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IWC Pilot Mark Series

  1. Lotus_Eater8815

    Lotus_Eater8815 Nov 1, 2019

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    I’ve been thinking about upgrading my generic Seiko beater to an IWC pilot. The watch will sit perfectly between my toolish diver and chronograph, and dressier inherited vintage pieces. It will also be a kind of holidays/birthday present for myself and an exit watch at the same time, since my kids and house will take up most of my income for the next 10 years.

    I’ve been looking at the MK XII and the MK XV, and I was wondering if any OF members own any or both of these watches. I’ve read that the JLC-based IWC 884/2 in the MK XII is a bit temperamental and harder to service compared to the ETA-based movement in the MK XV. What has been your experience with this? I really, really like the 36mm MK II (I have 6.5”-6.75” wrists) but would the MK XV actually make for a better everyday no-frills watch?

    I’ve also looked at the MK XVI and the new 36mm pilot (allegedly a ladies’ watch), but I prefer the earlier handset design.

    Thoughts (and pics!) are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. dbfagan

    dbfagan Nov 22, 2019

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    I have a Mark XII, my second actually. I have heard the same about the movement but have never experienced any problems. The pundits say it was IWC’s last great pilot’s watch, I just think it looks awesome.
     
    297FFAC8-3672-4CD1-BB13-FD500C435F15.jpeg
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  3. Lotus_Eater8815

    Lotus_Eater8815 Nov 25, 2019

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    That looks killer. Not to mention minimal stretch on that bracelet! What happened to the first?
     
  4. zoohannover

    zoohannover Nov 25, 2019

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    I have a Mark XV and really love it. Dial, hands, case and the size are perfect for me.
    I wear it either on the beads of rice bracelet or on a Nato.

    FullSizeRender 4.jpg

    Since the movement is based on the ETA 2892-A2, my watchmaker “around the corner” can revise the watch and the costs for it remain manageable.


    Here is a service price list from IWC with a price difference of 200 CHF between the Mark XII (base Jaeger-LeCoultre 889/2) and the Mark VXII (base ETA 2892) only for servicing:
    https://www.iwc.com/content/dam/service/service-prices/service_pricelist_EN.pdf
    (I think that does not include parts.)


    Regarding the Mark XII there is a nice article about it by Michael Stockton:
    https://www.fratellowatches.com/tbt-iwc-mark-xii/
    For me much of what is described here also applies to the Mark XV.
     
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  5. WatchCor

    WatchCor Nov 25, 2019

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    I owned the Mark XII , it was a excellent watch. Time passed and I passed it on in favor of something else.

    I will say however that the rumours that the MkXII movement being a bit tricky to service are correct.

    I sent it to IWC for routine maintenance and I got back a piece that had a stuck date disc and an inability to adjust the hands except when they were between 10 and 1 hour marks.:rolleyes: The irony is that it was working nicely untill the service.

    Needless to say that I sent it back and they fixed it but it was gone for nearly 5 months in total when you take into account both of the service trips to IWC Service centre.

    For ease of maintenance I suggest the Mark XV. However, if you want a watch with a classic size (and movement) and a bit more WIS status pick the Mark XII. The maintenance worries are lessened if you have a watch maker who knows the movement.

    If it was me choosing I'd pick the Mark XII with BOR bracelet. Prices are quite manageable, service cost might be slightly higher though.
     
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  6. dbfagan

    dbfagan Nov 25, 2019

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    I sold it to fund something else, I can’t even remember what it was. It took a few years to realize that I missed it. So, I spent the next couple of years scouring eBay to find a replacement. It’s just one of those watches that I will always have. It may be small by today’s standards but is still very wearable, especially with the bracelet.
     
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  7. WatchCor

    WatchCor Nov 25, 2019

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    You didn't by coincidence happen to buy the replacement one from me? :D
     
    Edited Nov 25, 2019
  8. dbfagan

    dbfagan Nov 25, 2019

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    If you are Fredrik then it’s quite possible:)
     
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  9. WatchCor

    WatchCor Nov 25, 2019

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    That's me. :D. God darn, it is nice to see you enjoying and wearing that watch. Glad it went to a fellow collector and a ΩF member. The BOR bracelet is an absolut stunner.

    I'm not saying I regret selling it to you but by god it looks good. Please do NOT post anymore photos of it or I will start to miss it :p .
     
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  10. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Nov 26, 2019

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    Well, I serviced a Mk XV some years ago (ETA 2892 based movement) and it had been back to IWC twice. What I found was work sloppy enough that I question if the person doing it had ever been formally trained. To give you just some idea of how bad things were, these are shots of the inner anti-magnetic cover...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If it's not obvious, there should not be fingerprints on these parts, so maybe IWC doesn't issue finger cots to their watchmakers...

    In any case, a watch that didn't work right from the day it was purchased from what the owner told me, and had been back twice for service to IWC and still wasn't right, worked fine after I serviced it. And to be clear I didn't do anything special - I just gave it a proper routine service, and it worked great.

    So I'm not so sure the cause of any service problems are really because the movement, but maybe the watchmakers they hire for their service centers.

    One thing to consider on the ETA (now Sellita) based watches, is that there are some pretty convincing fakes out there. I've had one in my shop and it didn't have the normal set of tells on the dial - it came down to the movement. So the JLC based watch is less likely to be a fake if you can get a shot of the movement. Just one other thing to think about.

    Cheers, Al
     
  11. Vercingetorix

    Vercingetorix Nov 26, 2019

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    Frank Moses wore a MKXVI. 22769945-369A-46E6-8B78-828AE0EC6F22.jpeg
     
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  12. scapa

    scapa Nov 28, 2019

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    I've only owned the XV and (briefly) a Pilot Chrono (too large and unwieldy on my wrist). The XV is a fine all-rounder, with proper proportions in relation to the case size. I didn't experience any problems with the watch during my time of ownership. If I were buying an IWC pilot now I'd be looking at the Spitfires, I think.
     
  13. Lotus_Eater8815

    Lotus_Eater8815 Dec 8, 2019 1:36am

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    That is a great reference, thanks! The servicing costs for the Mark XII looks pretty prohibitive. Was talking to a seller who just got his Mark XII back from his watchmaker and the latter advised him that service intervals was somewhere between 3-5 years. Seems like a pretty short interval.

    I am leaning towards a Mark XII, mainly due to fact that I would like to add a piece from the Richemont side of the fence to my collection. I already have a nice vintage omega from the Swatch/ETA side.
     
  14. Lotus_Eater8815

    Lotus_Eater8815 Dec 8, 2019 1:39am

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    Wow, thanks for that. I knew there were “reps” (detestable term and practice) out there, but I didn’t realize they were that good. So the Mark XII is less likely to be faked? Is there any safe way for a prospective online non-watchmaker buyer like me to tell if the watch was legit, assuming I can get the seller to pry open the caseback for me?
     
  15. Lotus_Eater8815

    Lotus_Eater8815 Dec 8, 2019 1:42am

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    Something about the Spitfires just don’t seem right to me. I think deep down I want a reference that is more true to the fliegeruhr’s roots. Besides, I haven’t found any that are under 39mm? Unless you count the Rake Revolution which I find is just too expensive.
     
  16. Lotus_Eater8815

    Lotus_Eater8815 Dec 8, 2019 5:36am

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    I forgot to ask, are the Mark XII or Mark XV instant date change at 12:00 midnight? Or are they gradual change between 12:00 MN and 3:00 AM?
     
  17. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Dec 8, 2019 9:57am

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    The one I had that was a fake was a Mark XVI, that had an ETA movement in it. It didn't have an IWC movement number on it anywhere, and the finishing of the bridges and wheels wasn't the same as the other IWC's I'd serviced. In addition it had a nickel gilt balance instead of the higher grade Glucydur balance...

    Externally it was a very good copy, and as I mentioned didn't have the normal tells on the dial and case. But the dial and case for this watch is very simple, so not difficult for fakers to get right.

    I think the way to minimize your risk is to buy from a reputable seller, and then see if IWC will authenticate it for you.

    Not sure about the Mk. XII, but anything with the ETA or Sellita movement will have a semi-instantaneous date change. The date will begin to move shortly before midnight, then flip at or close to midnight.

    Cheers, Al
     
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  18. w154

    w154 Dec 9, 2019 12:50pm

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    I used my mark XV daily for the best part of 7 years and it never missed a beat (that is until I dropped it). Although I haven’t had it repaired yet I’m pretty confident it should be a simple and low cost job. They make great daily wearers and I’d say the size is spot on. I used a UTC buffalo strap on mine and even that survived the 7 years without failure.

    E997EB6F-4EC0-4ACA-AF06-AE07407859B0.jpeg
     
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  19. Lotus_Eater8815

    Lotus_Eater8815 Dec 9, 2019 4:37pm

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    The first one’s a fake Mark XV I saw on Facebook. Not a very good attempt. On the other hand, the second pic is of a ridiculously good replica of the Tudor BB36. (Cropped the pic to deny publicity of these abhorrent things). I always thought fake/replica makers went after Rolex. I guess For IWC the importance of the rule of buying the seller exponentially increases as you move up the horological ladder.

    Thanks for the info as to the date change, Archer. I’ve looked and looked and couldn’t find anything on that; it’s harder to find than the lug to lug measurements of the Mark XV/XII. For some reason, I can’t see/access threads on the official IWC forum when I do a search.
     
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  20. Lotus_Eater8815

    Lotus_Eater8815 Dec 9, 2019 4:43pm

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    Interesting. The watch fell out of your rotation? :) Great looking watch on a drool worthy strap! I thought they only made those for the TZC/UTC 3251. Did they make those for the Mark XV/XII as well?