Earlier this year, IWC quietly dropped the new Mark XX. No press release, fanfare, or announcement. Honestly, it was kind of refreshing – in a world where brands often seem to shout from the mountaintop about every little tweak made, it felt almost anachronistic for a brand to just throw new perfect US replica watches on its website, waiting for us to pick up on it.
Well, pick up on it we did, and pretty quickly. For such a simple watch, the IWC Mark Series has always invited as many opinions as there are people, and that’s fair enough for what’s one of the most classic, accessible model lines around. After World War II, IWC (and for a short time, Jaeger-LeCoultre) started producing the Mark XI as a simple, no-nonsense pilot’s cheap fake watches for the British Ministry of Defense powered by IWC’s vaunted caliber 89. Towards the end of the Mark XI’s run, IWC also produced some for commercial sale. Soon after the discontinuation of the Mark XI, IWC continued the model line with the Mark XII, then the Mark XV, and so on (they skipped 13 and 14 since they’re considered unlucky in parts of the world, so we’ll go easy on them for skipping 19 this time around).
Without mincing words: The Mark XX is a better watch than the Mark XVIII we’ve had since 2016. And hey, at $6,150 on a bracelet ($5,250 on a strap) – $750 more than the old Mark XVIII – it better be. Most of the changes are subtle, but together, they make for high quality replica watches that’s mechanically superior and looks (and wears) more refined. But is that enough?
Since we introduced the IWC Mark XX back in July, the brand has filled out the collection to include a total of six variants: three dial colors – matte black, sunburst blue, and sunburst green – with or without a bracelet. I went hands-on with the black and green on a bracelet, alongside the Mark XVIII (and my own Mark XII), and we were able to capture photos of the blue dial on a strap (the photos you see in this article).
Let’s start with the aesthetics of the new Mark XX. Like the Mark XVIII, the Mark XX has a 40mm diameter, but it has a lug-to-lug of 49mm, about 2mm shorter than the XVIII, making for better-proportioned copy watches for sale. While the Mark XVIII was on the brink of being too big as an everyday watch (for me), this tweak pushes the Mark XX firmly into “yep, I could wear this every day without really thinking about it” territory.
For fear of being categorized a “Vintage Obsessive” by our own Style Editor, I won’t spill my fountain pen’s ink all over this page complaining about how top IWC replica watches really needs to bring back the Mark Series in 36mm and the Mark XI or XII was the perfect iteration of the Mark Series. Instead, I’ve saved all those – let’s call them suggestions – for the end. If you’ve watched The Wire, think of it as my personal Hamsterdam: Confining all illicit, Vintage Obsessive activities onto one corner so it doesn’t disturb the rest of the neighborhood (this hands-on review). We’ll save the Vintage Obsessive’s Hamsterdam for the end.
The Mark XX also shaved some thickness off the case, from 11mm to 10.8mm, hardly noticeable in person. However, the bracelet’s also been updated – it feels a bit thinner and drapes on the wrist a little more naturally. More importantly, the bracelet has five tool-free micro-adjustments, an important detail that’s thankfully (finally) starting to feel like a standard spec on luxury fake watches at this price point. The Mark XX also features IWC’s quick-release strap system, especially important for a watch like this that’s designed to be worn on a strap or a bracelet. My advice (as always): Buy it on the bracelet and get some nice after-market straps to play around with.
As with the case, there are some changes to the dial that make it more balanced. Let’s start where I know the opinions will: The date window. I haven’t set a date window since…well, I guess I can’t tell if I haven’t set the date now, can I? But while I might prefer a watch without a date window – I’ve read enough early Hodinkee articles to have been properly brainwashed – it’s never stopped me from buying great replica watches wholesale that happens to have a date window (more on my love of the properly date-windowed Mark XII below). Since it’s all relative: The Mark XX has a better-executed date window than the Mark XVII. Basically accepting that the Mark Series has to have a date window nowadays for some combination of mostly commercial reasons, the Mark XX’s is pretty good.
The most noticeable change to the dial is that every dial iteration of the China super clone IWC Mark XX watches now has a contrasting white date wheel. Usually, I’d be partial to the blend-it-in approach of the black-dial Mark XVIII, where the date wheel is the same color as the dial (if you have to have a window, make it discreet). But here, I think the white date wheel balances out all of the other white print on the dial. This is where the other changes on the dial come in. Everything else has been moved closer to the center of the dial; the numerals align better with that pesky date window, making the window fit in a bit more seamlessly with the rest of the design (honestly, I still think the date window is a touch too close to the center; perhaps this is a technical limitation, and not a design choice). The minute markers beside the three, six, and nine have all been lengthened (they were squares like the rest of the thick markers on the Mark XVIII). Even the 12 o’clock marker and IWC logo have been adjusted, leaving less awkward negative space. Together, these small tweaks make the dial feel more balanced; look at the Mark XVIII next to the Mark XX and some of the XVIII’s negative space just looks awkward by comparison. Oh, and the hands stand out more now too: they’re rhodium-plated instead of matte black. Again, all of these are relatively minor changes, but together, they’re enough to add up to a new edition of the Mark Series.
Okay, enough about date windows (but really, is it ever?). As far as specs, the Mark XX has a couple that are a real upgrade from the Mark XVIII: 100m of water resistance (up from 60m), and a five-day power reserve.
Of course, the latter gets us to the movement. The 2022 replica IWC Mark XX watches features a new movement, the IWC caliber 32111 supplied by Richemont-owned movement manufacturer ValFleurier, which I suppose means it’s in-house, depending on your definition of “house” (and “in”). What doesn’t depend on semantics though, is the specs, which are a step up from the Mark XVIII’s Sellita-based movement. It sits hidden behind an engraved caseback (and a soft iron covering), but IWC says the movement has Côtes de Genève and perlage finishing. No mention or promise seems to be made regarding the caliber’s accuracy.
Noted field adventurer James Stacey once said, “For me, a field watch has to be as useful and reliable as possible while also managing to disappear on wrist when you don’t need it.” If that’s the test for what makes a good field watch – and it’s as good as any I’ve heard – the pilot’s-watch-cum-field-watch Mark XX certainly passes.