The Magnetic Appeal of IWC
IWC positions Ingenieur 40 as the right watch for the right time, in more ways than one
Real talk: is your watch in danger of being magnetised? Of course the IWC Ingenieur 40 is impervious to such fields, unless you decide to see how it does its business by scanning it with an MRI machine.
As the name of that device suggests, the magnetic fields at work there will wipe out hard drives without breaking a metaphorical sweat. The original Ingenieur watch, which debuted in the 1955 was designed to meet the emerging challenge of navigating magnetic fields, alongside a host of other such watches. It debuted with an automatic movement and an inner soft iron shell that would function as a Faraday cage. Even then, traditional watchmakers were certain that the coming digital age would pose a hidden danger to mechanical movements.
The new Ingenieur 40 of 2023 is a throwback to the compelling vision of Gerald Genta in his Ingenieur SL redesign of 1976. IWC had experimented with various designs in the last 10 years, to be conservative, before finding what it hopes will be the right one this year. We trust that you will understand what we mean by ‘right one’ but yes this is of course a reference to the ideal luxury sports watch. On the face of it, with its Genta pedigree, the Ingenieur 40 should have no problems but we are late in the game as far the sports watch is concerned. In other words, mere reissues would not work. Thus, IWC has introduced better build-quality and opted to change up the screws that secured the bezel in a subtle but profound way. The five screws now connect with the case, where the original SL’s bezel screwed into the case, with the five pins being more or less decorative. The message remains about anti-magnetism, as it was with the original in 1955, hence the name Ingenieur, which means engineer in French and German.
The name and the nature of the watch mean that functional touches are very important. Therefore, note the presence of crown guards here, and the stamped design on the soft iron dial, which is a visual cue for the soft iron inner case. That inner case does make the watch thicker than one might expect. To be fair, a heftier watch feels more utilitarian so this is probably a plus for the Ingenieur 40. Hidden away is the automatic calibre 32111, with a class-leading power reserve of 120 hours. This calibre, while quite capable, could do with other class-leading features, such a completely antimagnetic escapement that would allow the Faraday cage to be retired, and thus allow for an exhibition caseback. We look forward to further developments here…
MOVEMENT Automatic 32111 with date; 120-hour power reserve
CASE 40mm in titanium and steel; water-resistant to 100m
STRAP Integrated bracelet
PRICE From US$17,300
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