IWC Schaffhausen pays homage to one of the most sought-after timepieces in the brand’s recent history with the new Tribute to 3705.
You never can tell which timepieces are going to become instant classics. Watch collectors will tell you that while the more obscure and rare a model is, there’s no real formula to which will become cult favourites with watch lovers.
Throughout its 152-year history, IWC has created modern icons such as the Big Pilot or the Portugieser Chronograph. But tucked away in the archives, there are also hidden gems; timepieces that are overlooked before they shoot to unexpected fame.
One such model is the “IWC Fliegerchronograph Keramik” from 1994, which 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.
After fading into obscurity for almost a quarter of a century, the Fliegerchronograph Keramik is now one of the most sought-after of IWC’s contemporary timepieces, so much so that the Swiss brand has created the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” in its honour.
The new tribute edition, limited to 1,000 pieces, faithfully replicates the original’s dial design, complete with two totalizers at 9 and 12 o’clock that display stop times of up to 12 hours, a small second hand located at 6 o’clock, and a 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 case, chronograph pushers, and pin buckle in 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” boasts sophisticated movement technology from Schaffhausen. Inside the 41-millimetre case beats an in-house 69380 calibre, a robust and precise chronograph movement in a classic column-wheel design that features a bi-directional pawl winding system that reliably builds up a power reserve of 46 hours.
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