One of the most admirable features of the IWC Pilot watch line is the way that this brand has been able to bring consumers a watch that features intricate yet reliable complication for a fraction of the cost of watches offered by their competitors. They have been able to do this by hiring talented watchmakers who have the sill to take existing complications and approach the creation of them in a unique way. For this reason, this company became the choice of watch connoisseurs who wanted a value brand.
The person who is responsible for the design of the IWC Doppelchrono reference 3711 is Richard Habring. He is an IWC alum who runs an Austrian-based company with his wife, Maria. In the opinion of many watch experts, the IWC Doppelchronograph is his most significant contribution to the watchmaking industry.
The Reference 3711 features a split-second chronograph, which is also known as a double chronograph. This differs from a regular chronograph as it allows the wearer to time multiple events. While this is something that technological gadgets have the capacity to do, it has been difficult to achieve in traditional watchmaking.
In the case of the Reference 3711, the split-seconds chronograph is on the base of a conventional chronograph with a column wheel. There is an additional chronograph seconds hand on the dial that can stop independently of the main hands.
The IWC Pilot Doppelchrono Reference 3711 was first introduced to their range in 1992 and it is rather large, with a diameter of 42mm and a thickness of 17 mm. It has a Flieger style design with a stainless steel outer case and a soft inner case. This double casing protects the movement from magnetic fields. This model is more robust than previous versions of split-second chronographs.
The watch is based on the Valjoux 7750, but Habring faced a few challenges in adapting this watch to incorporate the split-seconds chronograph to create the reference 3711. He said that he needed to use the space that previously housed the 0.5 mm chronograph center wheel axle to fit the axle and the tube. He had tried to drill tiny holes through the steel and this idea was a failure. His former boss suggested using hypodermic needles to build the prototypes and this idea worked.
Due to its unique design, the IWC Doppelchrono Reference 3711 is a significant timepiece. It set the standards for the IWC Fliegerchronograph and for the rest of the IWC pilot range of watches. Despite being a groundbreaking design, this watch has also taken inspiration from classic pieces.
The dial was inspired by the IWC Mark XI, which the company first started producing in 1948. This is evident if you take a look at the dial markers, the Arabic numerals, and the hands. This gives the watch a sophisticated appearance despite its innovations. The watch features a domed sapphire crystal watch face and a titanium dial.
The design and functions of this watch were so popular that when it was replaced by the Reference 3713 a few years later, very little changed about the watch. One of the main differences was that the domed watch face was replaced with a flat sapphire crystal watch face. The second major difference was that SuperLuminova was used for the hands and markers instead of the titanium used for the Reference 3711. Various versions of the split-seconds chronograph watches in the IWC pilot range of watches also saw only minor changes in the years that followed.
The patent for the Split-seconds chronograph owned by IWC expired in 2012. This now gives other watchmakers free reign to copy the design. IWC have not given any indication of whether they will be bringing out other split-seconds watch in the future.
The IWC Doppelchrono Reference 3711 remains a highly collectible piece as it is considered so ground-breaking in the watchmaking industry. However, it remains an affordable option for collectors who want a high-quality and durable watch as the prices of IWC watches are comparatively low when compared to their competitors. When it was released in 1992, there were no other watches that were similar on the market and, for this reason, it is a highly desirable piece. If you are a watch connoisseur with a limited budget, then this could be the ideal option for you.