There’s been a lot to get excited about with IWC’s announcements at SIHH, but perhaps one of the more welcome new releases has been the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII replica. Purists and IWC fans might argue this is the true spiritual successor to the Mark XII from 1993, with its reserved proportions and utilitarian aesthetic. Both watches pay homage to the original Mark XI from 1948 which was arguably one of the finest military watches ever made. After spending some time with the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII, we’re happy to report that fans have a great deal to be excited about in the coming year, especially those who’ve been holding out hope that IWC would one day make a return to some of their more vintage styles. Additionally, we also got to see the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Le Petit Prince,” another iteration of IWC’s popular homages to the children’s book Le Petit Prince.
Beyond the obvious omissions of the exotic alligator strap and the altimeter-style date window – both of which polarized fans – there’s a lot to like about the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII. But first and foremost is probably how it feels more like a traditional pilot watch, in what appears to be the result of an exercise in pure restraint on IWC’s part.
Where you do, however, find a leather strap is on the limited edition IWC Pilot’s series cheap fake watch Mark XVIII “Le Petit Prince” version which has a beautiful blue face and comes on a brown Santoni calfskin strap. I’m not going to get too much into the history of the “Le Petit Prince” watches . but they are limited edition versions of IWC Pilot’s Watches inspired by author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
When it comes to “traditional” Swiss watches, restraint comes in many shapes and forms, but it’s made most immediately apparent here with how well proportioned the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII’s 40mm-wide and 11mm-thick case feels on the wrist. IWC designers only scaled back the dimensions by a single millimeter from the XVII, but it’s a minute difference that even Goldilocks would agree feels “just right.” And since pilot watches traditionally wear a few hairs larger than their specs belie, due to greater dial real estate in the absence of a rotating bezel – a single millimeter or two can make or break the overall wearability of the leather strap IWC copy watches.
With the cacophony of Baselworld 2016 releases reaching something of a nadir, we see the release of three new IWC Ingenieur Chronograph watches that opt for a vintage-inspired case over the previous Gerald Genta design, and also feature a new in-house IWC 69370 movement. These three specific models are limited editions commemorating the 74th Goodwood Member’s Meeting, which is a weekend-long racing event. The IWC Ingeniuer Chronograph Edition “74th Member’s Meeting at Goodwood” is limited to 74 pieces and features a rose gold case, the IWC Ingeniuer Chronograph Edition fake watches “Rudolf Caracciola” is in a stainless steel case, and the IWC Ingeniuer Chronograph Edition “W 125” is a titanium version. These last two will each have a 750-watch run.
The new 42mm-wide and 15mm-high case features two totalizers, small seconds dial, and tachymeter on the outer edge. IWC says this design is inspired by the dashboard of a vintage sports car – but whatever its design roots are, it is a distinctly new design when compared to the Gerald Genta-designed case of previous IWC Ingenieurs. Angular lines, integrated lugs, and crown protectors are gone. No bezel screws, rubber, plastic, or anything of the sort. Subtle touches like the two circles at 12 o’clock are reminiscent of the very first IWC Ingeniuer (below), years before Genta was commissioned to recreate the Ingeniuer.
Aesthetic reboot aside, there’s a new movement here too, with the in-house IWC 69370 caliber. This is an automatic chronograph movement IWC replica watch that has date, stopwatch, and small hacking seconds. The movement is made up of 200 parts and measures 30mm wide by 7.9mm high. It operates at a frequency of 28,800vph and has a 46-hour power reserve.
The rose gold IWC Ingenieur Chronograph series replica watches UK “74th Member’s Meeting at Goodwood” whichis limited to 74 pieces also has red gold hands and appliqués, and comes on a brown calfskin strap. The black dial with rose gold and red gold has pretty classic, old-school good looks, and I think 42mm is the ideal case size, not something like 46mm. Personally, I don’t love the red used on the subdials – I understand the racing and automotive inspiration, but it looks a little confused to me. Luckily, I feel far less strongly about the red on the titanium and steel versions.