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 an early reference with acrylic crystal. 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 3740 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 3740 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 reference 3740 with a plexi crystal was produced for just two years before being replaced with the sapphire reference 3741. It is considered generally more desirable. Amongst those paying close attention, who are open to electrons as a power source, the 3740 is quickly approaching cult classic status.
This example has a very sharp case with razor edges. Its dial and handset are beautiful, with even cream tritium. Original fish crown present. The back and case flanks display moderate levels of surface wear, but that’s exactly how I’d have it. Plexi still in good condition. It comes from a well-regarded German retailer.
Find this 3740 here from Watchurbia for 2390 EUR.