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Why We Love It
The IWC Reference 3706 is one of our favorite Neo-Vintage sleepers.
Combining the traditional function-forward elements of pilot's watch design with a sensibly sized 39mm case, robust automatic movement, Tritium luminous indices and hands, the 3706 was born a classic when it was introduced in 1994.
This particular example is in excellent condition throughout with a strong case, fully linked steel bracelet with signed deployant clasp, English Date/Date calendar, and mouth watering patina to its luminous elements.
This is a primo example of our favorite 90s IWC chronograph - don't miss it!
The IWC Pilot’s Story
The history of IWC can be said to be one of marriages. For example, a marriage of the Old World to the New, or of the craftsmanship and tradition of the Swiss with American innovations and technology. But perhaps the most enduring association is between IWC and aviation.
When an American watchmaker named Florentine Ariosto Jones arrived in Schauffhausen, Switzerland, he found a city almost frozen in time. Though the Industrial Revolution had swept through America (where Jones worked as a director of a prominent watchmaking company), in Switzerland the situation was very different. Watchmakers still plied their trades by their own firesides, as they had done for centuries; but Jones had in mind something different: an American-style factory where the watches would be designed and assembled in keeping with the old Swiss ways.
His methods caught on, and soon there were 196 people employed at his factory.
Though IWC was founded 35 years before Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first flight, the association between aviation and IWC began just as the aviation age dawned. A pocket watch made by IWC in the 1890s found its way into the pocket of one Robert Albert Lotter. Lotter was a pilot in the German Luftwaffe who served with distinction during the First World War.
Two decades later, in 1936, IWC would release a watch that set the standard, more or less, for what a pilot’s watch is supposed to be—in fact, this watch, the Spezialuhr für Flieger or Special Pilot's Watch, was the first specially-designed pilot’s watch. Another would follow in 1940, the Big Pilot, which has spawned an eponymous model in IWC’s current collection. However, despite the Big Pilot’s current popularity, it was the Special Pilot’s Watch that would lay the cornerstone for IWC’s most iconic line: the Mark series of pilot’s watches.
IWC released the Mark XI in 1948 according to specifications set forth by the British Ministry of Defense. These watches had to be legible, compact, and able to withstand exposure to the magnetic fields emitted by instruments in an airplane’s cockpit. The Mark XI, therefore, had a black dial with large luminous Arabic numbers, and the Calibre 89 movement (regarded as perhaps the best mechanical movement ever produced) was encased in an iron cage.
The Mark XI served as the basis for design inspiration for a robust line of pilot’s watches still being produced today – easily identifiable by their clean, uncluttered dials, robust cases, and outstanding quality.
Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding the crown). Valjoux Calibre 7750 automatic-winding chronograph movement. IWC Reference 3706.
Overall Condition: The case is in fantastic condition overall showing light wear consistent with age and use. Luminous matte black dial is in excellent condition with rich patina to the Tritium luminous elements with matching handset. Signed crown.
Includes stainless steel multi-link bracelet with signed deployant clasp.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options