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In the world of horology there are certain indelible associations. Like the Omega Speedmaster and NASA, or the Heuer Autavia and Formula 1. Since its inception, IWC has had deep ties to the world of aviation. They make pilot's watches for pilots with pilots' needs in mind. Although the brand has built a following through its dive and dress watches, it's with the pilot's watches that IWC truly excels.
IWC produced its first specially-made pilot's watch in 1936. This was their first watch designed with an antimagnetic escapement. The Big Pilot's watch was introduced in 1940, during the height of World War II, establishing the brand's most enduring model of aviator's watch.
At first glance the Fliegeruhr Chronograph, reference 3777, can't be mistaken for anything but a pilot's watch. There's the size, first of all. The case is a sturdy 43mm (larger than its predecessor the ref. 3717 by one millimeter), with brushed finish and sharp, polished edges. To make the watch antimagnetic, IWC employed an iron casing, a measure necessary to take with sensitive instruments that will be exposed to magnetic fields inside an aircraft. A concern for practicality extends to the Fliegeruhr's crystal as well; the applied anti-reflective coating greatly reduces glare in high-light conditions.
As with all pilot's watches, the printed dial with its large numerals allows for ease of legibility in a dark cockpit. There's the requisite arrowhead indicator at 12 o'clock, naturally. But IWC added an open date window at 3 o'clock, a polarizing design feature that came to mark this particular reference. While it isn't unique among pilot's watches (Bremont employed something similar in their U-22), it's a first for IWC, and opinion about it was fairly divisive--even derisive--when the watch was first introduced. Despite the controversy of the Fliegeruhr's design, we think it falls well within the standards for a pilot's watch, and we happily count it as part of IWCs growing pantheon of contemporary classics.
This particular Fliegeruhr is in excellent, like-new condition and comes with its original box and papers. To quote the operating instructions, when you buy this watch you enter "a small circle of individuals who... demand slightly more of a watch than absolute precision."
We can't sum it up better than that.
Stainless steel case is approximately 43 mm (excluding crown). IWC Calibre 79320 Automatic Chronograph Movement. Circa 2010.
Overall Condition: The stainless steel case is in excellent condition over all, showing only the slightest signs of light wear. The dial is likewise in excellent original condition. The original hands are in excellent condition. Original pushers, screw case back and signed crown.
Includes original 20mm IWC black leather embossed strap with matching IWC-signed buckle.
Also Includes inner and outer boxes, booklets and Guarantee card.