IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878
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  1. #1
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    IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878

    Hi everyone,

    Have a bit of a dilemma. I have been searching for my next big purchase for a while (1 year to be exact) and have not bought ANY watches since November of last year... looking at making this purchase between September and December of this year.

    I am 95% set on the IWC Spitfire Chronograph and am now considering purchasing options... Only want to buy new really

    Options:

    1/ Buy new at AD - $10,400 + sales tax which I can avoid by sending the watch outside of state. Net Price = $10,400 +/- discount

    What discount could I reasonably obtain from the AD? 0%? 5%? 10%?15%?
    Is there any way we could ship the box out and I keep the watch :)?

    2/ Buy new in Spain at AD - 10,000€ and get tax free credit of 15.7% by taking it out of the country on my way back to US. Net Price = $9,334 +/- discount (@ current fx rate)

    3/ Buy new at grey market dealer - Currently at $7,995 at Joma... saw 3 weeks ago at $6,995


    Personally I have NO problem buying from grey market as I consider factory warranties to be a fallback option at these quality control levels. If I can save >2k by going grey market I have some good wiggle room in the unfortunate/improbable event I have an issue to fund the necessary repair, in addition at that point the repair work would be under warranty as the work would be done by IWC...

    All was fine and dandy UNTIL I encountered this post which shows multiple owners having issues with the movement freezing when using the flyback function...

    Spitfire 3878 nothing but problems | Forum | IWC Schaffhausen

    This has really made me think twice of buying with no factory warranty... I'm a little lost. What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Re: IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878

    Ouch sucks if it's been at the top of your list that whole time. In your shoes I'd still buy grey if IWC honors a warranty period after the servicing that hopefully won't happen. There are lots of other great options in that price range.
    Breguet Type XX | GS SBGX065 | VC 42042 | VC 49140

  3. #3
    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
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    Re: IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878

    I would wait until your research and feedback (I see you've posted in the IWC forum) confirms whether this is a relatively isolated issue or not. If not, I would avoid the watch, at least until the issue is resolved. Even with an AD warranty it's still a pain to have your watch out of your possession while in for repairs.

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  5. #4
    Member ed21x's Avatar
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    Re: IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878

    Go to jomashop.com, and wait for the chat pop up to appear. Once the operator is speaking with you, tell them you saw the watch for $6995.00 but missed the deal. They will honor the deal.

    Pay $6995 and be happy :) In a worst case scenario, send the watch in for service if the chrono gives you problems. IWC would probably charge you less than $1k anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by nesal View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Have a bit of a dilemma. I have been searching for my next big purchase for a while (1 year to be exact) and have not bought ANY watches since November of last year... looking at making this purchase between September and December of this year.

    I am 95% set on the IWC Spitfire Chronograph and am now considering purchasing options... Only want to buy new really

    Options:

    1/ Buy new at AD - $10,400 + sales tax which I can avoid by sending the watch outside of state. Net Price = $10,400 +/- discount

    What discount could I reasonably obtain from the AD? 0%? 5%? 10%?15%?
    Is there any way we could ship the box out and I keep the watch :)?

    2/ Buy new in Spain at AD - 10,000€ and get tax free credit of 15.7% by taking it out of the country on my way back to US. Net Price = $9,334 +/- discount (@ current fx rate)

    3/ Buy new at grey market dealer - Currently at $7,995 at Joma... saw 3 weeks ago at $6,995


    Personally I have NO problem buying from grey market as I consider factory warranties to be a fallback option at these quality control levels. If I can save >2k by going grey market I have some good wiggle room in the unfortunate/improbable event I have an issue to fund the necessary repair, in addition at that point the repair work would be under warranty as the work would be done by IWC...

    All was fine and dandy UNTIL I encountered this post which shows multiple owners having issues with the movement freezing when using the flyback function...

    Spitfire 3878 nothing but problems | Forum | IWC Schaffhausen

    This has really made me think twice of buying with no factory warranty... I'm a little lost. What are your thoughts?
    :)

    14060m, 16200, Pam48, AT8500, El Primero 1969, Speedy FOIS, Antea KS, Orion Minimatik, ST8000SA Tourbillon, Zeppelin 7618-1

    want: ALS Saxonia, PP Nautilus,

  6. #5
    Member Seaswirl's Avatar
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    Re: IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878

    I have the IWC Portugese Chrono Classic that uses the 8900 movement. My first watch failed with the flyback freezing the movement every 10 pushes or so. The watch then completely failed with the flyback no longer working at all and the seconds hand resetting + or - 15 seconds of 0. The replacement watch froze a week or so ago when using the flyback, but it hasn't happened since. There have been similar reports with the Davinci, Ingy and CF3 using this movement. The issue has been recurring for several years now, and no fix from IWC that I'm aware of. As much as I love IWC's designs, I couldn't recommend any watch using this movement. I'd pass. There do, however, seem to be some owners who have trouble free watches using this movement.
    GlennO and Cervantes23 like this.

  7. #6
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    Re: IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878

    Thank you all for the insight, it kills me to think that after finally narrowing my selection down I walk away due to problems from the movement but it may be for the best, this watch is to commemorate a large step in my career and a long term keeper, I would it to be a happy memory not a continuous sense of frustration! Will discuss with some ADs and keep you posted in the process!

  8. #7
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    Re: IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878

    I'm in the same position as the OP. Looking at a Spitfire and the first result when I google IWC Spitfire 3878 is "nothing but problems". While the internet is most vocal when there are problems, as the problem threads pan out the replacement watches exhibit the same faults - clearly there are problems with this calibre. Even more amazing is that this has being going on for years. Not only has IWC not fixed the problem they are releasing new models with the same problem. Apart from one or two tries early on, I'm sure IWC is betting that the vast majority of people will never use the fly back function and hence hoping to sweep the problem under the carpet until they're ready to fix it.
    Seaswirl likes this.

  9. #8
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    Re: IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878

    Goostah, I'm going to talk to my local ad and see what he has to say for it, and if he is even aware of these issues. The reality is that it took me a year to decide on this watch and decide to spend the money! Will keep you posted in the coming weeks!

  10. #9
    tdk
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    Re: IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878

    I would love to hear from somebody who has more concrete/behind the scenes knowledge: ie some one who works at IWC or repairs IWC watches. I just keep hearing about "some people" on the internet who have problems. This is sort of like the debate about ceramic cases breaking. One person never has problems, the other person a ton of problems.

  11. #10
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    Re: IWC Spitfire Chronograph 3878

    Agreed

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