During World War II, IWC was one of twelve brands commissioned by the British Ministry of Defense to produce mil-spec watches meant to be worn by soldiers in the field. IWC’s contribution to the “Dirty Dozen” was the Mark X, a beautiful time-only watch equipped with arabic numerals, sword hands, small seconds, and the hand-wound caliber 83. The Mark X was decommissioned in 1948 and replaced by the now famous Mark XI. This new pilot's watch contained several upgrades to the dial and movement including the iconic triangle lume plot at 12 o’ clock, a paddle hour hand, central seconds, and the chronometer grade caliber 89–now protected by an anti-magnetic soft iron shield. The Mark XI remained in service until the 1980s where it was phased out and ultimately unreplaced by the MoD.
No longer commissioned by the military, IWC sensed an opportunity to offer a Mark series watch to the general public and in 1993 released the Mark XII. The newest version kept many of the same dial features as the XI save for the removal of the British Broad Arrow on the dial and the addition of a date window at 3 o’ clock. IWC also replaced the movement with the high-end automatic JLC caliber 889/2 (branded as the IWC 884/2), and the watch came fitted with either a black calfskin strap or an 11-link beads of rice bracelet in a matching satin brushed finish. The Mark XII would end up being very well received and has become a highly important watch in IWC’s history as it laid the foundation for subsequent iterations of the civilian pilot's watch that are now the brand’s most distinctive and recognizable offering.
IWC stainless steel bracelet
Max Wrist Size:
7.25 in (24 links)
Hand model has a wrist size of 6.2 in
UNWORN: Case is pristine with no signs of use. Original stickers may still be present. Dial, hands, and lume have no imperfections and may show natural, even aging.
MINT: Case has only a few superficial hairlines. Lugs are thick, full, and sharp with superb finishing. Dial, hands, and lume may have micro imperfections visible only with a loupe.
EXCELLENT: Case has very light scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick, full, and well-defined. Dial and hands may have imperfections visible upon close inspection. Lume is fully intact and may show slight discoloration.
VERY GOOD: Case may have a few moderate scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick and full but may have softened edges. Dial and hands may have light stains or marks. Lume may have cracks or discoloration.
GOOD: Case has many scratches and nicks. Lugs may show signs of moderate polishing with worn edges. Dial and hands may have noticeable stains or marks. Lume may be damaged or show significant discoloration.
Case: The satin brushed case shows normal signs of wear for a watch this age, including faint scuffs, hairlines, and micro nicks throughout. The lugs are nice and strong, with a couple light scuffs and tiny nicks to a few of the edges. The polished top portion of the bezel remains crisp at the edges and shows several micro scuffs and hairlines, the most significant of which is at the 1 o’ clock position. The caseback condition is consistent with the rest of the watch, showing small signs of wear throughout. The model and serial number engravings remain sharp and deep.
Dial, Hands, & Crystal: The matte black dial is in pristine condition. The minute hand shows a tiny mark on the stainless steel surround at the center point. The seconds hand shows some oxidation on the underside. The tritium is intact, has aged to an even yellow hue, and does not glow when exposed to UV light. The sapphire crystal is clean and scratch-free.
Bracelet/Strap: The IWC stainless steel bracelet is in nice overall condition with some light stretch and hardly any surface wear. The clasp shows a few small desk-diving marks and part of the black fill in the “W” engraving has flaked off. The logo remains sharp and detailed.
Functions: All functions including the crown winding, time setting, and quickset date are working as expected.
Service History: The watch recently underwent a full service by Superior Watch Service that was completed on 08/09/2023.