IWC is launching today the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705”, a special edition that is limited to 1000 watches and available exclusively through the online shop of the brand.
The new model is a tribute to a model from 1994 that, over time, has gained a cult status among many watch enthusiasts, the Ceramic Fliegerchronograph ref. 3705 powered by the Valjoux Calibre 7750.
One piece from the personal collection of former IWC director Günter Blümlein was auctioned for the remarkable result of US$ 53,750 in December 2018. The ref. 3705 does not only embody IWC’s heritage as a manufacturer of professional instrument watches for aviators. With its ceramic case, the ref. 3705 demonstrates the expertise that IWC has acquired since the 1980s in the field of high-tech materials.
The new tribute edition is pretty faithful to the original in terms of design but instead of using ceramic, it features a case made of Ceratanium, a proprietary material developed by IWC.
We had the opportunity to test and wear the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” before the official launch and we are now glad to share our live pictures and impressions.
The case is 41 mm in diameter and 15.3 mm in thickness, not exactly thin but, hey, this is a Big Pilot! As you can see from the wrist shots, the watch sits very nicely on the average wrist.
Case, screw-in crown, chronograph pushers and pin buckle are made of Ceratanium. Developed by IWC, this material combines the advantages of titanium and ceramic in a new blend: lightweight and unbreakable as titanium and at the same time as hard and scratch-resistant as ceramic.
To achieve this results, the case components are machined from a special titanium alloy. Afterwards, the parts are treated in a furnace firing process, during which a phase transformation takes place, and the surface of the material assumes properties similar to ceramic.
The patented material also offers excellent skin compatibility, a high degree of corrosion-resistance and a matte black colour. And it is also pleasantly silky to the touch.
The black dial has a matte finish with a layout that is a faithful replica of the 1994 original, including the truncated hour hand, a distinctive trait of that model. It features two totalizers at 9 (hours) and 12 o’clock (minutes) that display stop times of up to 12 hours. A 6 o’clock, a third sub-dial indicates the running seconds. The day and date apertures at 3 o’clock complete the ensemble.
The hour and minute hands, just like the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock hour markers, are coated with Super-LumiNova for improved visibility in poor light conditions.
A watch designed for pilots should not have reflective surfaces. In fact, the “Tribute to 3705” has not only matte case and dial but also a sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on both sides. Moreover, this glass is secured against sudden drops in air pressure in the cockpit.
Water resistant up to a pressure of 6 bar (approximately 60 metres / 200 feet), the case houses a chronograph movement from the 69000 calibre family, introduced in 2016 and one of the most important developments in IWC-manufactured movements in IWC’s recent history.
Characterized by a classic column wheel design, the self-winding Calibre 69380 beats at the frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour) and guarantees a power reserve of 46 hours thanks to a reliable bi-directional pawl winding system.
The movement is also protected by a soft-iron case for protection against magnetic fields. The individual number of each watch (xxxx/1000) is engraved on the solid case back.
The robust strap is crafted from black calfskin strap and secured to the wrist by a Ceratanium pin buckle.
Combining a bold black look to excellent technical contents, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” ref. IW387905
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” Story. In 1994, IWC presented the ref. 3705, the first pilot’s watch with a case made of black zirconium oxide ceramic. At that time, IWC was one of the first watch