IWC Ceramic Fliegerchronograph Ref. 3705 - Full set
The IWC Ref. 3705 “Fliegerchronograph Keramik” was first introduced in 1994. It is believed that over a four year period of production 999 pieces were made. Together with the introduction of the Ref. 3705, the Ref. 3706 came onto the market. The latter had a more broader appeal at that time thanks to the steel case material, as well as being almost fifty percent cheaper than its ceramic companion. This was due to the high costs of producing such a unique case material.
The IWC Ref. 3705 was a follow-on of the hybrid quartz-mechanical IWC 36mm Pilot’s Watch Chronograph. This timepiece debuted at the Dübendorf Airfield, near Zurich, in 1988. Fast-forward six years, and IWC launched the very first ceramic chronograph watch in the world. Many people claim that this exact model was actually the very first watch in general to be made from this special case material. Although Jack Forster, a renowned name in the watch industry, claims the earliest pure ceramic watch cases can be tracked back as far as 1986, and were also made by IWC. It is clear that the International Watch Company was ahead of the competition at that time in experience with this extraordinary case material.
The ceramic watch cases are made using a white crystalline oxide of zirconium. Zirconium Dioxide (ZrO2) is colourless, but can be synthesised into varying colours such as black. It is important to note that the ceramic IWC case is not just a surface coating, but is made completely from Zr02. To achieve this spectacular looking case, a mould is filled with powdered ZrO2 and thanks to high temperatures and pressure the desired shape can be achieved.
Apart from the stealth look, the ceramic case has multiple advantages compared to other case materials. First, the ceramic material is four times stronger than stainless steel. Making the watch more scratch and crack resistant. Second, the material is notably lighter than other case materials. Third, over time the watch will not corrode. Last, ZrO2 is completely hypoallergenic. Considering all the advantages of zirconium dioxide, it is safe to say this is almost the ideal watch case material.
The IWC Ref. 3705 “Fliegerchronograph Keramik” may not have been the most popular watch model on the market at the time of release, but over the years this specific model has become a cult classic. One of the admirers who brought more attention to this particular model was NBA basketball player J.J. Redick. Ben Clymer, founder of Hodinkee, also shared the 3705 as part of his own collection in a video together with Wei Koh for Revolution Watch. Ben Clymer states that this particular model is his favourite IWC ever made.
A lot of watch enthusiasts appreciate the brand IWC from what they have done during the quartz crisis and the 90’s. Günter Blümlein was the protagonist during this period. He started restructuring IWC in 1981 with a very clear approach, to “put an end to watchmaking boredom”. During his time at IWC, Blümlein re-invented the brand by giving a twist to the Portofino, Portugieser, and Pilot collection, while also introducing a round case model for the Da Vinci collection in 1985. The 3705 is the most memorable model of the Blümlein time period, as it summarises Blümleins’ work perfectly; a no-nonsense look, paired with innovation in materials and a focus on mechanical movements' importance.
The watch presented here is arguably one of the most iconic and desirable IWC models ever made. The 3705 immediately makes an unique impression on the wrist, thanks to the stealth look of the Zirconium Oxide case material and the perfectly sized 39mm case. Apart from the more tactical and aggressive look off the watch, there are some interesting details that deserve attention. First, it is important to point out that the case back, crown, and pushers are in steel due to the fact that these parts were too delicate to be produced in zirconium. Second, the days presented in the day window of this specific model of the 3705 are in English. Third, the hour and minute hand, together with the hour markers were finished in tritium. This coating has aged nicely and evenly over the years and gives the watch a unique and distinctive look, which is appreciated by many watch enthusiasts among us. Fourth, as mentioned in an original advertisement from 1994 about the 3705, the watch is protected against magnetic fields thanks to a soft iron inner case. The IWC ad, provided by Ad Patina, also mentions the unique case material; “The quality that really sets it apart from all other IWC pilot’s watches is the fact that it is available in mat-black ceramic, which in aviation terms inevitably reminds one of Stealth technology”.
The timepiece is powered by the IWC Calibre 7902. This calibre is based on a Valjoux 7750 model. Although not in-house, the movement has been heavily modified by IWC and Richard Habring in particular. The modifications of the Valjoux movement consists of tuned isochronism and positions, as well as many reliability and accuracy tests on each movement. The movement has a 44 hour power-reserve, beats at 28.800 vph, and with a jewel count of 25.
The name Habring may ring a bell, as Richard is now the proud owner of the Austrian independent brand Habring² together with his wife Maria.
How it wears
Measuring 39mm in diameter, the IWC Ref. 3705 is at the sweet spot for almost any wrist. The remarkable case material is hypoallergenic, making sure everyone can enjoy this watch without any possible allergic reaction to the skin. The stealth look of the watch makes for a distinctive, yet elegant, presence on the wrist. The IWC Ref. 3705 is the predecessor of the Top Gun inspired IWC editions and when put on the wrist, this tactical and adventurous feel is transferred to the wearer of this amazing watch.
Set & Condition
This impressive timepiece is accompanied by a full set. The set consists of; outer box, inner box, warranty card, warranty booklet, service booklet, and original IWC pin buckle. This is a seldom seen opportunity to add such a phenomenal timepiece in very good condition, paired with an extensive full set, to the collection.
The watch is fitted with the Mr Watchley Smooth Boxed Green.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium
No stock kept on site
* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *
Mr Watchley Smooth Boxed Green