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Heber

Big pilot accuracy, normal?

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The IWC boutique sales rep told me that the big pilot gains on average 10 - 15 seconds per day. This number is similar to what I've read on the internet. So yesterday I decided to put my new 5009 to the test. I noted the time on my computer at 8:30:00, on my watch it was 8:29:23. Today when my computer struck 8:30:00, my watch was at 8:29:25... I was stunned. 2 second gain?!

Is this accuracy normal on a new watch and it's supposed to degrade over time or did I just get lucky? My PR was around 6 days throughout this test.

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Not surprising. IWC generally does a good job regulating their watches. I have no experience with that movement though, so not sure how PR fluctuations may affect accuracy.

 

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IWC has had trouble getting consistent time keeping from their super long PR watches. There were many many many pissed off owners when the Big Pilot first showed up - IWC simply couldn't provide them with better than 15 sec/day timekeeping. I haven't heard complaints about that lately, so either people have lowered their expectations or IWC managed to figure it out.

 

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Single barrel movements with 3+ days of PR are prone to significant variation on accuracy during their cycle, the spring is I simply too long to guarantee exact same performance when fully wound vs when running on empty. I've read of many people not being happy with IWC long-PR movements, and don't really get why wouldn't they do the Panerai thing and run them as a double barrel configuration, after all their R&D are shared within Richmond and should be relatively easy to replicate.

 

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Sounds like you've been lucky. My BP will run at about +7 when fully wound and worn daily. In the 4 or 5 day range of the power reserve everything goes to hell and I start getting +20s or worse. In days 1 and 2 things slow back down and the watch stays a few minutes ahead but at a consistent rate, before finally stopping. This is after a full servicing from an IWC trained service center at my local AD. When placed on a measurement device, the watch shows less than 5 seconds deviation in all positions, but in real life the performance isn't great.

Like everyone has said, the 7 day power reserve on a single barrel makes it difficult to achieve great accuracy. Then again, a 46 mm case full of iron also makes it heavy to wear. As with people, some watch relationships are more complicated. The BP and 5000 calibers have a sort of love/hate things going for them.

 

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