International Watch Co., Schaffhausen, "Der Fliegerchronograph, Automatic", Ref. 3705. Made circa 1995. Fine, self-winding, water-resistant, antimagnetic, ceramic wristwatch with round stainless steel button chronograph and crown, registers, day and date and a stainless steel IWC buckle. Accompanied by original box, guarantee, instruction booklet and extract from archives.
Case: Two-body, ceramic case with concave lugs, stepped ceramic bezel, screwed-down stainless steel case back and crown, antimagnetic protection shield, sapphire crystal.
Dial: Black with painted Arabic numerals and luminous tritium baton and triangular indexes, subsidiary dials for the seconds, the 12-hour and 30-minute registers, outer minute/ seconds track, apertures for the days of the week and the date. Luminous steel baton hands.
Movement: Cal. 7902, rhodium plated, oeilde- perdrix decoration, 25 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock absorber, self-compensating flat balance spring, micrometer regulator, hack mechanism. Dial, case and movement signed.
Diameter. 39 mm and Thickness 15 mm.
Accompanied with original box, guarantee, manual and extract from archives.
More about IWC:
The IWC reference 3705 Fliegerchronograph was the brand’s first ceramic chronograph. As seen with the IWC Aquatimer GST, IWC pioneered the use of alternative materials for case production. Today, the use of materials like titanium and ceramic are widespread, but at the time of their initial release, the use of these materials was incredibly innovative.
The ref. 3705 was launched in 1994 and only produced for three years. Less than 1000 examples were produced in total due to the high cost of making ceramic cases – 50% higher cost than that of a stainless steel example.
Despite the high cost, the use of zirconium oxide (commonly known as ceramic) in watch cases was appealing to IWC because it was extremely hard yet lightweight, and could be fused with other elements to provide additional hardness and scratch resistance. Ceramic is formed when a powder, a binder, and a liquid are combined and heated to temperatures over 1000 degrees Celsius. Unlike metals, ceramic pieces shrink by about a third after they are fired. Consequently, to use ceramic for something like a watch case, the measurements have to be extremely precise and the loss in size has to be factored in from the start.
The present watch is in mint condition and is an excellent opportunity for a watch aficionado to acquire an incredibly innovative watch model. While it was not produced as a limited edition watch, production of this model was extremely limited, making it hard to come by and extremely desirable.