IWC Pilot’s Chronograph (Spitfire; Spitfire Bronze; Top Gun 44; Top Gun STFI; Top Gun 41; Top Gun Lake; Tribute to 3705; Blue Angels; Royal Maces; Tophatters; Polaris Dawn), Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition 76 (Add your watch to the comments below…)
The IWC caliber 69380 is an automatic column-wheel chronograph movement. The 69380 is part of the 69000 family and is found 3879 and 3891 series watches. This is an in=house “IWC manufactured” caliber, introduced in an effort to move previous chronograph models away from the (now unavailable to non-Swatch Group brands) ETA/Valjoux caliber 7750.
In IWC’s own words:
“The IWC-manufactured 69380 calibre powers the two Spitfire chronographs with diameters of 41 millimetres. The classic column-wheel design of the chronograph movement is among the most significant developments of the IWC-manufactured movements in more recent history and enables recorded times of up to 12 hours. Elapsed hours and minutes are displayed in the subdials at “9 o’clock” and “12 o’clock”. It also has a display for the day and date.” –IWC Pilot’s Watches Collection 2019 Catalog
IWC only provides small images of the movement on their product pages, but if you click on the image and look closely, they are showing an image of a calibre 69375 for a watch listed as having a 69380 movement inside.
The large version of the image is below. They may be using this image for all 69 family movements since the filename is calibre_69000.png.
It is yet another example of watch brands not caring too much (read lazy) about the attention to detail they put into marketing the movement in an $8,950 USD watch.
Some of the topics covered in this caliber listing:
IWC 69380 VS 69370:
The main difference between the 69380 and the 69370 is that the 69380 being discussed here has a day-date complication whereas the 69370 only has a date.
IWC 69380 VS ETA 7750:
While the 69380 affords IWC the opportunity to offer chronograph watches without using ETA based movements, there are similarities between the two frameworks that allows IWC to retain the basic Pilot Chronograph DNA. The chart below is a brief comparison of the two:
30mm x 7.9mm
Small Seconds Position
It’s almost as if they had to change something on the dial side, so the small running seconds went from 9:00 to 6:00. Users may find this location for the seconds as being more ideal, especially when thinking about the traditional placement of a small seconds subdial being at 6:00 on vintage pocket watches.
You may see the caliber 69380 listed as having 48 hours of power reserve, but all official IWC documentation lists this caliber as having a power reserve of 46 hours (refer to the screenshot above as well as the Pilot’s watch catalog). Therefore, Caliber Corner is sticking with 46 hours until confirmed otherwise. Please comment below if you have experienced more PR than that.
Setting the Time and Day/Date:
To set the time on your watch, pull the crown out two clicks to time setting position (if your watch has a screw-down crown, unscrew it first). IWC wants your watch to have some power reserve before setting the time, therefore, you may want to hand wind the movement a few times before proceeding to set the time. Below, IWC explains how to set the minutes precisely:
“You can set the time by turning the crown and positioning the minute hand exactly above the minute stroke. When doing this, move the minute hand a few minute strokes beyond the time to be set. The minute hand can be positioned exactly above the correct minute stroke by moving it backwards gently. This ensures that the minute hand begins to move immediately when you restart the movement.” –Source
To set the date on your watch, pull the crown out one click to date setting position. Turn the crown clockwise to advance the date. To set the day of the week, turn the crown counterclockwise while the crown is in the same “one click” position.
Important: When setting the calendar complication on your 69380 watch, do not make adjustments to the day/day while the hands are between the hours of 9pm and 3am. This is the time-frame in which the calendar system is engaged to automatically change to the next day.
At the time of this post, the International Limited Warranty period on new IWC watches is 2 years from the original date of purchase.
“IWC warrants its product against defects in materials and manufacturing for a period of twenty-four (24) months from the date of purchase stated on your original invoice and/or the warranty booklet (the “Warranty Period”). If the product is returned during the Warranty Period, IWC will repair or replace any defective watch or part free of charge within a reasonable time after the product is returned, subject to the exclusions mentioned hereunder and to the right to charge for shipping costs. Upon expiration of the Warranty Period, any repairs will be subject to a service charge.”
At the time of this post, the cost to have IWC service a cal. 69380 powered chronograph watch starts at $640 for a basic overhaul for a Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun (ref: IW389101). This figure was determined by the official IWC service calculator. The price may increase depending on whether or not any parts need replaced. Keep in mind that this is the price without shipping and applicable taxes.
In IWC’s own words:
“Calculation is based on input provided. Prices displayed are indicative only. Items shown under “Additional Requests” may not be compatible with your model reference – separate verification is required. This is not an offer to perform the proposed or selected service. For a precise analysis of the intervention/s required on your timepiece and exact service cost, please submit your timepiece to IWC for diagnosis.”