timefactors watches
Results 1 to 36 of 36

Thread: Review: IWC Mark XVIII

  1. #1
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,562
    Blog Entries
    2

    Review: IWC Mark XVIII

    Background



    1936: Spezialuhr für Flieger, IWCs first pilots watch.


    1944: IWC manufactures military watches from UKs MoD (Ministry of Defense) specifications. The watches are issued and has a "arrow" printed on the dial to show it is property of the state and the letters "www" printed, meaning "wrist watch waterproof". The model is later called Mark X


    1948/49
    Mark XI is issued to navigators in the UK. The watches are tested for accuracy in different positions and temperatures, water pressure, magnetism and shock during 44 days. Reliability and timekeeping is essential since accurate navigation depends on it. After 12 months of active duty, they are tested again.


    1993:
    Mark XII, 36mm. Now with date complication and a movement from JLC.



    1999: Mark XV, 38mm. The last version with the classic style of the hands, now with ETA-based movement.


    2006:
    Mark XVI, 39mm, movement ETA base.
    Sword hands with a close resemblance to the B-Uhr during 1930s-1940s. The numbers 6 and 9 are removed from the dial for symmetry.


    2012: Mark XVII, 41mm, ETA based movement, date in altimeter style.


    2016: Mark XVIII, 40mm, ETA-base movement.


    Sources
    https://monochrome-watches.com/an-od...c-mark-series/
    HTTP://IWC.com




    IWC Mark XVIII



    Specifications
    Reference number: IW327001
    Diameter: 40mm (exkl crown)
    Lug 2 lug: 50mm
    Thickness: 11mm
    Bandwidth: 11mm
    Weight: 104g (no strap)
    Crystal: sapphire with AR coating on both sides.
    Movement: 30110




    Movement

    Picture: A blog to watch


    Today we start with the movement since it's a "love it or hate it" type of movement. Some say it's insane that the Mark XVIII has a modified ETA 2892A2 and some think it's great.


    The ETA2892 is known for two things, accuracy and reliability. It is a 28800bph automatic movement with hack, manual/automatic wind and quick set for the date. The power reserve is approximately 42 hours. The movement is supplied as a complete package. It is modified from the requirements of IWC "by ETA" and then regulated by IWC to meet their demands of timekeeping in 5 positions and three temperatures. I have contacted IWC to find out which specific modifications that are made but I have not gotten a response.


    For me personally, it's a good choice of movement since it keeps the price of the watch moderate and also keeps the maintenance price to a minimum.


    Timegrapher results:
    Dial up: +-0/+1 spd
    Dial down: +-0 spd
    Crown up: +-0 spd
    Crown down: +-0 spd
    12 o clock up: -3 spd


    The reviewed watch has a consistent accuracy of +-0/+1 seconds/day on the wrist. It's the most accurate mechanical watch I have ever owned, both by timegrapher results and on the wrist.


    The movement is magnetically shielded the classic way, meaning by a soft iron back plate and a soft iron dial plate. Nowadays it's common to use a silicon balance spring to eliminate this need but I don't mind the classic way to shield a movement since it also results in a solid caseback which I prefer.


    Hodinkee previously stated this model uses a Sellita based movement but they then corrected the information to ETA based.


    More on in house vs non in house movements:
    http://www.ablogtowatch.com/point-co...ement-watches/




    Case

    The case measures 40mm in diameter excluding the crown, is 11mm thick and has a vertical measurement of 50mm. The relatively long lug to lug in combination with the thin bezel makes the watch profile very flat and thin.






    Most of the case is finely brushed, except the high gloss chamfer separating the top of the case from the sides of the case. The top side is circularly brushed and the sides are brushed horizontally.
    The lugs are slightly curved downwards and the caseback is almost flat despite being screw down.



    The high gloss polished crown is screwed down and is easy to grip. Setting the time and winding the movement is distinct and there is no wiggle in the outmost position. The earlier fish logotype is replaced by a very finely engraved text which I can't read even if I have perfect eyesight "Probus Scafusia, IWC". I guess it's to make the crown hard to counterfeit but it's an odd choice of engravings.




    Caseback

    The caseback is engraved as expected with the basic information. It also states "pilot's watch" in case you have any doubts as to what to call the watch when you inform your buddies about your new watch. Unfortunately IWC has engraved a large airplane on the center of the caseback making it pretty much impossible to engrave the watch yourself with your birth date, blood type and other cool personal information. I am however very thankful that we got a nice looking solid caseback instead of the now very popular see through caseback style.




    Strap and clasp

    The original leather looks nice and has a nice quality feel to it. It is however very stiff and makes a squeaky sound when new. It tapers from 20mm to 18mm. A nice detail is the orange lining which can only be seen when the watch is off the wrist.



    The clasp is nicely finished, brushed is interlaced with high gloss polished sections. The underside of the clasp however, has very sharp edges which cut into the wrist. I have even gotten scratch marks in the skin from it, which is far from OK at this price point.


    The strap will probably be soft and very comfortable after a week or two of wear but I'm too impatient to find out, I also think that you should "dress down" pilot's/field-watches, not "dress up".
    If you would like to add a IWC nato strap with IWC buckle, then it will set you back approximately £245.




    A closer look


    Dial and hands are matte black and all the printings on the dial are white, even the lumed parts, resulting in a very easy to read watch. I would have liked a little more structure to the dial but it looks good as is. Personally I would also have loved if the numerals on the dial were lumed as well.


    The double sided antireflective coating works a treat and combined with the slightly domed sapphire crystal it eliminates most of the unwanted reflections.



    We have to talk about the date placement even if it hurts. The date sits perfect on the XVI which is 39mm but on the Mark XVIII it sits a little too close to the center of the dial resulting in the date not lining up perfectly between the numbers 2 and 4. Personally it doesn't bother me at all when the watch is on the wrist but I still think it looks strange on photos.


    I honestly can't understand how IWC can let this sort of thing pass their design department. They could easily have fixed this issue (to some) by decreasing the size of the dial by 1mm and increasing the bezel size by 1mm if they were so set on having a 40mm case. The date placement is pretty much the only design issue everyone comments on and it could easily have been sorted.




    On the wrist

    The original leather only got used for a few hours but I'm sure it will feel great when broken in.




    Cordura from Hadley Roma. The Mark XVIII sits very comfortable on the wrist, you quickly forget you are wearing this sensibly sized and low weight watch. The long lug to lug measurement and the large dial makes it look larger than it is and the watch is probable best worn on a larger sized wrist compared to a small sized wrist due to being long lug to lug.




    I do like my field watches to be worn on a nato strap and it's an excellent strap choice for the XVIII. The normal issue with a watch getting too thick on a nato strap is non existent and the long lug to lug gets compensated for by raising the watch just a little of the wrist with help from the nato strap.




    Summary

    People whine about pretty much every change IWC makes every time they release a new version of the Mark series, which I find entertaining and a proof of the solid heritage these models carry. Personally I consider the XV to be the last of the heritage Mark series aesthetically, the rest of the models are something new entirely with a more clear connection to the B-Uhr even if the basic characteristics still stands.


    If you instead of focusing on the heritage consider the Mark XVIII as a completely separate stand alone model, then it's a great watch. It's extremely legible, it looks good on pretty much any strap and it wears great. The movement is a perfect choice considering the most important aspects of a pilot's/field-watch, reliability and cost effectiveness.


    There is a big risk when manufacturing a watch with this type of design, the risk of making it too boring. IWC however manages to save the Mark XVIII from boredom thanks to the great execution of the finish. The XVIII pulls of being discreet while it still brings the wearer that feeling of wearing a premium watch.

  2. #2
    Master mindforge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,846
    Fantastic review and some great photos. Good point about the date placement but otherwise dial looks so clear and legible.
    Last edited by mindforge; 3rd February 2017 at 14:21.

  3. #3
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Uk
    Posts
    567
    That is SOME writeup.

    Really appreciate when people take the time to pull something like this together, the balance of fact and opinion is well done.

    And the level of details and quality of pictures is top notch.

    Keep it up sir!

  4. #4
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,562
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by mindforge View Post
    Looks like a fantastic review but sadly at least for me the photo links are broken.

    Sent from my ONE A2003 using Tapatalk
    I have checked from my phone and from two different computors, works fine here.

    Quote Originally Posted by xanx View Post
    That is SOME writeup.

    Really appreciate when people take the time to pull something like this together, the balance of fact and opinion is well done.

    And the level of details and quality of pictures is top notch.

    Keep it up sir!
    Thanks a lot, I do my best.

  5. #5
    Craftsman jonasy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    London
    Posts
    433
    Thanks, great review.

    I like how they solved the same date window issue on the XVII.

  6. #6
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    GB
    Posts
    14,787
    Great writing and photography, thanks for sharing.

    That date window though!

  7. #7
    Thanks for taking the time to produce this review, if I could work out how to rate the thread I would, either way it gets top marks from me.

  8. #8
    Well done review- couldn't ask for a better write up!
    wanted a MK XVI for a long time, maybe the xviii will make that idea redundant!
    Goat

  9. #9
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Berkshire
    Posts
    352
    I'd not noticed the date window placement, now I can't stop focusing on it in the pictures. Good review.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using TZ-UK mobile app

  10. #10
    Informative post, thanks.....and congratulations on a super watch.

  11. #11
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    GB
    Posts
    14,787
    I must admit, I keep being drawn to the 36mm Pilot they announced at the same time, which is a gorgeous, perfect little thing — and with the date in the right place.

    But like all IWCs, the price is a bit salty given the movement in 'em.


  12. #12
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Leicester
    Posts
    763
    This is indeed a lovely watch. Looks great on all your straps as well. Congratulations on the purchase. I am sure that the position of date window will not be noticeable very soon !

    Regards

    Gary

  13. #13
    Master kaiserphoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    London-Islington
    Posts
    4,072
    Fantastic write up! makes me wanna get one....

  14. #14
    Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Cumbria
    Posts
    1,405
    Quote Originally Posted by Seamaster73;4235197But like all IWCs, the price is a bit salty given the movement in 'em.
    [IMG
    http://i65.tinypic.com/2hdtro5.jpg[/IMG]
    I know what you mean but there are plenty of more expensive marques with in house movements that don't justify the extra cost in terms of value added. In the end are they really that much better.... (off to look for my tinhat).

  15. #15
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Posts
    1,822
    Very fair review. And a nice watch, no doubt about that. The movement is clearly rather good. but you can buy similar quality...I think... for well under half the price. Something from Sinn or Damasko, for instance.
    I can still see why people buy the IWC, it is a very attractive watch.
    Me, I honestly can't make up my mind. I had an earlier IWC pilot watch , and felt rather the same.

  16. #16
    Master Pitch3110's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    3,418
    Blog Entries
    1
    Fantastic write up thank you for sharing.

    I loved my XVII and although I moved it I had to have another IWC pilots.

    Enjoy

    Pitch

  17. #17
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Plymouth, UK
    Posts
    747
    Great review and a lovely watch.

  18. #18
    Thanks that is a brilliant review.

    Was the weight your own scales.
    IWC confirmed to me in writing it was 75g
    Andy

  19. #19
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,562
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by awright101 View Post
    Thanks that is a brilliant review.

    Was the weight your own scales.
    IWC confirmed to me in writing it was 75g
    Andy
    Thanks!

    My digital post scales, no strap but spring bars.

  20. #20
    Craftsman 50kopek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    The Hague, Netherlands
    Posts
    932
    Thank you for an excellent review. Your photos actually made me realize that, despite all the debates about the different sizes, hands, date placements etc. on the different marks, it remains a classic and classy watch that's been done very nicely. Somehow in the sea of pilot watches the IWC marks seem to have a character of their own.

  21. #21
    Great review thank you.

  22. #22
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    South East
    Posts
    1,615
    Lovely watch and great review thanks for the info. I think it's the silhouette of a JU52 on the case back but I may be wrong.

  23. #23
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Yorkshireman at heart
    Posts
    548
    Great review

  24. #24
    Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Surrey, England, or somewhere else
    Posts
    5,043
    Blog Entries
    15
    A fantastic review there Sir! As for the watch - the date placement . . . I couldn't bear it. Maybe it's not as noticeable in real-life - but it is just so wrong on an otherwise excellent version.

    Martyn

  25. #25
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Somerset, UK
    Posts
    315
    Great write up of a really really lovely watch.

    Forgive me but I thought IWC had started using Selitta movements for there base models like this?

  26. #26
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,562
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by watchstudent View Post
    Great write up of a really really lovely watch.

    Forgive me but I thought IWC had started using Selitta movements for there base models like this?
    Hodinkee First wrote Sellita then corrected the information to ETA because they were corrected by IWC.

  27. #27
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    GB
    Posts
    14,787
    Sellita in the 36mm Pilot.

  28. #28
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Berkshire
    Posts
    812
    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenVrs View Post
    I'd not noticed the date window placement, now I can't stop focusing on it in the pictures. Good review.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using TZ-UK mobile app
    I have to disagree entirely on the date window. It works absolutely fine once you get used to it and indeed adds a bit of character. It's something that could have been easily 'fixed' (if that's the phrase you want to use) at minimal extra cost, so the decision to leave it must have been a conscious one. And it works for me, there are mockups on line where people have moved it and it just looks boring when you do that. It was done for a reason and I feel a bit sorry for the OCD types who view it as 'wrong'. :)

    Anyway the gem of this range isn't the black dial it's the Petit Prince version which is the one I bought - I originally intended to buy the black dial but up close in at the AD's the blue dial is SO much more cool. The dial itself is an amazing sunburst, black in appearance at some angles/lighting conditions, bright blue at others and always changing. It really is quite dramatic. The steel edged hands work well as does the white date window (in this context at least it's better than a coloured one).

    Then there's the the bracelet on the Petit Price version: alternate brushed-polished links - added to the impact of the dial, altogether the watch has much more of a sense of occasion than the black dial model. It has really nifty fine adjustment too which makes it supremely comfortable to wear whatever time of day.

    I bought the brown Santoni strap (XL for me) with mine which also gives it a pretty cool 'dressed down' look but I mostly wear it on the bracelet. Also I bought a truly wonderful custom-made blue crocodile strap from George Lan in Taiwan in a thick, dark, textured, matt blue which gives it the feel of something rarified like a Ulysse Nardin. This is a watch with multiple personalities, that you'd never know about if you only bought the black dial.

    Unfortunately on my iphone pics I haven't managed to capture at all the drama of the blue Petit Prince dial but hopefully they can still give some idea of the feel of this piece.









    Last edited by kk; 16th February 2017 at 17:33.

  29. #29
    Master Der Amf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    London
    Posts
    6,151
    Quote Originally Posted by kk View Post
    It's something that could have been easily 'fixed' (if that's the phrase you want to use) at minimal extra cost, so the decision to leave it must have been a conscious one. And it works for me, there are mockups on line where people have moved it and it just looks boring when you do that. It was done for a reason and I feel a bit sorry for the OCD types who view it as 'wrong'.
    While admire your nimble rationalisation, and am delighted you are happy with its scarred characterful design, is it necessary to abuse people whose estimation differs from your own?

  30. #30
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Berkshire
    Posts
    812
    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    While admire your nimble rationalisation, and am delighted you are happy with its scarred characterful design, is it necessary to abuse people whose estimation differs from your own?
    It was intended to be funny. Though maybe OCD also precludes a sense of humour?

  31. #31
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Berkshire
    Posts
    352
    Quote Originally Posted by kk View Post
    I have to disagree entirely on the date window. It works absolutely fine once you get used to it and indeed adds a bit of character. It's something that could have been easily 'fixed' (if that's the phrase you want to use) at minimal extra cost, so the decision to leave it must have been a conscious one. And it works for me, there are mockups on line where people have moved it and it just looks boring when you do that. It was done for a reason and I feel a bit sorry for the OCD types who view it as 'wrong'.

    Anyway the gem of this range isn't the black dial it's the Petit Prince version which is the one I bought - I originally intended to buy the black dial but up close in at the AD's the blue dial is SO much more cool. The dial itself is an amazing sunburst, black in appearance at some angles/lighting conditions, bright blue at others and always changing. It really is quite dramatic. The steel edged hands work well as does the white date window (in this context at least it's better than a coloured one).

    Then there's the the bracelet on the Petit Price version: alternate brushed-polished links - added to the impact of the dial, altogether the watch has much more of a sense of occasion than the black dial model. It has really nifty fine adjustment too which makes it supremely comfortable to wear whatever time of day.

    I bought the brown Santoni strap (XL for me) with mine which also gives it a pretty cool 'dressed down' look but I mostly wear it on the bracelet. Also I bought a truly wonderful custom-made blue crocodile strap from George Lan in Taiwan in a thick, dark, textured, matt blue which gives it the feel of something rarified like a Ulysse Nardin. This is a watch with multiple personalities, that you'd never know about if you only bought the black dial.

    Unfortunately on my iphone pics I haven't managed to capture at all the drama of the blue Petit Prince dial but hopefully they can still give some idea of the feel of this piece.









    I didn't offer an opinion as to wether it's a good or bad thing. Just that once noticed, it's difficult to ignore.

    Glad you're happy with your purchase. But as an ex football manager once said, everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using TZ-UK mobile app

  32. #32
    Master Der Amf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    London
    Posts
    6,151
    Quote Originally Posted by kk View Post
    It was intended to be funny. Though maybe OCD also precludes a sense of humour?
    Aspiration does not guarantee success. If I hadn't a sense of humour, I wouldn't have enjoyed your excuses for IWC's indolence half so much.

  33. #33
    Great Review. Thanks

  34. #34
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    72

    Fabulous

    I do LOVE this marque.

  35. #35
    Amazing review! My only issue is with the weight of the watch. It doesn't feel hefty enough for a watch of this price.

  36. #36
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Cheltenham
    Posts
    142
    Nice review! Thanks!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •