1948 Jaeger leCoultre Mark XI ref. 6B/346 Royal Air Force.
The Ministry of Defense in the 1940s developed a specification for military issue wristwatches. In all there were 12 different manufacturers who produced watches to his specification: collectively they are referred to as The Dirty Dozen.
The companies that produced accepted versions were: Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, JLC, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex.
Mark 11s are housed in a stainless steel case, marked “Staybrite on JLCs, with a screwed back. As James Dowling pointed out, “the Mark 11 can make a claim to be the first wristwatches in the world designed from scratch to be anti magnetic. Both JLC and IWC feature a very thick iron dial, which is cup shaped and so covers the side of the movement; the movement iron cover is similarly shaped and rises to meet the dial sides. This means that the movement is completely encased in a non magnetic “Faraday cage”, thereby providing a high degree of anti magnetic shielding.
International Watch Co., also known as IWC, is a luxury Swiss watch manufacturer located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and founded by American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868.
In 1991 IWC director Gnter Blmlein founded the LMH Group with its headquarters in Schaffhausen. With a 100% stake in IWC, 60% in Jaeger LeCoultre and 90% in the Saxony-based watchmaking company of A. Lange & Shone, the Group employed some 1440 persons.
In July 2000, LMH was acquired by Richemont, a Zug-based luxury goods group, for CHF 2.8 bn. Despite the takeover by Richemont, IWC was guaranteed that it would continue to be managed by the same executives from the LMH Group.
photos by Zaf Basha