always been at the core: a manufacturer of basic and perfectly oriented watches, which are capable of captivating at the same time because of their soberness driven to the top. In other words, the Mark XVIII is enthusiastic because it does not want to inspire with all violence.
The list price of the IWC Mark XVIII with leather bracelet is EUR 4,600, – and EUR 5,700, – with metal bracelet.