IWC PILOT'S WATCHES
Watch Time|January/February 2022
New chronographs in compact 41-mm stainless steel cases, with green or blue dials and encasing manufacture Caliber 69385, complete the Pilot's Watch collection from this Schaffhausen based brand.

A Chronograph Movement Designed To be Robust and Suitable for Everyday Use

On the Pilot's Watch Chronograph 41 with green dial, our test watch, the progress of the seconds is shown with a small red hand on a subdial at 6 o'clock. The red color makes it easy to distinguish this seconds hand from the chronograph's elapsed-time hands. When the chronograph is switched on, the elapsing seconds are shown with a slender steel needle at the center of the dial, while the elapsing minutes are tallied on a subdial at 12 o'clock. The small white hand for the elapsed minutes advances position farther along each time the elapsed seconds hand passes its zero position, i.e., every 60 seconds. As stated earlier, the elapsed hours are counted on a subdial 9 o'clock, where an identical small white hand advances slowly and continuously. This hand's gradual progress indicates that it is powered by the same basic construction in Caliber 69000 as in ETA/Valjoux's Caliber 7750. But there are a few differences. After all, the automatic column-wheel chronograph movement is a modern, newly designed caliber.

Manufacture Caliber 69385 inside the Pilot's Watch Chronograph 41 consists of 231 individual components and, like every IWC Pilot's Watch, was designed with a focus on robustness, reliability and precision. This is also why the chronograph, which can be used totally intervals of up to 12 hours' duration, is controlled by a column wheel. This complex component with two functional levels remains a challenge to manufacture, although modern design and production methods make the processes involved in its fabrication easier today.

A traditional rocking pinion alternately couples and uncouples the going-train from the chronograph. The energy, on the other hand, is provided by a modern, double-acting, self-winding system with a pawl. But this is not the winding system that's named after IWC's former engineer Albert Pellaton, which is still used in the calibers of the 89000 series. Rather, the bidirectional click winding system installed here results from a recent development within the Richemont Group. This innovative system efficiently converts kinetic energy from the motions of the wearer's wrist into tension for the mainspring, which provides a 46-hour power reserve when fully wound. This is not an unusually long-running autonomy by today's standards as contemporary chronograph calibers often offer greater power reserves. For example, the ETA/ Valjoux movement, modernized to Caliber A05, offers 60 hours, as does the updated El Primero 3600 or Caliber 9900 in Omega's Master Chronometer. Breitling's Caliber B01 offers 70 hours and Heuer' Calibre 02 provides 80 hours of power autonomy.

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