Each year, the International Watch Company focuses on refreshing and relaunching one of its families of watches. In case you missed it, 2013 has been the year of the Ingenieur. This time around, IWC has given the Inge line a motorsports bent, and the brand went whole hog with a series of high-tech watches featuring carbon fiber cases and dials, precision in-house chronograph movements and even a partnership with the Petronas AMG F1 team. But perhaps the coolest new Ingenieur released this year is the Chronograph Silberpfeil, a retro timepiece that takes inspiration from oil-spattered, leather-gloved racing days gone by.
The Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil is a direct homage to the famous Mercedes-Benz W25 Silver Arrow (Silberpfeil, auf Deutsch) racing machines of the 1930s that dominated motorsports between the World Wars. These cars were monsters, with oversized spoked rims and massive straight-cylinder engines barely sheathed in metal. The watch’s dial sports the same circular-grained aluminum treatment as the Silver Arrows’ dashboards, and the caseback has an engraved likeness of the car itself. But enough about the watch. Even today, the sight of a 1930s Silver Arrow car is enough to make a Prius driver spill his soy latte; the sound of its unmuffled exhaust is a free pass to goosebumps. This year, a restored Silberpfeil took part in the famous Klausen Hill Climb race in Switzerland — and this video takes us along for the ride. Watching the begoggled driver skid around a corner inspires instant respect for the race drivers of yore. Turn up the volume and start your chronograph.