IWC Pilot’s Chronograph Le Petit Prince Hands-on

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There are watches that a person starts with in their journey. It can either be a watch that was given to them by their parents, one that was handed down by great grand parents, or just a watch that one bought for achieving a milestone. I started my watch collecting journey with the latter as I landed a better job and decided to buy a timepiece that I’ve casually kept my eye on, the IWC Pilot’s Chronograph Le Petit Prince.

Le Petit Prince / Little Prince has been known to be the standard limited edition of IWC. As the narrator is a pilot, it’s only fitting that IWC’s pilot range be the watch to have that privilege. However, that’s not the only reason why IWC partners with them. IWC has been known to be a partner of the Fondation Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, an organisation devoted to helping children of disadvantageous circumstances.

IWC Watch Lens Leica

Case

The case is 43mm in diameter. It may look and sound small in today’s standard, but the thinner bezel makes this big. Moreover, this is 15.5mm in thickness making this a very chunky watch.

Sapphire crystal is coated with anti-reflective coating on both sides, but I would be wary of the outer coating diminishing overtime. However, when it’s due for servicing, you can have it changed if the outer coating has diminished.

Movement

The IWC3777-14 is powered by an IWC caliber 79320. This is a modified Valjoux 7750 and has always been the go to base movement for most chronograph. A lot would argue that it’s not a true IWC Caliber and that IWC is charging premium over a valjoux 7750, but IWC has always noted that it’s “heavily modified”. Specs are given to ETA to make the movements and gets sent to IWC almost finished from what I’ve read

Reference: 79320
Base: ETA 7750
Movement: Automatic
Display: Analog
Diameter: 30.00
Jewels: 31
Reserve: 44 hours
Frequency: 28800bph

Thoughts

I had this watch for a good few months. As this was my first luxury timepiece, it will always have a place as one of the watches I enjoyed. I wore this almost everyday and never had any problems with its daily usage except for its weight.

Like most 7750 and its variants, this will suffer from the quick date change problem that you can’t use the quick set date between certain time periods. In most cases, it’s between 8pm to 4am or 4 hours before and after the date changes. The safe option is to set the time at 6 so it can either be 6pm or 6am prior to using the quick set. This issue happens in a lot of watches, but the 7750 is known to easily break from this. Eventually it will become second nature or better yet, just wear the watch.

IWC 377714 Wheel

Quality wise, I found no faults in the watch in my time of ownership that you can scrutinise IWC for. The Santoni strap really feels comfortable out of the box and thick to accommodate the heavy watch. The date change also happens at an acceptable 2 minutes after midnight. The day follows around 5 minutes after. For comparsion, Omega allows a +- 10 minutes for a date change from what I’ve read.

IWC 377714 Oversized
The overhang is strong in this one.

The watch is so easy to read even for a chronograph. The hands are big enough that you can easily tell the time. The lume is bright enough, but one thing I never got to test is how long it last.  The anti-reflective coating definitely helps with making it easier to read.

One thing to note for small wrist is that this will definitely have a huge wrist presence. Unless you have a very flat wrist, I would recommend this for people who only has 6.5″ or 17cm (at minimum). Even then, it’s a really hard watch to wear for the small wrist. It’s also not an excuse if phone cameras make everything looks big. It’s just really a big watch. I have attached a comparsion with a 39mm JLC Reserve De Marche.

IWC Comparsion
Forgive the low quality image. This was taken way before I had a better camera.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this IWC and its variants are quite good. Accurate movement and easy to read dials makes this a decent everyday watch. However, if you have a small wrist like me or is too obsessed with in-house movements, I would give it a pass and look elsewhere.

Sources
1. IWC Partnership Info
2. IWC Product Info

 

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