Schaffhausen/Geneva, 27th March 2023: At the Watches and Wonders exhibition in Geneva, IWC Schaffhausen introduces the Ingenieur Automatic 40, inspired by Gérald Genta’s Ingenieur SL from the 1970s. As a tribute to this era, which was marked by a reduced and technical approach to design, the new Ingenieur is presented under the motto FORM UND TECHNIK. A visual highlight of the booth is the Mercedes-Benz C 111-III, an experimental car from that period in a striking retro-futuristic design. Iconic furniture by Vitra complements the strong design focus. Finally, an Ingenieur space in the Metaverse for members of the IWC Diamond Hand Club connects Genta’s unmistakable artistic signature to the future.
In the 1970s, watch designer Gérald Genta created the Ingenieur SL, Reference 1832, as part of his series of luxury steel sports watches. Its unique visual identity has inspired the new Ingenieur Automatic 40, which IWC launches at Watches and Wonders this year. As the 1970s were an era of powerful design expressions, the motto of the booth is FORM UND TECHNIK. By using the German words for ‘form and technology’, IWC is not only referring to its roots in the German-speaking part of Switzerland but also hints at a specific period in German industrial design with a progressive and technical character.
THE INGENIEUR EMERGES FROM A STEEL PLATE
In line with this functional approach to design, the Ingenieur Automatic 40 is presented in a reduced, technical way. The collection is integrated into a large steel plate, allowing visitors to admire the sculptural beauty of the watches and learn more about their intricate manufacturing process. The history of IWC’s first antimagnetic wristwatch for civilian use can also be discovered in an exhibition, showing the evolution of this watch family from 1976 to 2013. The new Ingenieur can even be experienced in the Metaverse. In a newly designed Ingenieur space, members of the IWC Diamond Hand Club will have the opportunity learn more about the development of this timepiece from IWC’s specialists first-hand.
NEWLY FOUND ORIGINAL DRAWING OF THE INGENIEUR SL
Also in Geneva, Gérald Genta’s original hand painted drawing of the Ingenieur SL is presented to the public for the first time. The watercolour painting was thought to have been lost but was recently discovered by IWC museum curator David Seyffer and his team. The artwork features many distinguishable characteristics of an original Gérald Genta design – from the paper and the scale to the shading and the octagonal crown. Its authenticity was investigated and officially certified by the Gérald Genta Heritage Association.
MERCEDES-BENZ C 111-III AS A VISUAL HIGHLIGHT
A visual highlight of the booth is the Mercedes-Benz C 111-III. This vehicle was part of a series of experimental cars produced in the 1970s to test new engines and materials. A perfect example of “form follows function” engineering, its body was rigorously designed with the aim of optimising aerodynamics. With its strong focus on functionality and technical detailing, the concept car is emblematic of the respective design trend of the 1970s.
LOUNGE AREA WITH FURNITURE FROM VITRA
In the lounge area, visitors can relax on iconic furniture like the Lobby Chair ES104 from Charles and Ray Eames, provided by Vitra, a Swiss furniture company. Charles and Ray Eames are amongst the most important figures of 20th-century design. Since 1957, Vitra has been the only authorised manufacturer of their products for Europe and the Middle East. Typical for the designer duo’s work is the combination of functional design with an appreciation for detail. This approach is also reflected in the new Ingenieur, which features an astonishing level of detail and quality in processing and finishing.
IWC IS “THE REFERENCE” FOR CHRONOGRAPHS
The booth also offers an in-depth look at IWC’s chronographs. The heritage of IWC is deeply rooted in professional watches, distinguished by their robustness and accuracy. For over 40 years, this legacy has also driven the company to manufacture chronographs that are among the best the industry has to offer. An uncompromising approach to performance, functionality and quality has made IWC “The Reference” in mechanical chronographs. In Geneva, IWC exhibits chronographs from the Pilot’s Watches, Portugieser and Portofino collections. All of them feature IWC-manufactured movements from the 69000 calibre family, engineered with a focus on robustness, precision, and durability. A typical feature of IWC’s chronographs is also the vertical dial layout, a result of the company’s functional approach to design and significantly enhances readability.
AN INTRODUCTION TO IWC’S TESTING PROGRAM
IWC lets visitors peek into the IWC Laboratory in Schaffhausen, where the company conducts its stringent quality and type-testing program. Every new movement, complication or watch reference undergoes several dozen tests, simulating at least ten years of wear in normal and extreme conditions. On display in Geneva are four custom-built quality testing devices: a bath test for corrosion and water resistance, an overpressure test for chronographs, an accelerated gear train wear test and a magnetic resistance test.
WATCHMAKING DEMONSTRATION WITH THE CYBERLOUPE ®
At the Watchmaker’s Table, visitors can observe a watchmaker performing their magic on several IWC-manufactured movements. Thanks to the patented Cyberloupe®, they can get a closer look at the tiny components inside. Developed, designed, and made in Schaffhausen, the Cyberloupe® is the world’s first digitalised watchmaker’s magnifying glass, featuring a high-resolution camera and a network connection. Since its introduction in 2020, this digital tool has continuously been enhanced and upgraded. Most recently, IWC introduced the Cyberloupe® 3.0 with a comprehensive range of Augmented Reality (AR) features.