Rare IWC Mark XI RAF Pilots Hooked 7 6b/346 c.1952

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The Watch
 
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Shortly after WW2 (1946), the British Air Ministry put out a call for new Wrist Watches for their Pilots. These watches were required to have the following: A matte black dial with white fixtures and the four quarterly hour markers luminized, a high grade Swiss movement capable of 36 hours power reserve and chronometer spec timekeeping, a water resistant case, a Faraday cage for anti-magnetic purposes and an acrylic crystal with a retaining screw. Two manufacturers answered this bell: IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. Mark XI watches began to be issued in 1948 to Pilots across the British Empire.
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IWC produced around 8000 examples of the Mark XI for the Air Ministry over a 4 year period 1948-1952.  7400 of these were delivered to the RAF,  600 to the RAAF (Australia) over the 4 years.
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Originally, these Mark XI Wristwatches were issued with Radium Dials, due to safety concerns in the early 60s they were recalled from their Pilots Wrists and fitted with Tritium Dials and amongst these replacement dials was a rare variation which was later to be donned the "Hooked Seven". The vast majority of these replacement dials had a seven with a flat top, however a very small number had a seven that hooked slightly and this small variation is extremely sought after amongst the military watch community.
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View this Hooked Pilot in a video: here

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The Specs


Age: c.1952
Movement: Manual wind with Hacking Centre Seconds.
Calibre: 89.
Timekeeping: Very good.
Service History: Last known as 2021.
Dial: Original IWC Tritium Military Specification Replacement Dial.
Case: Stainless Steel. Evidence of Previous Polishing.
Measurements: without/with Crown: 36mm/39mm End to End: 46.5mm
Bezel: Solid.
Water Resistant?: No.
Hands: Original.
Crystal: Correct Acrylic crystal. Possibly Original.
Crown: Correct Original unsigned Crown.
Strap/Bracelet: New Khaki NATO Strap with Steel fixtures.
Lug Width: 18mm. Fixed Bars.


Getting Acquainted

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Bits that stand out:
- Issued to a Royal Air Force pilot, can you get any cooler?
- Rare Dial Variant.
- 36mm Case.
-Dial is in lovely age related order.
-Hacking Seconds.

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Nitty Gritty:
- Evidence of previous Polishing to the Case.
-Some very tiny marks to the Dial. 

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Overall this IWC Pilot is in nice Vintage condition.
The Dial is in very good condition, with a few very faint marks to the dial.
Case has evidence of previous polishing.
Caseback markings are in lovely order.
Original Crown.
Crystal in good shape. Possibly original.
Hands are in lovely shape.
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Photographed on a 7in Wrist.