For neo-vintage collectors, this somewhat polarizing fliegerchronograph has few equivalents. It’s an IWC that hits all the pleasure receptors where modern watches often can’t: swathes of tritium, 36mm case, restrained dial with extreme legibility, and original Milanese steel bracelet. Sure, it’s not all perfect; 4:30-date haters will, no doubt, not remain silent in the comments. But 90s IWC just has something about it that is just as true of this immense-value mecha-quartz as it is a 9240 integrated perpetual calendar (which I also happen to desperately desire).
The 3741 came out of IWC’s resurrection under Günter Blümlein and LMH, where engineering with Teutonic precision was worshipped as the central tenet of IWC’s philosophy. The resulting timepieces were somewhat unashamedly masculine in design; as controversial as that feels to write today, the aesthetics drove toward that direction as did their questionable marketing campaigns. We’ve all come a long way, although I can’t help but feel the strong sense of direction IWC demonstrated in this era has faltered wanderingly slightly in recent years.
To support its restrained proportion, IWC utilized a Jaeger-LeCoultre mecha-quartz which allowed the 3741 to be 10.4mm thin, as opposed to the contemporary mechanical 3706 chronograph’s 14.6mm. Its build quality was superb. The subdials have unique tracks, each distinct in line weight and design. IWC’s signature feels perfectly judged in proportion. This example’s original Milanese bracelet adds a touch of elegance to an otherwise downright purposeful instrument. Amongst those paying close attention, who are open to electrons as a power source, the 3741 is quickly approaching cult classic status.
This example presents a full case with sharp lugs. Its dial is lovely, the tritium particularly golden. Caseback engravings are deep. But there’s an item of note, one rather large one.
This one is going to need some love from its next owner. The chronograph function is not functioning well. IWC confirmed it could be repaired, but the dial would be replaced. It is keeping time and date well. This, I suspect, could be solved with a high-level independent service center and much patience. A little bit of love and attention could land you a deal, hence the value prop tag here. Either way, please keep this in mind when considering this watch. It comes from a well-regarded Japanese retailer with a ‘help-needed’ sign around its neck.
Find this 3741 here from Special Dial for 2100 USD.