It’s that time of year: when the eyes of the watch industry turn to Geneva and the annual event known as Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or SIHH. In 2013, IWC Schaffhausen is the first across the starting line with the introduction of their entirely revamped Ingenieur family of watches.
The Ingenieur’s history stretches back over half a century, when IWC was tasked with creating a watch for scientists who were conducting experiments that created intense electromagnetic fields. These fields are damaging to most watches, and can result in erratic timekeeping. IWC’s solution? Creating a timepiece with a soft-iron inner case that protected the delicate movement from magnetic fields; thus, the Ingenieur was born.
In 2013 we see a return to this iconic model’s roots — a new version that not only features extensive magnetic field protection, but also a more classically-sized case. Clocking in at 40mm, and impressively thin at just 10mm, the stainless steel Ingenieur Automatic ref. IW3239 marks a shift for IWC, which up till now was trending larger with their collection. It will be available with three-dial configurations and comes on a solid link stainless steel bracelet.
IWC is also celebrating their new partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team with a new, unique line of Ingenieur Chronographs. The boldly styled Ingenieur Racer ref. IW3785 houses IWC’s in-house c. 89361 automatic chronograph movement and is capable of aggregate timing up to 12 hours. Thanks to the tachymetric scale on the bezel, the watch is also able to calculate average speed over a fixed distance, which makes it ideal for racing events. Unique design cues, such as the red “60” marker and either a modern Formula One race car or classic Silver Arrow “Silberpfeil” race car engraved on the stainless steel case back, harken to this model’s racing connection.
IWC isn’t finished with the Ingenieur line up by a long shot; however, with several other models set to make their debut, including (for the first time) both a constant-force tourbillon (ref. 5900) and a perpetual calendar (ref. 3792). Rounding out the collection are high-tech variants, which use avante-garde materials commonly found in Formula One race cars such as carbon fiber, ceramic and titanium in there cases. It remains to be seen what other surprises SIHH 2013 will bring, but one thing is already for certain — this will definitely be a hard-charging year for IWC and the Ingenieur.