In the 1970s, IWC Schaffhausen commissioned the renowned Geneva watch designer Gérald Genta to redesign the Ingenieur. The Ingenieur had originally been introduced in 1955. With the first automatic movement developed in Schaffhausen and a soft-iron inner case for magnetic field protection, this watch marked a technical milestone for IWC – also evident in the name Ingenieur, the word used in German and French for Engineer. With his unique artistic signature, Genta succeeded in giving the Ingenieur a new, highly distinctive visual identity. His Ingenieur SL, launched in 1976 as the talking piece of IWC’s SL collection of steel luxury watches, featured bold aesthetic codes such as a screw-on bezel with five recesses, a dial with a unique pattern, and an integrated H-link bracelet. With its innovative and disruptive design, the Ingenieur SL was ahead of its time. Today, Gérald Genta’s creation is a collector’s favourite and one of the most sought-after models from the history of IWC.
“With the new Ingenieur Automatic 40, the steel sports watch with an integrated bracelet returns to our portfolio. While taking inspiration from Gérald Genta’s Ingenieur SL from the 1970s, we invested a lot of time and effort into engineering a new automatic model with perfect case proportions and ergonomics, a high level of detail and finishing, and equipped with modern movement technology. The new Ingenieur Automatic 40 is a versatile luxury sports watch for the 21st century,”
"It is not every day that a designer gets the chance to work on an icon like the Ingenieur SL. We were aware of the enormous responsibility this task entailed and proceeded very cautiously. Nevertheless, we believe we succeeded in creating a new and contemporary interpretation, perfected down to the smallest detail. While keeping faithful to the original design signature, the new Ingenieur Automatic 40 is a perfect embodiment of IWC’s engineering excellence,”
ENHANCED ERGONOMICS AND WEARABILITY
The overall dimensions of the case have been carefully reworked and improved down to the smallest detail. The lug-to-lug distance of 45.7 millimetres ensures perfect ergonomics and excellent wearability, even on a slender wrist. While the Ingenieur SL from the 1970s had nose-shaped horns, the new Ingenieur Automatic 40 features a newly engineered middle-link attachment. Aesthetically similar to the Ingenieur SL, this new solution enhances the ergonomics and provides an even better fit on the wrist. The curved casing ring further improves the ergonomics of the case.
FUNCTIONAL SCREWS AND “GRID” DIAL
One of the most striking changes of the new model is the introduction of functional, polygonal screws on its bezel. For the Ingenieur SL, a bezel with five recesses was screwed onto the case ring. As a result, the recesses ended up in a different position on each watch. With the Ingenieur Automatic 40, five screws secure the bezel to the case. The screws now have a technical function and, as a result, are always in the same position. In addition, the dial features a distinctive “Grid” structure, creating a balance to the technical and very sculptural case design. Consisting of small lines offset by 90 degrees to each other, it is stamped into the soft iron blank before it is galvanised. Finally, appliques with luminescence add additional depth and ensure easy legibility, even at night.
HIGH LEVEL OF DETAIL AND FINISHING
The Ingenieur Automatic 40 features an astonishingly high level of detail and finishing. The case, bezel, and bracelet are elaborately finished using a combination of polished and satin-finished surfaces. The upper parts of the bracelet contain closed links without pins, accentuating the outstanding craftsmanship. The integration of an elaborately finished butterfly folding clasp highlights the beauty and thinness of the H-link bracelet. In addition, a newly designed crown protection further underscores the sporty character of the timepiece.
The Ingenieur Automatic 40 is powered by the IWC-manufactured 32111 calibre with an automatic pawl winding system and a power reserve of 120 hours. 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. Moreover, the case is water-resistant to 10 bar, making the Ingenieur Automatic 40 a modern and fully versatile sports watch. The Ingenieur Automatic 40 is available in three references in stainless steel:
- Ingenieur Automatic 40, Ref. IW328901: stainless steel case, black dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliques, integrated stainless steel bracelet with butterfly folding clasp
- Ingenieur Automatic 40, Ref. IW328902: stainless steel case, silver-plated dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliques, integrated stainless steel bracelet with butterfly folding clasp
- Ingenieur Automatic 40, Ref. IW328903: stainless steel case, aqua dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliques, integrated stainless steel bracelet with polished centre links and butterfly folding clasp
A TESTAMENT TO IWC’S TITANIUM COMPETENCE
IWC is also presenting one version of the Ingenieur Automatic 40 in titanium. Titanium is about one-third lighter than steel. Other distinguishing features of this material are its skin-friendliness and anti-allergic properties. However, the robust and rugged metal is also incredibly difficult to machine. IWC pioneered titanium in the watch industry in the 1980s and has since acquired unique expertise in this field. The Ingenieur Automatic 40 with a grade 5 titanium case and bracelet features a highly detailed finish with sandblasted, satin-finished, and polished surfaces. The grey dial, as well as the black hands and appliques, further accentuate the characteristic matte grey look of the titanium.
- Ingenieur Automatic 40, Ref. IW328904: Grade 5 titanium case, grey dial, black hands and appliques, integrated grade 5 titanium bracelet with butterfly folding clasp
All new Ingenieur Automatic 40 models are available through selected IWC boutiques. Additionally, it is eligible for registration under the My IWC care program, benefitting from a 6-year extension to the standard 2-year International Limited Warranty.