The tough-nut Ingenieur by IWC steals the show at the SIHH in Geneva

By Robin Swithinbank

It is, when it comes to IWC, always a matter of keeping it in the family. Last year was all about the Pilot’s Watches family and ‘Top Gun’; the year before that it was Portofino and Peter Lindbergh’s impossibly sexy black and white photos of Elle McPherson. This year, centre stage is given over to that most utilitarian of watch families, the tough-nut Ingenieur.
But before we come to that, a quick history lesson. We have to go back to 1955 to find the first IWC Ingenieur – it was round and had an anti-magnetic soft-iron inner cage that protected its movement from the troublesome effects of the magnetic fields found in domestic appliances and the shiny, new factories of the day.
Then, in 1976, the late, great Gérald Genta got hold of the design, giving it angular shoulders and a round bezel with five bore holes. The Ingenieur SL, as it was called, became the design archetype for the line and has influenced it ever since.
No prizes, then, for spotting the Genta touch in this year’s haul, so instead take note of the breadth of models available. Formerly little more than a handful of chronographs, the latest brood of Ingenieurs now includes a constant-force tourbillon (think: very accurate), a double-chronograph (think: split-seconds timing) and a perpetual calendar with digital read-outs for the day and date (think: no date adjustment required, not even in a leap year).
On top of that, it comes in an array of case materials that will stretch most people’s understanding of the periodic table. Carbon, ceramic, titanium, stainless steel and titanium aluminide are all in the mix, the latter a thwack-proof compound borrowed from Formula 1 via IWC’s new engineering partnership with the Mercedes PETRONAS AMG F1 team.
Despite being impressed by all that clever techy stuff, my favourite of the new batch is also the simplest – the all-steel 40mm Automatic. I feel a bit guilty saying that as it doesn’t feature one of IWC’s brilliantly engineered in-house movements, but it is without question one of the most wearable watches to come out of SIHH this year. Fact.


    The Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon (Ref. 5900), with a platinum and ceramic case, features an impressive patented constant-force mechanism. IWC’s hallmark double moon display also makes its debut in a new design.

  • 4IWCIngenieurPerpetualCalendarDigitalDateMonth

    IWC’s Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (Ref. 3792) features a perpetual calendar, digital date display and leap year indicator. Every night, when the date display advances, the integrated IWC quick-action switch siphons off a little of the energy, stores it and then discharges it precisely at the end of the month.


    The three-part outer case of IWC’s Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance (Ref. 3224) is made of epoxy-resin-soaked carbon-fibre matting and manufactured using the same principle as for the monocoque safety shell of a Formula One racing car. The dial is also covered with carbon-fibre webbing.

  • 10IWCIngenieurAutomaticAMGBlackSeriesCeramic

    IWC’s Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic (Ref. 3225) has the same outstanding qualities as an AMG Mercedes vehicle: exclusiveness and high performance, combined with everyday practicability, reliability and quality. Some surfaces have a high-gloss, piano-lacquer-like finish while others are silky matt.

  • 12IWCIngenieurDoubleChronographTitanium

    The outcomes of Formula OneTM races are not only decided on the track, but also during pit stops. So it was clear that the new Ingenieur collection would have to feature IWC’s Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium (Ref. 3865), which records intermediate times within a given minute.


    Around 20 times a year, the international Formula One cavalcade moves from one racing circuit to the next, in locations all over the world. IWC’s Ingenieur Dual Time Titanium (Ref. 3264) has a display for a second local time, which helps the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team keep track of the various time zones.


    In 2013, IWC Schaffhausen embarks on the motor-racing season as the Official Engineering Partner of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team. To mark the occasion, IWC has launched the Ingenieur Chronograph Racer (Ref. 3785) with an engraving of a Formula One racing car on the case back.

  • 17IWCIngenieurAutomaticBLACKFACE

    Elegant, functional and conscious of its tradition, the Ingenieur Automatic (Ref. 3239) takes up the design cues defined by legendary watch designer Ge´rald Genta: it has a strikingly clear design and features the hallmark bores in the bezel.

  • 18IWCIngenieurChronographSilberpfeil

    With its Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil (Ref. 3785), IWC breathes fresh life into the legend of the historic Mercedes- Benz racing car. One characteristic feature is the circularly grained dial. This is a tribute to the legendary W25 Silver Arrow, the dashboard of which had a steel surround with a similar circular-grain decoration.

  • 1IWCIngenieurConstantForceTourbillonMood

    The design of the movement in IWC’s Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon (Ref. 5900), which is visible through a transparent sapphire-glass back, was inspired by the engine block of a sports car. Perforated sections reveal the intermeshing gears.