The first time I ever read anything about the IWC Mark series, it was thanks to (of course) everyone’s favorite non-watchmaker watch writer, the inimitable Walt Odets, who in his series, “Tweaking The Mark XII” called that particular Mark “every non-pilot’s favorite pilot’s watch.” I wasn’t so much interested in the Mark XII as I was interested in what you’d do to tweak a movement so as to wring the best possible precision out of it, at least at first, but like many, I gradually began to find the simplicity, clarity, legibility, and history of the Mark XII irresistible and like many, I’ve followed the evolution of the Mark series ever since then with avid interest.
Overall, the Mark XVIII is one of those Replica Watches that you can simply wear every day, without taking any particular notice of it, which I mean as a compliment. Over the time I wore it it quickly became a matter of habit to pick it up, put it on my wrist, and pretty much forget that it was there unless I needed to check the time. At 40 mm in diameter, and 11mm thick, it’s a watch that has enough substance, and size, to feel and look reassuringly solid when you glance at it, but not to a degree that calls attention to itself in any way when you aren’t using it as it was intended to be used.
A big part of the easy wearing experience is the strap, which is a black strip of pretty heavy-duty feeling calfskin, made by Santoni for IWC Replica Watches, with an eye-catching orange lining. You don’t see it at all when you’ve got the watch on, of course, but the little flash of color you get when you take the Mark XVIII off adds that much more character to the wearing experience. A little touch, but a nice one. The strap, like the watch, has a very substantial feel, and it’s a little stiff at first although it starts to break in nicely after a couple of days. I suspect it’ll age very nicely and become comfortably supple without losing any of its toughness after a few weeks of regular wear, and like the watch itself, it manages to convey a feeling of being able to tolerate hard use, but also not call too much attention to itself. The strap and the watch together definitely feel like a piece of trustworthy equipment.
The time is, as it should be, instantly legible, pretty much under any lighting conditions you could possibly imagine, from direct sunlight to total darkness, thanks to the high contrast dial and generous application of lume on the dial. It’s not as torch-bright as some of the most brightly illuminated IWC Fake Watches I’ve worn, but even after the first bright glow of charged Super Luminova wears off, you can see what time it is just fine. This is a very, very versatile watch as well, thanks to the simplicity and utilitarian nature of the design. Now, about that date window. My impression over the years has been that it is very hard to add a date window to a Mark watch without irreversibly ticking some people off, and deploring the use of any date window on a Mark series timepiece goes all the way back to the Mark XII, which was (of course) deplored in some quarters for diluting the austere beauty of the Mark XI with a reminder of the current date – in white, no less. I don’t think anyone would argue that the position of the date window in the Cheap IWC Replica Mark XVIII is going to rub some of us the wrong way. The two basic objections are to its placement and to its being there at all.
I don’t feel especially passionately on the subject either way. Very often the watch I happen to have on doesn’t have a date guichet, but (and this is just a personal note) I tend to forget the date and I don’t mind having it there on the Mark XVIII. In principle I definitely sympathize with those who wish it weren’t there at all, but in practice I found it something I could simply ignore, and in real life it didn’t bother me in the least. I will say though, that if you hate it in pictures, you’re probably not going to stop hating it if you have the Fake Watches Mark XVIII on your wrist.