A very rare and historically interesting ceramic and stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with day and date - property from the family of Günter Blümlein

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  • Manufacturer: IWC
    Year: 2001
    Reference No: 3705
    Case No: 2'601'769
    Model Name: Der Fliegerchronograph
    Material: Ceramic and titanium
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 7902, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather custom-made IWC strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel IWC deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied with a service dial, additional date ring and calendar ring in Italian, additional hour, minute and chronograph hands and additional black leather IWC strap with stainless steel IWC buckle. Further delivered with a IWC Certificate confirming production of the ceramic chronograph reference 3705 and its delivery November 13, 2001.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Günter Blümlein (1943-2001) was a modern watchmaker that helped form the 21st century horological landscape as we know it. It has been said that without his stewardship, some of the industry’s favorite brands may not have been viable entities today. From an early age, he was an accomplished student of engineering and apprenticed with Diehl, a manufacturer of armaments, calculators and clocks. Following the apprenticeship, he was awarded a company scholarship to study mechanical engineering with a concentration in precision mechanics. He graduated in 1968 and was known not only for his technical skills but also as an excellent marketer, manager, and communicator. Blümlein entered the horological world at the precise moment the quartz crisis was wreaking havoc on brands - many having gone bankrupt having been unable to compete with these highly accurate, low-cost movements.

    In an effort to challenge this new revolution, the VDO Adolf Schindling group head, Albert Keck, sought to put two Swiss brands and one Parisian brand under one entity, and while the acquisition of the Parisian firm never occurred, the group brought IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and A. Lange & Söhne together under one management team. The name was later changed to Les Manufactures Horlogoères, and in 1982 Blümlein was appointed managing director. Under his direction each brand was transformed, and today they are known for some of the most complicated and intriguing timepieces available. At IWC, Blümlein brought the IWC Grande Complication to market as well as working with Porsche to create titanium chronographs, and in a groundbreaking first, introduced the use of ceramic for a watch case, as seen on this ceramic Der Fliegerchronograph or Pilot’s chronograph reference 3705.

    The present reference 3705 with custom made leather strap was purchased by Günter Blümlein himself. Presented as a gift for his wife, it was worn by her and is presented here for the very first time. The pilot’s chronograph is a rare modern classic that was introduced in 1994 and remained in production only until 1998. This pilot’s chronograph reference 3705 is a very rare modern classic introduced in 1994 and remained in production only until 1998. According to research performed by Phillips and IWC, only 999 ceramic examples were made, with a larger production number for the reference 3706, the stainless steel model. The reference 3705 has a masculine and sexy appeal with its dark ceramic case – a fully compressed, molded ceramic, not just a surface coating. The present example is in excellent overall condition with sharp case and clean original dial with luminous hour markers that have aged beautifully to a warm yellow hue. As would be expected of a watch from Schaffhausen, the calendar is in German, and the watch is accompanied with a new factory replacement dial and Italian calendar ring. Collectors today are looking for rare timepieces with exciting stories to tell, and this Pilot’s Chronograph ticks all the boxes: not only is it a very rare model, but also a noteworthy timepiece with a direct link to one of the greatest horologists of the modern era.

    Phillips wishes to sincerely thank Dr. David Seyffer, IWC Museum Curator, for his invaluable assistance in researching the present lot.

  • Maker Bio

    IWC

    Swiss • 1868

    With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world's leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining high precision with masculine design. Vintage wristwatches such as the oversized Portugieser, Aquatimer, Ingenieur and the B-UHR pilots watch are especially desirable for collectors.

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Σ71

IWC

Ref. 3705
A very rare and historically interesting ceramic and stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with day and date - property from the family of Günter Blümlein

2001
39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.

Estimate
$6,000 - 8,000 
CHF6,000-8,000
€5,200-6,900
HK$47,100-62,700

sold for $53,750

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

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