This year, IWC Schaffhausen’s Ingenieur collection returns to its iconic round shape but remains up to the times with a perpetual calendar and chronograph function. We take a look at its evolution from 1955 to present day.
When it comes to timepieces that combine ruggedness and technical appeal, none has stood the tests of time like the IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur collection. It stole hearts all over the world when it was first premiered in 1955 and continues to do so to this very day.
A part of its timelessness is due to its constant evolution in design and giving fans what they want, while constantly keeping true to its spirit of ingenuity.
For those not in the know, here are the three design highlights that mark every Ingenieur.
A homage to technical ingenuity
The design of each Ingenieur is a homage to the technical ingenuity of the 1950s when engineers were the heroes of the technological age. The first Ingenieur, in fact, combined the simple dial design with striking hands and the most advanced winding mechanism to create a modern watch.
As much as the design and movements were at the forefront of what stood the Ingenieur out, the materials from which it is made was also given due thought. The Ingenieur was particularly known for using materials typically used in motorsport, such as ceramic and titanium to highlight their technical yet sporty character.
Adjustable with one hand
Perhaps the simplest reason for why it is so popular is its functionality. Comfort and convenience are also considered in its design, especially with its newer models. They feature a fine adjustment system that allows its straps to be adjusted at the touch of a button thanks to an innovative clasp.
And here, the complete evolution of the Ingenieur.
1955: Ingenieur Reference 666
The first Ingenieur was created because engineers wanted a watch that was not only highly precise, but also highly protected. The first Ingenieur, hence, with its highly functional design, also came with screenings with magnetic fields, shock protection and is watertight.
1967: Ingenieur Reference 866
This second generation Ingenieur, launched in 1967, retained the basic rugged, water-resistant and anti-magnetic watch in a round case but sports a fresher, sportier and more contemporary touch with new dials and hands.
1976: Ingenieur SL Automatic
This third generation of the Ingenieur changed significantly in terms of appearance. Designer Gerald Genta revamped it with a sporty steel case, that remains to this day, one of IWC's greatest design innovation.
1982: Ingenieur SL Pocketwatch
IWC premiered its own Ingenieur pocketwatch in 1982 in limited collector's editions, that combined the classical pocketwatch of IWC calibre 9520 with typical design features of the Ingenieur. It has a soft iron inner case and soft iron dial, rendering it anti-magnetic up to 40,000A/m and is water resistant up to 3 atm.
1989: Ingenieur 500'000 A/m
Specially engineered to withstand any magnetic field, this 1989 release was particularly difficult to work with due to a balance spring made of niobium-zirconium alloy. During tests in several magnetic resonance scanners, it was found to be able to withstand up to 3.7 million A/m, setting a new world record for antimagnetic watches back then.
2005: Ingenieur Automatic AMG
In 2005, the Ingenieur was relaunched in the shape of the reference 3227 that injected new and dynamic life into a watch that was 50 years old. This special piece, the automatic AMG, was launched to honour the partnership with Mercedes-Benz.
2013: Ingenieur Constant Force Tourbillon
The Ingenieur got a complete overhaul in 2013 and was fitted with a highly complicated watch-making. This Ingenieur Constant Force Tourbillon was a particular highlight in the collection for its platinum and ceramic case and is patented with a constant force mechanism that is integrated in the tourbillon that guarantees an extremely precise rate.
2017: Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date Month
This year, the Ingenieur returns to its roots and embraces once again the iconic round design from its predecessors of the 50s and 60s. The flagship of the new collection is this digital perpetual calendar with chronograph function and a 45mm case made of 18-karat red gold.
For more information on the collection, log on to the official website here. The Ingenieur is available for purchase at Swiss Watch Gallery; log on to the official website here to find your nearest boutique.