The legendary IWC Mark XI aviator's watch was a “cult watch”. Produced from 1948 until the early eighties, the Mark XI was never available to the public. Sensing an opportunity in the 1990s, IWC introduced a civilian version in 1993, the Mark XII. Over the following decades, IWC produced the Mark XV, larger Mark XVI, and this Mark XVII.
The most notable feature of the Mark XVII, apart from the larger 41 mm case, is the “triple date” window, which was said to resemble a cockpit altimeter. After the clean and balanced Mark XVI, however, this feature tended to clutter the dial and proved quite controversial. The following Mark XVIII returned to a cleaner look reminiscent of the preceding models.
A Le Petit Prince version of the Mark XVII has a blue sunburst dial and applied numerals.