Carl S. Cunanan
February 26, 2021    |    

IWC’s Black Flieger Returns

This is a real blast of air from the past.

The new “Tribute to 3705” really shows you how much emphasis watch enthusiasts put on knowing reference numbers.

IWC’s Reference 3705 was a rather unusual piece for it’s time. It was a black pilot’s watch released in 1994, but with a black ceramic case. It was actually ground-breaking, with the watch company making bold use of ceramic. It was, however, discontinued after only three years. One of those watches that may not have been appreciated at the time but went on to be a fairly well-known and rare niche piece.

The 1994 IWC Flieger Chronograph Black Ceramic 3705
Clean lines, crisp hands and indices and plenty of space to distinguish between them.
The simple caseback was something far more common in the 1990s when the actual Ref. 3705 was launched.

The new watch is Reference number 387905, and it pays homage to that first watch. Still primarily black, though now the case is made of Ceratanium. Ceratanium was developed by IWC to be light and robust like that other aviation favorite, titanium, but also to be harder and more scratch-resistant like a ceramic. The dial is a replica of the original ’90’s piece, and uses IWC manufacture calibre 69380. It is a chronograph with day and date display, as well as a hack seconds on the small subdial. A soft-iron inner case helps against magnetic fields, and the glass is secured so it won’t pop off if a pilot flies a little too high to where the air is thin.