IWC Mark XI Military ‘Hooked 7’
IWC’s entire current Pilot range is inspired on this very model: the Mark XI. The first Mark 11’s came out of Schaffhausen in 1948 and they represent a more restrained vision of an aviation watch than those used in the two world wars and is still unmatched in its purity.
Besides civilians, this model was commonly used by the BOAC, Royal Australian Air Force and, like the one we have on offer the RAF; hence the British military broad arrow logo on the dial. The reason this watch was so high in demand is not only because its well-balanced looks, but mostly for the high quality and reliability as it houses the legendary cal. 89 with hacking movement and 50-hour power reserve. Protected by a sturdy case with antimagnetic cage, something very progressive in the 1950’s. To ensure all watches delivered to the military met their high demands, they were tested for 44 days in 5 different positions and tempratures ranging from -5 to 45 degrees!
It not only is a top level timekeeper, it looks damn good as well. The stainless steel case measures 36mm and features a dial with perfect lay-out. The Mark 11 was an exercise in straightforward simplicity. The contrasting white Arabic numerals on the matte black dial remains timeless and back in the days it was a necessity to improve the clarity of the only function this watch offers: reading the time. Besides the RAF Broad Arrow, this rare dial with “Hooked 7” also has the encircled T, indicating the use of tritium in the anti-magnetic hand-set and markers. Furthermore it is equipped with a leather nato-strap since it has fixed bars. On the screw-down caseback we can find the military engraving, emphasing its historical significance.