Price: $6,400
Availability: 500 numbered pieces available via the Hodinkee Shop or select IWC boutiques
Movement: IWC 35100
Winding: Automatic
Case Diameter: 39mm
Case Thickness: 10.8mm
Case Material: IWC Ceratanium
Water Resistance: 60m
Unique Features: Light and scratch-resistant Ceratanium material; no date; in-house automatic movement; limited edition for HODINKEE

Upshot: Announced today, several of the International Watch Company’s strongest characteristics come together in a limited-edition watch made in collaboration with famed online horological resource HODINKEE. HODINKEE’s readership includes many serious watch collectors, and features like historical reference, special materials, functional designs, and dials specifically with no date display tend to be well received. The new IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “HODINKEE” has all these elements, as well as an in-house IWC automatic movement. The Ceratanium case material (a special ceramic-titanium composition) has only been used on a few IWC watches previously and has truly useful properties. HODINKEE has been very successful collaborating with a number of prestigious watch brands on special editions lately, but this is the first IWC x HODINKEE project, which has been two years in development.

Who It’s For: You don’t have to be a collector of HODINKEE limited editions to admire this IWC-built offering, but choices made in developing this limited edition clearly cater to the tastes of seasoned watch collectors. A certain level of horological education is probably required to appreciate the high-tech materials, the connection to its 1948 Mark 11 pilot’s watch lineage, and the IWC movement inside (featuring a 42-hour power reserve). Those who jump to get one of the 500 available pieces will probably tend to be fans of tool watches and the wearable 39mm sizing — as well as those have the requisite budget, of course.

First Take: The tough, no-nonsense style of IWC’s pilot watches is easy to appreciate. While each of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “HODINKEE” watch’s elements exists in the IWC catalog, they have been combined here in a thoughtful way and in a coherent package. An interesting case material and solid movement only add to the attraction, though of course, also to the watch’s price. This likely won’t be a problem, however, considering the audience the watch is meant for and the limited production numbers.

Insight: The new IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “HODINKEE” is probably the simplest watch yet to feature IWC’s proprietary material Ceratanium. Ceratanium is said to combine the best properties of ceramic and titanium, making for a watch case material that neither scratches nor breaks — and, like both materials, is very lightweight. Further, this application is in a slick matte black finish (as are all watches to feature the material thus far) well suited to its pragmatic military character. The olive green calfskin strap’s buckle is also made of Ceratanium.

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII is the modern descendent of the collector-favorite Mark 11 originally from 1948. This version channels that DNA strongly and differentiates itself from the current XVIII lineup, particularly with its dial and hands. Yellow “aged”-style luminescent material for the hands and 3-6-9-12 indices further drives home the vintage theme. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “HODINKEE” is available through the HODINKEE Store or from select IWC boutiques and is limited to 500 numbered pieces.

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