IWC is celebrating its classic 3705 Ceramic Pilot’s chronograph from 1994 with a limited-edition run using a new high-tech case material.
The IWC Fliegerchronograph Keramik or 3705, was something of a low-key classic, taking a quarter of a century to become a cult classic among collectors, who began referring to it as the ‘Black Flieger,’ but today it’s difficult to see how its stealthy, matt black appearance could have ever been been anything but in demand.
The model’s popularity was cemented in 2018 when an example from the personal collection of Günter Blümlein, the man who rebuilt IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and A. Lange & Söhne, was auctioned for $53,750 USD at Phillips.
But for this modern interpretation zirconium oxide ceramic has stepped aside for IWC’s Ceratanium, an alloy of titanium that, when exposed to extreme heat, takes on the properties of ceramic.
According to IWC, Ceratanium is: “light and robust like titanium, but also similarly hard and scratch-resistant like ceramic.”
The new run of 1,000 pieces reflects the numbers original produced of the 3705, which was discontinued after four years, at which time around 1,000 pieces had been produced.
While the 3705 used an ETA 7750, a movement IWC used frequently and to great effect, the 41mm watch houses an in-house 69380 calibre, a 12-hour, two register chronograph with day and date indication and 48 hours of power reserve. The dial is presented as a replica of the original.