IWC Pilot Collection Mark XVIII 'Le Petit Prince'
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
Why We Love It
If there is one thing that the International Watch Company is known for, it’s an impressive devotion to the development and production of an outstanding pilot’s watch.
Mark XI pilot’s watches are among some of the most sought after WWII mil-spec watches today, and for good reason. With incredible accuracy and incorporated anti-magnetic designs, these timepieces were an essential part of an aircraft pilot's kit, and are widely lauded for their service during combat raids and sorties.
This Mark XVIII is the direct descendent of the Mark XI and hallmarks of its ancestor can be seen throughout its design. With it's clutter-free dial and a modern 40mm case size with longer, slimmer lugs and a thinner overall feel on the wrist, the Mark XVIII is a perfect contemporary pilot's watch.
This particular limited edition example features a blue sunburst dial and commemorative case back which pays homage to the legendary Antoine St. Exupéry, a famous French children's author and a pioneering aviator.
In near-mint condition purchased originally in March 2021, this watch comes complete with its full set of boxes, books, and warranty cards, and is as clean as they come!
The IWC Pilot’s Story
The history of IWC can be said to be one of marriages. For example, a marriage of the Old World to the New, or of the craftsmanship and tradition of the Swiss with American innovations and technology. But perhaps the most enduring association is between IWC and aviation.
When an American watchmaker named Florentine Ariosto Jones arrived in Schauffhausen, Switzerland, he found a city almost frozen in time. Though the Industrial Revolution had swept through America (where Jones worked as a director of a prominent watchmaking company), in Switzerland the situation was very different. Watchmakers still plied their trades by their own firesides, as they had done for centuries; but Jones had in mind something different: an American-style factory where the watches would be designed and assembled in keeping with the old Swiss ways.
His methods caught on, and soon there were 196 people employed at his factory.
Though IWC was founded 35 years before Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first flight, the association between aviation and IWC began just as the aviation age dawned. A pocket watch made by IWC in the 1890s found its way into the pocket of one Robert Albert Lotter. Lotter was a pilot in the German Luftwaffe who served with distinction during the First World War.
Two decades later, in 1936, IWC would release a watch that set the standard, more or less, for what a pilot’s watch is supposed to be—in fact, this watch, the Spezialuhr für Flieger or Special Pilot's Watch, was the first specially-designed pilot’s watch. Another would follow in 1940, the Big Pilot, which has spawned an eponymous model in IWC’s current collection. However, despite the Big Pilot’s current popularity, it was the Special Pilot’s Watch that would lay the cornerstone for IWC’s most iconic line: the Mark series of pilot’s watches.
IWC released the Mark XI in 1948 according to specifications set forth by the British Ministry of Defense. These watches had to be legible, compact, and able to withstand exposure to the magnetic fields emitted by instruments in an airplane’s cockpit. The Mark XI, therefore, had a black dial with large luminous Arabic numbers, and the Calibre 89 movement (regarded as perhaps the best mechanical movement ever produced) was encased in an iron cage.
The Mark XI served as the basis for design inspiration for a robust line of pilot’s watches still being produced today – easily identifiable by their clean, uncluttered dials, robust cases, and outstanding quality.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
IWC Pilot Collection Mark XVIII 'Le Petit Prince'