IWC Watch history
Today we take the Mirmar of today, and put it side by side with a very special watch from IWC, the reference 3705 Fliegerchronograph. The 3705 was actually the very first ceramic chronograph from IWC (like, ever) and according to many, it was actually the very first ceramic watch, period. The process of zirconium plating was so costly back then, that the 3705 was 50% more expensive than traditional steel IWC's (for more on the process, read this.)
So, how far has the IWC ceramic pilot's watch come in the past 20 years or so? Let's find out.
Built in less than 2000 examples in the early to mid-1990s, the 3705 ceramic fliegerchronograph is something of a cult watch, and it could certainly be considered the grandfather to the Miramar, and all ceramic watches in the IWC family. Launched in 1994 and produced until 1997, the 3705 was based on what else but the Valjoux 7750. It featured pump pushers, a traditional pilot's chrono dial, and both a date and day window (in German, of course). Sized at 39mm, it is a full 7mm smaller than today's Miramar. That is a big, big difference.
Even with the dramatic size difference, when viewed from the side, you can see the family resemblance very clearly between these two watches. Something that John mentioned in his review of the Miramar was the gaping hole at 9 o'clock in the dial. When you compare that to the three register layout of the 3705, you really have to wonder why IWC chose not to make mimic the traditional design with the Miramar - in terms of aesthetics and functionality, three register is clearly superior.
Also, you have to noticed the difference between the cream colored hands and hour markers on the Miramar, which were designed to look a little vintage-y, and the natural patina developing on the 18 year old 3705. Once is real, one is not - though we can't fault IWC for the faux-patina look, as it does work with the overall color scheme of the Miramar.
If one really wants to knit-pick, look at the difference between the two casebacks. This will tell you just how vastly different the 3705 is from the Miramar. That's all we'll say about that.
So, we've hoped you enjoyed this look at the evolution of the IWC ceramic pilot's watch. It's amazing to see how far this model has come since the very beginning, and we're curious to see where it goes next. A special thanks to William Massena for the loan on the historic IWC Reference 3705 seen above.