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IWC Schaffhausen

The Journal

Magnificent Mark

Magnificent Mark
Read Time: 3 min
the Pilot’s Watch Mark XX

the Pilot’s Watch Mark XX

Shipping and delivery conditions Price includes taxes. Recommended Retail Price. Price excludes taxes. Recommended Retail Price. Recommended Retail Price Available to buy online. Orders can be returned within 30 days free of charge. Pay with credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), bank wire transfer, Unionpay or Paypal.



In a world where fads come and go like fleeting seconds, I stand as a testament to endurance and sophistication. I am a successor of the legendary Mark watch, which is celebrating 75 glorious years of timekeeping. From the audacious days of the Mark 11 in 1948, to the resplendent marvel of the Mark XX, I have left an indelible mark on the tapestry of horological history. With unwavering precision and reliability, and an ageless allure, I have become the epitome of timeless elegance. As two new versions of me grace the scene, join me as I take you on a journey through the chapters of my story, celebrating my 75th anniversary in unparalleled style.
The Pilots’ Watch Mark XX Ref. IW328208 boasts a silver-plated dial and stainless-steel bracelet



Pilot's Watch Mark XX

CHF 6'100

Stainless steel case, Automatic, self-winding. Silver dial with luminescence, Stainless steel bracelet with EasX-CHANGE system, Strap width 20.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— The Pilots’ Watch Mark XX Ref. IW328208 boasts a silver-plated dial and stainless-steel bracelet



Before delving into my family history, allow me to properly introduce myself: I’m the Pilot’s Watch Mark XX – proud descendant of the iconic Mark 11 from 1948. I come in two new versions featuring a silver-plated dial with black calfskin strap (Ref. IW328207) and a silver-plated dial with a stainless-steel bracelet (Ref. IW328208).


With a meticulously redesigned 40-millimetre stainless steel case, I boast an enhanced side profile and refined lug geometry to ensure an even better fit on all wrists. I am also equipped with the integrated EasX-CHANGE® system, allowing my wearer to choose from a wide selection of straps or bracelets, and to swap them to their liking.  


To uncover my rich ancestral heritage, we must go back to 1948, where the British Royal Air Force (RAF) sought a watch that would accompany their aviators.


And so, they turned to IWC, initiating the genesis of our family lineage. Enter the legendary Mark 11 Cal. 89 – also formerly known as the “navigators wrist watch Mk. 11 – Stores Ref. 6B/346” (the British military had a particular way of designating their equipment, wristwatches included).


It had to meet stringent requirements. Accuracy, robustness, reliability, ease of maintenance—they demanded it all.


To enhance readability, IWC crafted my hour hand to be short and robust, while my minute hand embodies a more slender and pointed form. This thoughtful design ensures optimal clarity, allowing you to effortlessly discern the time at a glance. 


However, what particularly set it apart from its contemporaries was its unparalleled resistance to magnetic fields. The original cockpit clocks had their fair share of quirks, lacking luminous material and being vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. But Mark 11 was protected by a genius solution—a soft iron cage. 


First Mark 11 with number «12», delivered 1949-1952

— First Mark 11 with number «12», delivered 1949-1952 

The Pilot’s Watch Mark XII retained its classical tool watch features

— The Pilot’s Watch Mark XII retained its classical tool watch features 


The years went by and the Mark family grew. As the contract with the RAF reached its conclusion in the late 1970s, IWC seized the opportunity and introduced three limited series of 500 pieces each, exclusively for the civilian market.


Identifiable by individual numbers engraved on case and movement, this group quickly captivated collectors, and eventually, captured the attention of IWC’s CEO, Günther Blümlein, and Marketing Director, Hannes Pantli. This dynamic duo embarked on their plan to resurrect the Mark 11.


Finally, in 1994, as the world stood on the cusp of a new millennium, the Mark XII was born amidst a flurry of uncertainty. The pre-digital phase, the dawn of email, and the shifting socio-economic landscape left many pondering the future. In this ever-changing world, the Mark XII offered solace—a return to simplicity, retro elegance, and the timeless appeal of a classic tool watch. 



Soon after its debut, the Marks XV-XVIII followed.


While slightly varying in size, dial design and color - as well as strap and case material - each generation steadfastly remained true to our family roots. They continued to embrace the challenge of each new era whilst subtly adapting to the taste of the times.


And that’s what makes my family truly wonderful. 


In my era as the Mark XX, I find solace in the fact that IWC remains devoted to its heritage, honoring the timeless design that captivated generations. As a symbol of tradition and taste, I proudly stand tall. In a world of constant change, I provide stability and assurance. Like my predecessors, I transcend time, embracing the ever-evolving nuances of our era. Unapologetically utilitarian, I am a tool watch, embodying purpose. 


The Mark XV stayed true to its roots despite size and appearance variations

— The Mark XV stayed true to its roots despite size and appearance variations 

Learn about the “Ten rules for purchasing your vintage Mark 11” here


IWC Schaffhausen