For many years, the classic Pilot’s Chronograph of IWC has been this very watch, the reference IW377709. This streamlined yet large 43mm watch has long been powered by a modified Valjoux 7750 movement and has been basically the entry-level option for anyone wanting a pilot’s chrono from the brand, with the emblematic design. Last year, IWC Schaffhausen brought something new, slightly more compact and powered by a more advanced proprietary movement, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41. Taking the exact same recipe, the brand now discreetly updates the larger model, by launching the new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 43 references IW378001, IW378003 and IW378005.
Let’s make it honest from the beginning. What we’re looking at today is a very subtle evolution, at least visually speaking. Just like last week and the introduction of the new Pilot’s Watch Mark XX collection, we’re talking about small design updates, evolutions on the case and strap system and, for the best part, a new movement. The watch is basically almost identical yet some nice improvements are also to be noted.
To make it short again, this new 2022 Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 43 is basically an enlarged version of the 41mm model, and some of the variations we’ve seen around the topic; including the Spitfire, the Ceratanium Top Gun, the Blue-Bronze edition or the Titanium AMG F1 Team Watch. And this means several important updates compared to the previous version of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 43mm of 2016, which can be summarized like this:
- same 43mm diameter but a now thinner case of 14.8mm (vs. 15.4mm in the past)
- screwed caseback and crown are kept, but now with 100m water-resistance (vs. 60m in the past)
- sapphire caseback to see the movement
- manufacture (ValFleurier) calibre 69385
- new sunray-brushed green and blue colours, in addition to the classic matte black dial
- white date and day wheels on all models
- small seconds now at 6 o’clock (vs. 9 o’clock in the past)
- straps now equipped with the brand’s EasX-CHANGE quick-change system, and compatible with multiple other straps (leather or rubber, in various colours)
If all these updates are minimal when taken separately, it makes for quite some changes when stacking them up. It’s enough to call this 2022 version of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 43 a new watch, since only a few parts will be reutilized from the past edition. The case is more resistant, yet thinner. There are new dial colours, with updated display and more practicality all around.
The movement inside the case isn’t new and has been around the brand’s portfolio since 2016 and the introduction of the revamped Ingenieur collection. Based on the architecture of the emblematic Valjoux 7750 and produced by ValFleurier (Richemont’s shared production facility), it adds robustness and refinement with the switch from a cam-lever system to a smoother column-wheel configuration and a click system close to the Pellaton winding system. This entry-level chronograph movement now replaces all 7750-based calibres and brings a nicer look when seen through the caseback. Specifications are otherwise classic; 4Hz frequency, day-date complication and 46h power reserve.
The new IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 43 models are released with either a classic matte black dial (IW378001) or new sunray-brushed dials in dark blue (IW378003) or dark green (IW378005), all with white Super-LumiNova accents, white day-date discs and a red small seconds hand. Each comes with a 21mm calf leather strap closed by a pin buckle and can be effortlessly changed with IWC’s system.
The new 43mm watches are now available from retailers, boutiques and online and are part of the permanent collection. The retail price is EUR 7,700. For more details and orders, please visit iwc.com.