3705 IWC Ceramic Fliegerchronograph

For two years, I drove a black on black Defender 110 (the old one) everywhere. This is not a normal look in the United States. Additionally, I am not a small man. Everywhere I arrived, people assumed I was a drug dealer. Now, that’s actually not as bad as it seems. You’re given wide berth, no one starts up small talk, and hotel valets seem strangely keen to please. For introverts, the only thing better is solitary confinement. That’s actually a likely outcome, as the only people you talk to frequently are the police, who were continually surprised to find that this vehicle was registered and in fact completely legal. What I learned in that experience is that, as childish as it may sound, people think black-on-black vehicles are for villains.


Would the effect have been the same in a different color? I can actually answer that definitively, as I also spent about a year with an orange Defender 90 (my current watch habit was invented to supplant a vehicular one, and has now become an even larger fiscal nightmare). That answer is no. So black is imposing, perhaps vaguely sinister. I’ve spent many years wondering why I love the 3705 so much. I don’t fall for rarity alone, though it certainly possesses that. It’s not terribly complicated. The innovation is one-dimensional. But IWC had to move heaven and earth to innovate along that singular dimension, and upon reflection that effort is what I’m attracted to. That, or I imagine myself to be Rami Malek in No Time To DIe.


See, this isn’t a coating, IWC compressed powdered ZrO2 under high heat and pressure to create this full case in ceramic. The only harder material out there is used to propose. The case back, crown, and pushers were pieces too small and delicate to be forged in zirconium, so left steel. It is estimated that fewer than 1000 examples were ever produced. But perhaps most notable is the way this thing wears. This is a menacing 39mm Death Star on wrist, a mil-looking pilot’s watch with no time for frills. If Universal Pictures had better taste or if Ian Fleming was alive in the 90s, this is the ideal watch for a Bond villain. And what’s not to love about that?


I will also state I love this condition. Of course, the case is sharp. You couldn’t polish it if you tried. But so is the caseback, and all tritium is seriously golden. It even comes with a full set, all from a well-regarded retailer.

Find this 3705 here from Mr Watchley for 24850 EUR.