When the idea was first launched that we would cooperate with IWC on auctioning a rare-in-this-condition Porsche Design by the fake IWC Ocean 2000 ref 3504 for charity, a name quickly emerged as someone to consult with on the process.
No matter when we would speak about these special replica watches, well before this chance arose, his excitement and energy level rose alarmingly. It’s only natural that now, only 12 hours from the end of the auction of the Porsche Design by IWC Ocean 2000 ref 3504, that we unleash the geek beast in Carson and offer you a couple more — I would say fairly salient — reasons to take it off the market for an affordable price.
- Do you think it’s undervalued at present?
I have to say that the past decade was very much into large chunky watch replicas. You can see the trend is now turning back to 41mm or even smaller. And these contributed to the “sleeper” status of the Ocean 2000. Yes, of course, I think the Ocean 2000 is undervalued but don’t expect that to last forever!
- What makes the replica Porsche Design by IWC Ocean 2000 a collectible piece?
The Ocean 2000 reflects a very special period of time in the IWC/Porsche heritage. It was also one of the few that can bear 2000m of water pressure. So much so that even the military was using them.
- How strong could you expect a recently serviced 25-year-old piece like this to still be?
Due to the design (depending on the shape of the case and the simplistic approach of not having the helium escape valve, another topic for future discussion), it is likely to have a good ability to stand up to the test.
- As a watch fan, what would you suppose someone you came across wearing an Ocean 2000? What kind of people do you think wears this watch?
Oh, if someone is wearing an Ocean 2000, I know they must be a watch lover. I think John Mayer would have one (don’t ask me how I know).
- This fake watch looks stupendously, in fact, charmingly, over-engineered. Do they make watches like this anymore?
There are over-engineered modern watches but not many that are done tastefully and elegantly. Imagine today, any diver watch that can go to 2000m will for sure be very big and solid!
Believe it or not, when you think of pilot’s watches, the IWC will come to your mind, however when you talk about the IWC replica, you probably think pilot’s watches. That’s to say, the two are definitely linked and have been for the better part of a century. While the replica IWC made watches for aviators before the 1948 introduction of the Mark XI military pilot’s watch, it’s this model that began the lineage that brings us to the IWC pilot’s of today. The watch we have here is an embodiment of that unbroken history, merging the new Mark XVIII with its earliest antecedent.
The full name of this watch is a mouthful – the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Tribute to Mark XI.” For the sake of simplicity and clarity, we’ll be referring to it simply as the Tribute to Mark XI. However, the full moniker reveals that at its core this watch is a thoroughly modern Mark XVIII pilot’s watch, with all that that entails. This means the watch has a stainless steel case that measures 40mm across and 10.8mm thick and that the IWC caliber movement inside is protected by a soft iron inner case for anti-magnetic protection. The center seconds are hacking and there’s a date window at three o’clock.
The usual handset has been swapped for a vintage-inspired set that includes the flat baton hour hand. All the lume on both the hands and the dial has a creamy color reminiscent of aged tritium. Finishing things off is a green nylon NATO strap in place of a bracelet or alligator strap, which is surely a better fit for this tribute to a military legend.
What more, what makes this cheap replica watch special though is that the dial and hands have been changed to recall the mid-century looks of the original Mark XI. This means the matte black dial has four small luminous rectangles at the poles and an inset luminous triangle at 12 o’clock (notice the lack of dots on either side, which you’ll find on all modern IWC pilot’s watches). Look closely and you’ll also see that all the markings around the perimeter of the dial are slimmer and more discrete than those seen on the standard Mark XVIII.
The watch goes on sale July 1, but with a catch – for the first three months, the replica watch is exclusive to Harrods in London. The Tribute to Mark XI is a limited edition of 1,948 pieces, an obvious nod to the original Mark XI’s birth year.