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Thread: IWC Pilot's Chronograph reliability query

  1. #1
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    Northern Ireland
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    IWC Pilot's Chronograph reliability query

    Hi all,

    I'm strongly considering buying the IWC Pilot's Chronograph 41mm announced at Watches and Wonders:

    (Photo from Monochrome watches Instagram)



    I've always liked IWC pilots and the new size should work much better for me. The tool free link removal and micro adjustment on the tapering bracelet are great improvements, I think.

    I wanted to ask if any members have experience of the in house chronograph movement used (69385 Calibre)? I'd be grateful for any feedback on its reliability. I read on another forum that there have been problems and I'd be interested to know if that's widespread. I think the same movement was used in the 41mm Spitfire models so hopefully IWC have had a chance to fix the issues by now.

    I've been burned before with a problem with an in house chronograph which the service centre struggled to fix - I'd be keen to avoid a similar problem here! Thanks very much for any help.

  2. #2
    Master Qatar-wol's Avatar
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    The 69385 Calibre is just a Valjoux 7750, so it should be a) reliable, and b) easily serviced by an independent.

    I think the days of IWC ordering in ebauches have passed, and I don't know what IWC do to the movement to call it the 69385, but I certainly wouldn't worry about reliability.

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    Mar 2009
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    Whitstable, UK
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    The IWC 69385 isn’t a Valjoux 7750. It’s a column wheel driven chronograph where as the 7750 is a cam driven chronograph.

    Earlier 7750 based IWC watches had the 60 second counter at 9 o’clock. The watches with the 69385 have it at 6 o’clock.

  4. #4
    Master Qatar-wol's Avatar
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    Oops, you're right. Please disregard my earlier advice!

  5. #5
    Master Rinaldo1711's Avatar
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    I had a 371704 which was solid as a rock - but that was a Valjoux 7750 so I couldn’t speak for this movement.

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    I think my next watch is going to be the Top Gun Pilots Chronograph. It has the 69380 calibre, which is the same version of the calibre from the Spitfire.

    I think it should be fine with the extra six years of warranty when registered on the website.

  7. #7
    I've had, and still have, several IWCs with a variety of movements, some in-house and others reworked/refined well established calibres - I have never had a problem with any of them.

  8. #8
    Apprentice
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    Oct 2020
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    Northern Ireland
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    Thanks all - it's reassuring to hear some decent feedback. Hopefully the negative stories I heard were relatively isolated. IWC's lengthy warranty should help but I guess that's only if their customer service is up to scratch!

    My negative experience was with a Breitling. It went in for a service under warranty to correct a problem with the chronograph. When it was finally returned after a long delay it hadn't been fixed! It went back to Breitling for a second attempt. Again, the service took ages. When it was finally returned the problem had been fixed but I could see small, hair line marks where the case back had been opened. I appreciate this is only one example but I won't be buying another watch from them which is a shame - their new models are looking good.

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