In this episode of “What Is On My Wrist” Cam talks about a fan favorite. The IWC Mark 11 (Ref. 6B/346). Mk. XI was a watch born out of rigorous specifications and necessity. As the British Ministry of defense came to realize after the issuance of the famed “Dirty Dozen” timepieces, they came to the conclusion that these watches just weren’t accurate or durable enough for their pilots. So in 1947, the British Ministry of Defense created the 6B/346 navigation watch standard which became known as Mk. XI. Both IWC and JLC produced watches under the 6B/346 specification. The JLC Mk. XI was discontinued in 1953 and IWC then become the sole supplier, outfitting RAF Pilot’s until the watches were decommissioned in 1981.
The Mk. XI’s were initially produced with radium dials however it’s almost impossible to find them with their original dials as they were serviced every year, and as time went on the MOD’s specifications required improvements. Such as the use of tritium, which is why the IWC Mk. XI’s seen today featured the matte black “circle-t” dials that have become synonymous with British military watches and indicate the use of tritium as the luminous material.
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