This IWC Pilot Chronograph (ref. 3777) was reviewed on 10 different criteria. The review is for this specific watch, other models may perform differently. Evaluation is based on my wrist size, personal opinions, experiences, and preferences.
Overall Design | 14 out of 15
Easily recognizable as a Pilot's watch, the IWC Pilot Chronograph is sexy, sophisticated, and a true classic. I have always been a fan of the Pilot chronograph look… it is hard not to love such a timeless design. Without overdoing it, IWC has introduced yet another winner with their ref. 3777. The subtle use of red on the dial is restrained and just the perfect amount. Moreover, the overall layout and design on the dial is simply phenomenal. This watch will be making me smile for years to come.
Case | 8 out of 10
IWC newest Pilot Chronograph has been enlarged by 1mm to 43mm compared to the previous model ref. 3717. Though the increase in size is minimal, it works perfectly for this watch. The case design is pretty straight forward and is mostly brushed with carefully polished top chamfer edges. To match this, the bezel (which is actually part of the case) has an incredibly thin polished edge that is simply spectacular to look at. The case has a soft iron casing that gives the watch an antimagnetic property. The sapphire crystal is slightly domed and has antireflective coating on both sides. I still dislike the application of an antireflective coating on the exterior and it still puzzles me as to why manufacturers do it… does the reduced glare really outweigh the potential of scratches on the antireflective coating (which I think looks horrendous)? The case back is closed and has the usual IWC engravings. The rear edges of the case are a bit sharp, but do not seem to affect comfort. Needless to say, these edges should not be this sharp. The chronograph push buttons are polished and do not have a screw-in function. Finally, the polished screw-in crown has the usual IWC logo.
Dial | 8 out of 10
The redesigned dial gives the watch a more modern look. Despite being a completely printed dial, the dial does not look or feel cheap. One of the new design elements that I am not totally enamored with is the triple date display. This feature is generally loathed by the WIS community as it serves no purpose. According to IWC, the triple date display "leans on the altimeter found in a cockpit"... a bit of a stretch there if you ask me. And because of this triple date display, the words IWC and Schaffhausen were made smaller and moved to the inside of the running seconds subdial at 9 o' clock. It makes the branding a lot less apparent and quite frankly I like the older branding location better. But there are also several things to love about the new design... The red sideways triangle at 3 o' clock matches the red running seconds hand perfectly, adding a bit of color to the dial. The enlarged subdials fill out the dial better now, making it more proportional. Finally, the addition of arabic numerals to mark every 5 minute increments on the outer ring looks surprisingly good. All things considered, I think IWC did a great job redesigning a classic… which is never an easy task.
Strap | 8 out of 10
The black alligator strap has a black leather interior lining and it is attached to a tang buckle. The strap is definitely an upgrade from the previous model. The gator strap starts at 21mm and tapers to 18mm. I really like the way they designed the tapering, making the width difference obvious as opposed to the gradual tapering usually found on straps. The strap is very soft and of excellent quality. Stitching is flawless. The strap thickness is perfect and I am sure it was not an arbitrary decision. When on the wrist, the strap is almost flush with the lug. One of the issues is the lug width of 21mm… why why why??? Because this size is so unpopular, it makes finding aftermarket straps a pain. Length is perfect for my 6.5” wrist. I wear it on the second hole from the top and the buckle sits almost in the middle of my under wrist, with minimal excess strap at the tail end (just the way I like it). Different from most IWC Pilot watches, this one comes with a tang buckle (I assume for cost savings)… which is how I like my straps anyways! The strap comes with one fixed keeper and one movable keeper. I really do not understand why brands keep making one of the keepers fixed! It makes putting the strap through the keeper (both when putting it on and taking it off) difficult since it is so close to the tang buckle… which causes unnecessary wear and tear on the strap, particularly around the tip. The somewhat small brushed tang buckle is simple in design, but it has beautifully polished chamfer edges that match the polished tongue. The small details make all the difference. Unfortunately, the rear bottom edge of the tang buckle is very sharp and can be uncomfortable at times.
Movement | 7 out of 10
The automatic calibre 79320 chronograph movement inside is a modified Valjoux 7750 movement with a 44-hour power reserve. It features a chronograph and day-date complication. In addition, an iron casing protects the movement from magnetism. Since I have owned the watch, time keeping has been spot on.
Legibility | 5 out of 5
Despite its busy dial, this Pilot watch is surprisingly easy to read thanks to the bold hands and large hour numerals. Lume has been applied to the minute and hour hands, as well as on the four major points on the watch (12, 3, 6, and 9 o' clock). This makes telling time in low light conditions a breeze. Though the lume is sufficient, I would have preferred for all the hour numerals to also have lume.
Operation | 5 out of 5
All functions of the watch worked as intended. Chronograph hands reset nicely at 12 o’ clock. Unscrewing the crown for time and date adjustment was effortless.
Features | 7 out of 10
This IWC features a chronograph function (seconds, minutes, and hours), 44-hour power reserve, day display, triple date display, 60m of water resistance, an antimagnetic case, screw-in crown, and a sapphire crystal with double antireflective coating.
Comfort | 8 out of 10
Overall comfort of the watch is good, in large part due to the soft strap and the tang buckle combination. However, as mentioned earlier, a part of the buckle is too sharp and can be uncomfortable at times. Moreover, the perfect fit for my 6.5" wrist is between two holes…
Value | 13 out of 10
The retail price on this watch is $5,700 ($6,900 on the bracelet). It is the second most affordable IWC pilot watch after the Mark XVII which retails for $4,500. Personally, I think the IWC Pilot Chronograph is competitive priced. It will be interesting to see if they can keep the price under $6K in the future when they will eventually replace the modified Valjoux movement for an in-house movement. If the price does exceed $7K, then the price competitiveness will be severely affected. In terms of resale value, as long as it is purchased with a reasonable discount, the resale loss will be minimal. Love this look but cannot afford it? Take a look at the various offerings from Hamilton, Alpina, Stowa, Archimedes, or Steinhart.
TOTAL SCORE: 83 out of 100
Everyone needs a Pilot watch in their collection and this is literally THE one to get.
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