Did you know that IWC released a new model of the Pilot’s Watch? No, not with this particular release. Unannouncedly, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XX, a not insignificant enhancement over the still-available Mark XVIII, was introduced a few months ago by the Schaffhausen company. The two variations that were initially concealed were a black dial and a blue dial, both with coordinating leather straps. Here we are, less than six months later, and the company is announcing the “completion” of the Mark XX collection. It almost sounds like a stuttering step. For a total of six variations, they’ve added a green dial and a bracelet choice. But now that we have the entire lineup, it’s worthwhile to take a closer look at what it is and how it improves on earlier Mark watches.
There are three colour options available for the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XX: traditional matte black, sunburst green, and sunburst blue. The Mark series dials have always been about simplicity: In keeping with the pilot’s watch’s original purpose as a tool for people who are really flying, readability was given first attention. To this goal, the Mark XX receives minor adjustments. The cardinal indices have been expanded, and the numerals have been shifted slightly inward to make place for them. The dial is still printed in white. The phone is still the same, with Super-LumiNova-filled silver hands. It’s unfortunate that the date window is no longer colour-matched (on the black dial model), but it’s not a major problem because the dial has so much white that the date wheel’s white hue blends in.
Minor adjustments have also been made to the 40mm casing. The thickness has decreased from 11mm to 10.8mm and the lugs have shrunk from 51mm to 49.2mm. With the exception of the bezel and a tiny bit of chamfering around the lugs, the case is entirely brushed. The crown’s size has also been altered, which ought to enhance its performance. Additionally, water resistance has been increased from 60m to 100m, providing a little more comfort and firmly establishing this watch as a go-anywhere, do-anything timepiece. Given its shorter lug-to-lug, which will have the case proper sticking out a bit more, the Mark XX’s increased proportions give it the appearance of feeling a little more prominent on the wrist. The watch is available with a leather strap (black and blue straps match the dial, while brown straps are available for green) or a 5-link bracelet with a combination of polishing and brushing that is equipped with a push-button folding clasp.
However, the wrist’s two greatest alterations continue to be concealed. The IWC 32111 Calibre, a brand-new internal movement, is the first. The enhanced 120-hour power reserve, which is three times as long as the Sellita-based 35111 found in the Mark XVIII, is the key improvement here. The speed is kept at 28,800 vph, Côtes de Genève and perlage finishing are added, and just 21 instead of 25 diamonds are required. The selections for the strap and bracelet are the other upgrade. They are all notable for having IWC’s EasX-Change quick-change mechanism, which enables the strap or bracelet to attach to any compatible spring bars with just the push of a tab. Additionally, the pin buckle on the straps may be switched between straps that are suitable. It offers an intriguing alternative to the increasingly common proprietary strap-changing system, which often incorporates the spring bar within the strap or bracelet and, as was already said, is compatible with any watch equipped with the appropriate spring bars.
If we’re being really honest, the Mark series is evolving gradually but positively. It has a brand-new movement, IWC’s exclusive strap-changing mechanism, as well as certain changes to the dial and casing. The Mark XX and its six variations will be a no-brainer for people who have always adored IWC Pilot watches. The Mark XX is technically the greatest watch ever produced for people who may have been waiting to have one of the Mark series timepieces. Of course, if you thought the collection was too uninteresting, this new series is hardly going to make you feel otherwise. Priced at £5,000 on leather and £5,800 for a bracelet, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XX is £500 and £650 more expensive than its antecedents, respectively.