SIHH 2013: IWC (with live photos)
Each year IWC has a specific theme for the particular collection that forms the focus of the SIHH range. Last year was naval aviationand pilot’s watches, and this year it is motorsport – a partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team – and the Ingenieur line. No major technical innovation was part of the new Ingenieur line, though several of the new Ingenieur models are much more attractive than their recent predecessors.
Let’s begin with the most straight forward new addition, the Ingenieur Automatic in steel. This harks back to the Ingenieur SL of the seventies.
Available with either black or silver dial, the Ingenieur Automatic measures 40 mm wide and 10 mm high, giving it elegant proportions.
On the wrist it appears a bit smaller than 40 mm, perhaps due to the large crown guards, which makes it suitable for female wrists as well.
It has a solid case back and antimagnetic soft iron cage. Inside is an ETA 2892 (or Sellita equivalent).
And now to the other extreme: at the very top of the new line-up sits the Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon in a 46 mm platinum and ceramic case.
The tourbillon with a cleverly integrated constant force mechanism is identical to that in the Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia astronomical complication.
At two o’clock sits the double moon phase and below that is the power reserve display. The twin moons on the moon phase display are modelled after the real moon, including the tiny craters on the lunar surface.
Over on the back the engine block-inspired movement is visible.
The other new highly complicated Ingenieur is the Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month. The 47 mm case is made from titanium aluminide, a lightweight and oxidation proof alloy used in aircraft and motorsports, while the pushers and crown guards are ceramic.
Inside is the cal. 8000 based perpetual calendar with digital date and month displays, sporting a dark grey finish and a rotor styled like a wheel rim.
And the sub-dials are clear sapphire, so the discs for the date, month and leap year are visible through the dial.
Also in a new case material for IWC is the Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance. This has a glossy carbon fibre case and dial (or more specifically a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer), with red or yellow accents.
With a 46 mm case, the carbon fibre Ingenieur has screw heads, crown and crown guard in ceramic, while the central part of the case back is titanium. Inside is the cal. 80110 with a engine pistons-inspired rotor. And the strap is rubber with a textile top lining.
In a similar vein is the Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic which has a 46 mm black ceramic case. The dial is available in either black or brown.
Not quite new is the Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium. Something similar was launched a few years ago, probably to test the waters for a new Ingenieur line.
Housed in a 45 mm titanium case with rubber coated crown and pushers, the Double Chronograph is available with a white or black dial; the white dial version reminds me of a Storm Trooper from Star Wars.
In a similarly sized case is the new Ingenieur Chronograph Racer, which is yet another addition to the big-chunky-chronograph segment. Inside is the cal. 89361 which has co-axial minute and hour counters at 12 o’clock.
This has a steel 45 mm case, with either a grey or white dial, with the option of bracelet or strap. The white dial with blue hands and indices is especially attractive.
And the back features a Mercedes Formula One car in relief. It is worth noting that IWC appears to have moved from an engraved, relief case back to one that is stamped, resulting in less sharply defined relief text and image.
In the same case, but as a limited edition is the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil (“silver arrow”. Named after the legendary championship Mercedes-Benz racing cars of the thirties, the Silberpfeil is a limited edition of 1000 each in silver or brown dial. Both versions are paired with a rubber strap that has a brown leather top lining.
The dials in both colours feature perlage, inspired by the dashboard of the Mercedes W25 Silberpfeil automobile. That same automobile is in relief on the case back.
Despite being nothing novel in any sense, I find the silver dial version of the Silberpfeil is extremely appealing in look and feel.
And lastly there is the Ingenieur Dual Time Titanium. As the name implies it is a dual time watch with a 45 mm titanium case. The local time zone hand is adjustable in one hour increments via the crown, while the home time zone hand is on a 24 hour scale.
See the rest of my SIHH 2013 comprehensive reports. The brand reports listed in italics are still in progress. A. Lange & Söhne Audemars Piguet Cartier Greubel Forsey IWC Jaeger-LeCoultre Montblanc Panerai Parmigiani Piaget Richard Mille Roger Dubuis Vacheron Constantin Van Cleef & Arpels – SJX