IWC Schaffhausen is mostly known for its pilot’s watches, such as the famous Big Pilot or its ‘Mark’ series… But there’s much more to IWC than just pilot’s watches, as the brand’s big 2023 release, a new take on the iconic Ingenieur, attests.
First introduced in 1955, the Ingenieur was one of the first anti-magnetic watches on the market – an invaluable tool for engineers or scientists. But it was later in 1976 when the Ingenieur really became an icon, thanks to a total redesign by the legendary Gérald Genta.
Genta’s 1976 Ingenieur SL ‘Jumbo’ is something of an underrated classic. It’s the forgotten third sibling of Genta-designed integrated bracelet watches alongside the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (which came out before it) and the Patek Philippe Nautilus (which came out just after it).
Over the years, the Ingenieur has received subtle updates but over the last decade, it’s fallen by the wayside somewhat. Yet it’s still an elegant and understated watch that perfectly splits the difference between sporty and dressy (and luxury).
Thankfully, IWC has heard our prayers. Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023 has seen the Swiss brand unveil a huge new overhaul of the Ingenieur, which has made the iconic tool watch better than ever and puts it right where it belongs: the spotlight.
WATCH us get up, close and personal with the new Ingenieur below.
First of all, the integrated bracelet makes a return to the Ingenieur – we’re not sure why it ever went away, but we’re glad it’s back. The 2023 model’s bracelet is better than ever, too: not only is it more ergonomic, but every link (except the first four) features quick-release pins, making it super easy to adjust the size.
You’ll also notice that the Ingenieur features a radically different bezel design, which now features five functional screws. There’s also a fancy new dial texture: a checkerboard grid with each square featuring small lines offset by 90 degrees to each other, which is a nice homage to the Jumbo’s hobnail dial while still being fresh.
The new Ingenieur is powered by the IWC manufacture calibre 32111, which blesses IWC’s new baby with a hefty 120-hour (5 day) power reserve plus 100m of water-resistance. In keeping with the tradition of the Ingenieur, a soft-iron inner case efficiently protects the movement from the effects of magnetic fields on its accuracy. It’s the most anti-magnetic Ingenieur ever.
There are three stainless steel variants of the new Ingenieur, with a black, white and aqua dial respectively (the latter of which is quite dark; somewhere between blue and green and rather alluring). There’s also a titanium version with a grey dial, which is my personal favourite of the four.
Our take? The Ingenieur has always been wildly underrated. Maybe it’s because it hasn’t had an update in yonks, but people just don’t talk about it as much as they should.
2023 will change that – especially seeing as these updates make the Ingenieur better than ever. There’s nothing watch fans want more these days than integrated bracelet luxury sports watches, and the Ingenieur is arguably the cream of the crop… And it’s a watch you stand half a chance of actually being able to own in your own lifetime.
Exceptionally refined, highly practical, unique, eye-catching and imbued with history and credibility… Man, we’re glad to see a new Ingenieur.
Find out more about the new IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Automatic 40 at IWC’s online boutique here.