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IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph 3878

The Pilot's Watch Chronograph (Ref. 3878) is a pilot's watch automatic chronograph produced by IWC from 2012 through 2015.

Overview

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. But this was not the first civilian “flieger” from IWC. In 1988 the company introduced the Pilot's Watch Chronograph Mechaquartz model, with a Doppelchronograph added in 1992. The Mechaquartz was replaced by the Pilot's Watch Chronograph, Ref. 3706 in 1994, then the Ref. 3717 in 2006.

The 2012 launch of the Pilot's Watch Mark XVII spurred the release of two new Chronograph models. The Ref. 3777 continued with the ETA-based Cal. 79320 while this Ref. 3878 introduced a new in-house flyback movement, Cal. 89365. Both chronograph models use.a 43 mm case, but the Ref. 3878 is obviously different with its two-register (6 and 12) dial layout.

Most examples of Ref. 3878 are in the Spitfire sub-model line, with applied numerals, a raised chapter ring and markers, and special hands. The Spitfire models also feature the “triple date” window at 3 00 like the Pilot's Watch Mark XVII. This would prove a controversial addition across the IWC Pilot's Watch line, and many prefer the “Antoine De Saint Exupery” models which have no date at all.

The new movement is part of IWC's Cal. 89000 family with a flyback function, Pellaton winding, and 68 hours of power reserve. This advanced movement added significantly to the cost of these models, however, and many buyers turned to the contemporary Ref. 3777 instead. Indeed, the Ref. 3878 was not continued after 2015. It is only the launch of the Pilot's Watch Chronograph Spitfire in 2019 that there is a direct replacement for this model.

References:

  • IW3878-01 (2012-2015) Stainless steel case, grey dial with applied white markings, “triple date”, brown crocodile strap
  • IW3878-02 (2012-2015) Stainless steel case, grey dial with applied white markings, “triple date”, brown crocodile strap
  • IW3878-03 (2012-2015) Rose gold case, grey dial with applied white markings, “triple date”, brown crocodile strap
  • IW3878-04 (2012-2015) Stainless steel case, grey dial with applied white markings, “triple date”, steel bracelet
  • IW3878-05 “Antoine de Saint Exupery” (2012-2015) Rose gold case, brown dial with applied white markings, no date, brown leather strap, limited edition of 500 pieces
  • IW3878-06 “Antoine de Saint Exupery” (2012-2015) Stainless steel case, brown dial with applied white markings, no date, brown leather strap
  • IW3878-08 “Collector's Watch” (2017) Stainless steel case, black dial with applied beige markings, date only, brown leather strap, limited edition of 250 pieces
  • IW3878-09 “JU-Air” (2014) Stainless steel case, silver dial with applied white markings, “triple date” only, black crocodile leather strap, limited edition of 500 pieces
  • IW3878-10 “Tribeca Film Festival” (2014) Stainless steel case, grey dial with applied white markings and red subdials, “triple date” only, black crocodile leather strap, limited edition of 100 pieces
  • IW3878-11 “Tribeca Film Festival” (2014) Rose gold case, grey dial with applied white markings and red subdials, “triple date” only, black crocodile leather strap, unique piece
  • IW3878-12 “London Film Festival” (2016) Stainless steel case, silver dial with applied blue markings, date only, blue crocodile leather strap, limited edition of 60 pieces

Movement:

Case:

Dial:

  • Luminous indexes (triangle at 12 o'clock)
  • Arabic numerals
  • Steel hours and minutes hand, coated with luminous color
  • Painted seconds hands

Functions:

Bracelet:

  • Metal bracelet or leather strap

Production:

See Also

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iwc_pilot_s_watch_chronograph_3878.txt · Last modified: 11.10.2021 16:34 (external edit)

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