Wednesday, May 28, 2014

IWC Mark XI, cal 89 (1948-84)

IWC Mark XI NATO Pilot Anti-Magnetic Watch, Cal. 89 (1948-84)

Since finding the  JLC Mark X, I now try to try to form a small collection of Military watches. After many nights of searching, I have found an interesting IWC Marx XI. IWC’s Mark XI is as pure a modern pilot's watch as one can find.  Originally launched in 1948, the watch was built to spec in Schaffhausen for the British MOD and again was constructed solely with function in mind.  The 36mm case housed what can now be described as an archetypal pilot’s dial with an anti-magnetic cage surrounding the epic IWC caliber 89 movement.  

Many collector consider the Cal 89 to be one of the great manually wound movements of the 20th century, and it went through a 44-day testing period (in five positions, ranging in temperature from -5° to +46° C).  The dial has a clean design, with later models featuring the circled “T” at 6 . The circled T tritium dials weren’t put into place until 1962, so if you see any MK XI’s with issue dates prior to 1962 with a tritium dial, you know it’s been replaced – though some people actually prefer the replacement dial.This is the watch that inspired countless others, including IWC’s entire range of Pilots watches, and just about every modern pilots watch on the market today.  

While other manufactures were included in the Mark XI contract (including JLC), it is the IWC that made the most ground in watch collecting lore – and yet, they can be had for roughly the same price as IWC’s current basic Pilot’s watch offering, the Mark XVII, which houses an ETA 2892.  

According to some web site, The IWC MK XI is an absolutely epic watch, rather rare, and it should be selling for much more.   

My new found IWC Mark XI has a special marking at the backcase, not the usual British military but with the marking made for the NATO forces. Even though I could not get the final confirmation on the status of the watch, I just presumed that I have purchased the watch as a "Civilian version" but keeping in mind the likelihood that the watch may have been recalled and sold out to NATO forces. Anyway, from the net, about 500 units of civilian model was sold in 1973 and another 500 was sold in 1983 making it a collectable item as well. Nevertheless, since it has almost the same movement, case, dials. Backcase, movement cover, with the exception of the military marking, I do not mind the differences. In addition, it has the advantage of being 36mm in size. I shall be sending the watch to IWC soon.....

Some Information from the net:
Mark XI飞行员腕表

IWC 的 MARK XI 可算是最經典的軍錶,高素質專業用錶的典範。MARK XI 最初生產於1948年,服役期間約到1979年為止,是英國國防部(Ministry of Defence, MoD)的軍規型號。採用 MARK XI 的國家有英格蘭,及威爾斯,澳洲,紐西蘭,南非與加拿大等大英國協的空軍,以及 Quantas Air 的機員。每個不同的面盤和背銘方式都代表不同國家空軍及交貨的年份,但筆者至今未能找到完整的文獻記載可以核對,唯一可確定的是,幾乎全部的 MARK XI 都是英國國防部(MoD)或防空省(A.M.)向倫敦的 Goldsmith & Silversmith Co., Ltd. 下單,再由該公司向 IWC 與 Jaeger-LeCoultre (另一曾生產 MARK XI 的錶廠) 二廠訂製,而該 G & S 後來改名為 Garrards。據說最初期的 MARK XI 曾有36mm大小,鍍鉻錶殼款式,但絕大多數可見的,均為 35mm不銹鋼殼,停秒機蕊(多數)。再根據專家說法,每只英軍的 MARK XI 都經過天文台級測試,但不是在瑞士,而是在倫敦西南 Kew這個地方的 NPL (國家物理實驗室)。可以確定的是,面盤上有 Encircled T(圓圈內有T的標記)應該是在 60年代以後才被廣泛註記於面盤。50年代初期,英國國防部意識到輻射對人體的傷害,所以將為數甚多的具有輻射性的夜光塗料的軍錶召回,有的加以銷毀面盤,重新製作,有的則重新翻寫,塗上無輻射性的夜光顏料。這種由英國國防部重新製作或翻寫的面盤,稱之為 MoD Dial,因為是歷史背景因素,故評價上仍算是「原裝面」。以 IWC Mark XI 為例,48年起到50年初,未被召回翻寫(因係特殊防磁軟鐵材質,故不重製)的面盤,並無 King's Arrow 和 Circled T,且6點鐘底下應標記 T SWISS T;至於 MoD Dial,則普遍有 King's Arrow 和 Circled T,但6點鐘底下只有 SWISS。要注意的是,King's Arrow "/l\" 標記,有的是瑞士出廠時就印好的,有的是英國國防部印的。

Basing on the research by some experts, there were RAAF navigational watch and has been recalled of service in 1970s.

Additional information from the net:


■廠牌/款式(型號)/年份: IWC Mark XI, 1960年代
■機芯: 手上鏈 Cal. 89,軍規, 軟鐵內罩防磁
■功能: 時, 分, 大秒針, 停秒功能
■錶殼: 不鏽鋼錶殼, 旋入式底蓋與錶冠, 軟鐵面盤&內殼
■鏡面/錶盤: 原裝壓克力玻璃; Tritium 舊螢光, 原裝黑色面盤; 原裝指針
■錶徑(不含錶冠)/錶長/錶耳寬: 36mm / 42mm / 18mm

經過國外軍錶專家討論與查證,此一Mark XI 的背銘編號,確定與北大西洋公約組織"NATO"配發的其他軍錶相同,幾乎可以確認是1960年代配發給NATO空軍軍官使用的飛行用錶。精彩論證請詳: IWC 的 Mark XI 是二戰軍錶的經典, 款式由來是二戰中期英軍向 IWC 訂製的規格, 並由英國KEW進行精度校正, 配發給英國空軍飛行員使用. 最塊會炙人口的, 是 Mark XI 的防磁功能, 使用軟鐵內罩, 軟鐵面盤, 將 IWC 自製的傑出機蕊 Cal. 89 完全包覆, 阻隔戰機艙內強大的磁場作用, 確保機蕊運行的準確性! 這種精緻紮實的工藝, 反映出 IWC 製錶傳統的特性. 二戰後部分 Mark XI 配發給北約組織的飛官, 和美國的航空公司機師, 所以會發現部分款式有軍品編號但無英軍箭頭標誌, 甚至有白色面盤.

Mark X: 1944-1948, IWC caliber 83, diameter: 36mm
Mark XI: 1948-1984, IWC caliber 89, diameter: 36mm


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