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IWC Mark XI Cal 89 Original British Military MoD Issued Watch 6b/346 1951 RAF

£5,895.00Price

IWC Mark XI  

 Issued MoD British Military Wrist Watch 

Cal. 89

RAF Pilots Watch

 

Original IWC Pheon Marked (Non "Sterile") Radium Dial

Correct "Pencil" hands 

Good condition Dial 

Clean & Original Movement 

FULL SERVICE 2017

  • Description

    IWC Mark XI  

     Issued MoD British Military Wrist Watch 

    Cal. 89

    RAF Pilots Watch

     

    Original IWC Pheon Marked (Non "Sterile") Radium Dial

    Correct "Pencil" hands 

    Good condition Dial 

    Clean & Original Movement 

    FULL SERVICE 2017

     

    One of the Most revered Of the MoD Military Watches available finding a IWC Mark XI in this condition is rare.

    Perhaps mechanically the most accomplished and by far the prettiest movement in military pieces all over alternating "cotes de geneve" striping and perlee finish underplates this s undoubtedly one good looking movement

    known as the Mark XI, which has inspired its own dedicated following, and spawned a line of successors which continues to grow to this day – this year’s Mark XVIII being the latest.

     

    There are certain brands that are quite synonymous with particular fields and human feats HEUER have long been asscioated with rally and the motor racing scene LIP and diving Omega and space explorations ...

     

    IWC established itself as a manufacturer of aviation watches, starting with the first watch ever developed solely for aviation, the Spezialuhr für Flieger or Special Pilot's Watch, in 1936. But as aviation became militarized, the importance of watches as navigational tools increased, and the British Ministry of Defense called upon manufacturers to design watches that could meet the rigorous standards required for military use. 

     

    We've Sold in the past and have examples "Coming soon" of the 'Dirty Dozen' IWC (military-issued watches manufactured by twelve companies that have now become the stuff of horological legend. These companies were: Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, JLC, Lemania, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor, Vertex, and Longines. IWC Watches issued as part of the Dirty Dozen carried the Caliber 83 movement and sported black dials distinguished by a broad arrow (indicating that the watch was property of the British crown); Arabic numerals; luminous radium hands; 15 jewel movement; and the case backs were stamped W.W.W., for "Watch Wristlet Waterproof." 

     

    But while these watches were approved for military use, and were indeed used by pilots, they did not prove ideal for aviation because they were produced with a lower level of accuracy than was required for dead-reckoning. Therefore, in the late 1940s the Ministry of Defense initiated a project to develop a watch designed exclusively for aviation. The new standard issued, which the MOD coded 6B/346, required chronometer-grade and anti-magnetic movements. The MoD gave the contract to two manufacturers: Jaeger-LeCoultre and, of course, IWC. Thus, the Mark XI was born.

     

    IWC met the antimagnetic properties by covering the movement with a soft iron cage. Rather than the caliber 83 movement, the Mark XI was fitted with the Caliber 89, regarded as perhaps the most robust three-hand movements of all time. The Caliber 89 runs at 18,000 bph and features a double barrel, a Breguet hairspring, and a drive for the sweeping seconds hand that IWC patented. 

     

    The Ministry of Defense spared no expense in guaranteeing that the watches maintained their accuracy. Each watch was subjected to a 44-day testing period at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, which included 14 days in which the watches were tested in five different positions and at two different temperatures. Once the watches passed these rigorous tests, they had to be returned to the Royal Observatory for testing within a year. 

     

    The Mark XI entered military service in 1949 and was decommissioned in 1981.  Reliable to the last, it exemplifies the truest notions of a tool watch.

     

    This particular watch is in excellent condition, with only slight signs of wear that speak to the conflicts it's seen. The case back is stamped with the model number, case number, and year of manufacture, 1951. Its lovely condition makes this watch very desirable, both for its versatility and as an important horological artifact.  

     

    The Case 

    The IWC Mark XI  sits at 36mm in diameter (excluding crown) 39.5mm (inclusive) Original Coin edged (easy grip XL) Crown. 46.5mm lug tip to lug tip and 18mm lug spacing  even by today's standards this is not a small watch but the  IWC MARK XI "wears big" Looks big on the wrist  and has a demanding presence 

     

    BUYER BEWARE:  There are a lot of "Dodgy" military watches out there.. there simplistic but Iconic design is one of the most copied & emulated designs in modern horology. but this also means there are A LOT of "bodged" together cases & redials frankens and down right fakes if you want a comparison.. compare it to this one.. 

     

     

    The Dial

    Classic Military Dial ALL ORIGINAL 1951 RADIUM Dial & Original Handset Correct "Pencil" hands Matte Powder black dial all arabic numerals and perimeter seconds track in white "International  Watch Co" and the Pheon at 12 

     

    A Lot of these orriginal Radium dials were destroyed in the 70s and additionally many of the MARK XI watches were "Demilitarized" Serviced by IWC and offered with "Sterile" dials and case backs, these are case backs that are blank devoid of military markings and dials tho superficially the same lacking of course that all important Pheon / Arrow  but originality is king in the watch world and finding orriginal dialed Military watches is increasingly hard. As with the dial So too with the hands On this watch FULL SET All original Classic military "Pencil" hands 

     

    This is NOT a redial 

    (geiger pics on request) 

     

     

    The Band 

    The Watch is supplied with a period NATO Specification one piece Nylon strap in Olive Drab green   

     

    The Movement 

    As important as originality is with the dials and cases of these military watches so to with the movement the calibre 89 was used in several other IWC watches of the era but the Military issued Calibre 89 present in the MARK XI should bear the pheon arrow on the centre bridge and be a hacking movement 

     

    IWC 89

     

    Features

    manual wind 

    sweep second

     hack feature

    17 jewels 

    f = 18000 A/h 

     

     

    as Always specs courtesy of Dr. Ranfft