IWC has partnered with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation for the 12th time to release the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” watch. Announced during the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco, the limited edition run of 1,500 pieces features a black ceramic case with the signature Laureus edition blue sunburst dial. There’s been an IWC watch done for Laureus (a sports-charity organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged children around the world) and this is the follow up to last year’s Da Vinci Chronograph edition.
The Aquatimer reappeared in IWC’s collection in 1997, as part of this mythical GST collection. The new IWC Aquatimer versions features an external dive bezel, like the Ocean 2000. This was IWC’s first dive watch with a mechanical thickness gauge.In 2004, IWC introduced a completely new Aquatimer family of watches. All models featured an inner diving bezel, which wasoperated through a committed crown. The re-issue featured an interior diving bezel, such as its predecessor. (The internal diving bezel and IWC seem to get a small love/hate connection: while the brand recognizes the significance, both functionally in addition to aesthetically, it remains a problem in manufacturing and support.) Along with the new Aquatimer household, a new form of the iconic Deep One, today called the Deep Two, was introduced. This season, IWC brings back the inner rotating dip bezel, which is now, for the very first time, operated by an outside rotating bezel. Each of the brand new watches in the 2014 Aquatimer family feature this very user-friendly diving bezel. Also, a third version of the dip watch with mechanical depth-gauge is released: the Deep Three.
This edition shares the same dimensions as the standard Mark XVIII, a 41mm case at a height of 11mm, with a lug-to-lug of 51mm. Ticking inside the Mark XVIII is the IWC Caliber 35111, an automatic movement based on the Sellita SW300-1, and in true pilot’s watch fashion, the movement is covered with an iron inner case to protect it from magnetism. Continuing their efforts to use ceramic in their cases, and following the trend towards ceramic in Switzerland, IWC has chosen to feature a black ceramic case on this special edition, creating a jet-black look that allows the blue dial to stand out against the ceramic.
Conflicting with this jet-black look, however, is the titanium crown, which is not color-matched or DLC-coated, and disrupts the dark style of the watch. I would have liked to have seen IWC make more of an attempt to blend the crown with the case, rather than leaving it as is. Flanking the titanium caseback is an engraving submitted to IWC as part of its annual drawing competition they host with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, and is themed as “time to be healthy,” pun definitely intended. The watch will also come on an embossed calfskin leather strap, in black of course.
Ceramic cases have most certainly been “in” for the last couple of years, and it seems IWC wants to stay relevant in the ceramic experimentation arms race in Switzerland. I generally view these types of nonprofit collaborations as more of a marketing opportunity for the watch brand, rather than for the benefit of the foundation, but nonetheless, it’s nice to see the luxury community coming around to support what is legitimately a good cause, so a thumbs up there. Those who are feeling the blue and ceramic combo can purchase one of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” watches for $5,650. iwc.com
Though no vanilla scent was present (eg. Isofrane) neither was there any rubber smell. Its only very well designed to smell neutral, no little at all. I love this as a really well produced rubber. The width tapers down slightly (22mm to 20mm) but maintains an almost equivalent depth throughout.Best part about the strap design is the IWC’s rapid change system. Its got a custom metal part made by molding on the rubber and snare. Bad news, it limits your choice to either IWC’s Knife or bracelet, and Nato design straps to some extent. Fantastic news, its really fast, convenient and an innovative design. You’ll notice the spring pin that is usually eliminated during pins change cannot be removed from its place between the lugs. That’s the drawback. I frankly can’t work out how they made it stuck in there in the first location. Well it gets rid of the problem of scratching inner lugs during a strap shift. Every rubber band includes a 4 alphabet sequential printed below the IWC logo. On its other hand, there is a grooved design ensuring better venting and traction with skin, and that I guess better than previous iteration.Buckle is produced with INOX steel, finished in glossy underside and brushed topside. There are 2 keepers.At 14mm height, the case has good heft but not overly bulky on the wrist. Even though a rubber strap is, to me, the best mix for this because of its lightness. Whereas the steel bracelet is a good chunk of steel, I find it adds way too much fat, so I picked for rubber instead.