A Well-Preserved IWC 3705
Yeah, alright, this is probably my pick amongst all the modern IWC lot. I know it’s simple. I know it’s humble. I know I’ve featured it before. But with IWC’s recent reissue and collectors becoming increasingly accepting of ceramics, I thought it fit to revisit just what makes the 3705 so charming. Because there’s a lot worth daydreaming about here.
The 3705 was IWC’s first full ZrO2 Keramik (ceramic to you and I) chronograph. The resulting case is ultra-light and hard enough to effectively never scratch. The chunky and legible three-register pilot dial is finished in tritium; no fauxtina here. The 3705 is powered by a Valjoux 7750, modified by IWC and Richard Habring. They tuned positions and isochronism as well as many reliability and accuracy tests on each movement. The case back, crown, and pushers were pieces too small and delicate to be forged in zirconium, so left steel. It’s a contrast some hate, but I love. That detail left on the reissue, an omission to my eye.
The 3705 was introduced in 1994 in a run between 1000 and 2000 examples. It was released together with the steel 3706 and available at 50% premium. The run was so small, however, that many collectors weren’t aware of the ceramic until the reissue. The extremely functional design of the steel version saw huge success. The 3705-3706 pair really set the aesthetic for all of IWC’s current pilot range. It can be seen as a father to the top guns and miramars of the world (love or hate them). However, at a full 7mm smaller than their modern pilot’s chronograph, the 3706 generation is a more subtle and perhaps more tasteful choice.
This example is simply a standout. The case is unmarred as expected. The dial is full cream tritium. It comes with a recent service by IWC and full set. The crystal was replaced, that’s going to be a win or lose depending on your style of collecting. For my money, its the move in neo-vintage pilots.
Find this 3705 here on Chrono24 from a private collector for 36.7K USD.