With the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705”, Swiss luxury watch brand IWC Schaffhausen pays tribute to the legendary Ceramic Fliegerchronograph (ref. 3705) from 1994.
Launched in 1994, the Fliegerchronograph Keramik was IWC’s first pilot’s watch with a case made of black zirconium oxide ceramic. Despite its use of this highly innovative material and its purist instrument design, the chronograph enjoyed little success. After only about a thousand pieces, production was discontinued a few years later.
The ref. 3705 did not become famous until about a quarter of a century later. Following various articles on specialised blogs, the “Black Flieger” caught the attention of a growing number of watch enthusiasts. With luminous indices and hands, which had aged over time to a warm orange, the once-forgotten chronograph was winning collector’s hearts with its distinct neo-vintage charm.
One piece from the personal collection of former IWC director Günter Blümlein was auctioned for a staggering 53,750 US dollars. But the ref. 3705 does not only embody IWC’s heritage as a manufacturer of professional instrument watches for aviators. With its black ceramic case, the model is also an early testimony to the extensive materials expertise that IWC has acquired since the 1980s; a quality that still distinguishes the company as a modern watchmaker today.
The newly released Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” (Ref. 387905) pays homage to this exceptional timepiece and is limited to 1000 pieces.
The dial is a replica of the original from the 1990s. Two totalizers at 9 and 12 o’clock display stop times of up to 12 hours, the small second is located at 6 o’clock. Another feature is the day and date display at 3 o’clock.
The ref. 3705 was pioneering in the use of black ceramic, and the tribute edition likewise features a recent innovation from IWC’s material scientists: the case, chronograph pushers and pin buckle are made of Ceratanium®, an IWC-developed material that is light and robust like titanium, but also similarly hard and scratch-resistant like ceramic.
While the original ref. 3705 was powered by the Valjoux calibre 7750, the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” houses the in-house 69380 calibre. This robust and precise chronograph movement in classic column-wheel design is one of the latest developments from IWC’s engineers. A bi-directional pawl winding system reliably builds up a power reserve of 46 hours.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” is available exclusively through IWC.com, wechat, YNAP, and official flagship store on Tmall as a limited edition of 1000 pieces.
Model: Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute To 3705”, Ref. IW387905
Chronograph function for hours, minutes and seconds
Date and day display
Small hacking seconds
IWC manufacture calibre 69380
Mechanical Automatic movement
Frequency: 28,800 vph/4 Hz
Power reserve: 46 h
Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 15.3 mm
Glass: Sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields
Glass secured against displacement by drops in air pressure
Water-resistance: 3 bar
Black calfskin strap
Limited to 1000 pieces