Friday, September 17, 2010

My Grail Watch #5: IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph

2 years ago or so, one of my friends Gary showed me an IWC Portuguese Chronograph and I was in awe of its aesthetics and being a mechanical engineer, was more in awe of the makings and windings of the watch. This started in me a passion for looking and reading, not necessarily owning, watches, and the rest as they say is history.

After one Seiko and one Steinhart automatic, both of which I really love, I still have in my head a list of what I believe would make my own perfect collection. This list is not necessarily in order...

Read complete list of my favorite watches here

IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph

My love affair with the IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph began late last year when I walked into the IWC boutique in GB5 looking for a Portofino Chronograph. The sales lady told me then that the Portofino Chrono was not available but there was a Pilot Chrono that was previously spoken for but became available because the buyer backed out.

Initially I was hesitant to try it on because it looked thick (14.7mm)  and massive (42mm). But try it on I did and oh boy, was I in love. The seemingly large case sat perfectly on my wrist and the black croc strap hugged my wrist as if not wanting to let go. The utilitarian look of the dial was brilliantly laid out, and availability of the day and date functions, sandwiched by the words IWC Shaffhausen, made it ideal for everyday use. Even though it is undeniably a tool watch, its black face, manageable size, and oh that wonderful black leather strap will make it at home in any function requiring a dress watch.

All-in-all the main reasons why I love the IWC Pilot Chrono include:
  • Being made by IWC, it's definitley got authentic pilot DNA and history. It even has the soft iron inner case that IWC uses for all its pilot watches.
  • Good flexible size. Big at 42mm, but because of today's big watch standard, can still be used as a dress watch.
  • Everything you need in a daily beater: Day and Date, and even a stop clock in case you need it (I probably don't but it makes for a cool conversation piece)
  • I agree that the BP is closer to the original pilot watch, and that the double chronograph has got the more technically complicated timers, but there is something about the lay out of this watch that sings to me. IMHO, the dial looks perfectly balanced and the standard that all Pilot Chronographs will be measured against.
If there was one "chink" to the armor of this fligheuer is that it's movement is not made in-house. That said the 79320 movement, a modified and decorated Valjoux 7750, is not a push over. This automatic movement has got 25 jewels and beats at 28,800 bph with reserve power of 44 hours. The use of the Valjoux movement is also, I would presume, one of the main reasons why the price of the Pilot's Chronograph is a manageable USD4,400. After discount this watch can be had for roughly about USD4000.

Sad to say, the original buyer of the watch called back that same evening and the dream that was the IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph will have to wait.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome information regarding the pilot watch of IWC. I have watch the advertisement of these watches. It simply great to see. Recently I have ordered these watch from Europe. Hope it will be there on next week.

    Patek Philippe Watches



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