IWC Schaffhausen hired Gérald Genta, a famous watch designer from Geneva, to update the look of the Ingenieur in the 1970s. When the Ingenieur first hit the market, back in 1955, it was a radical concept. Named Ingenieur after the German and French words for Engineer, this watch was a technological breakthrough for IWC, featuring the first automatic movement created in Schaffhausen and a soft-iron inner case for magnetic field protection.
Genta was able to give the Ingenieur a completely fresh and recognizable aesthetic thanks to his style. The Ingenieur SL, the showpiece of IWC’s SL line of steel luxury watches, debuted in 1976, and it was praised for its daring aesthetic codes like its screw-on bezel with five recesses, its distinctive dial design, and its integrated H-link bracelet. The Ingenieur SL was revolutionary in its day due to its cutting-edge engineering. One of the most sought-after models in IWC’s history, Gérald Genta’s design is a favorite among collectors today.
At the Watches and Wonders 2023 in Geneva, IWC Schaffhausen debuted the Ingenieur Automatic 40, a timepiece influenced by this classic. Inspired by the 1970s Gérald Genta Ingenieur SL, Reference 1832, this freshly developed automatic model satisfies the most stringent requirements in terms of ergonomics, finishes, and technology while maintaining the bold visual codes of its forebear.
A total of three stainless steel and one titanium reference pieces make up the collection. With a power reserve of 120 hours, the IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 is driven by the 32111 calibers. The new versions are water-resistant to 10 bars and have soft-iron inner casings to shield the movements from magnetic fields, making them fully functional, multipurpose sports watches for the twenty-first century.
Efficiency and Durability
Every aspect of the case’s overall proportions has been meticulously rethought and enhanced. Even on a thin wrist, the watch’s 45.7 mm lug-to-lug distance guarantees optimal ergonomics and comfort. Instead of the nose-shaped horns found on the Ingenieur SL of the 1970s, the new Ingenieur Automatic 40 uses a middle-link attachment that has been redesigned from the ground up. Similar in appearance to the Ingenieur SL, this new solution improves upon the ergonomics already present and offers a more comfortable fit on the wrist. The ergonomics of the case are further enhanced by the rounded outer casing ring.
Reliable screws and a “grid” dialogue
The new model stands out from its predecessor in several ways, the most obvious being its bezel’s functional, polygonal screws. The Ingenieur SL has a five-recess bezel that is fitted onto the case ring. Therefore, the cutouts on each watch wound up in a slightly different location. Five screws are holding the Ingenieur Automatic 40’s bezel to the casing. The screws now serve a technical purpose and remain in the same place at all times. Together with the technical and very sculptural case design, the dial also includes a distinctive “Grid” structure. The pattern, which consists of small lines at right angles to one another, is stamped into the soft iron blank and then galvanized. Last but not least, glowing appliques create a third dimension and make the text legible in the dark.
Extraordinary attention to detail and polish
Incredible care and attention to detail went into making the Ingenieur Automatic 40. All of the components, including the case, bezel, and bracelet, have been given a luxurious finish that mixes polished and satin textures. Closed links without pins highlight the exceptional craftsmanship in the bracelet’s upper sections. The H-link bracelet’s slim profile and exquisite design are complemented by the addition of an ornate butterfly folding clasp. And to emphasize its sporting nature even more, a new crown guard design has been implemented.
Modern, cutting-edge technology
Automated pawl winding and a 120-hour power reserve are provided by the IWC 32111 caliber in the Ingenieur Automatic 40. In the spirit of the Ingenieur, the inside casing is made of soft iron, which effectively shields the movement from magnetic fields and ensures that it keeps accurate time. The Ingenieur Automatic 40 is a cutting-edge, extremely adaptable sports watch thanks to its water-resistant shell that can withstand pressure up to 10 bars.
The stainless steel Ingenieur Automatic 40 comes in three different references:
Ingenieur Automatic 40, Reference IW328901, has a stainless steel case, black dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliques, and a stainless steel bracelet with a butterfly folding clasp.
Ingenieur Automatic 40, Reference IW328902: case and bracelet are both stainless steel; dial is silver-toned; hands and appliques are rhodium-toned; the clasp is a butterfly-style fold-over design
Ingenieur Automatic 40, Reference IW328903: a stainless steel case, an aqua dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliques, an integrated stainless steel bracelet with polished center links, and a butterfly folding clasp.
Evidence of IWC’s titanium expertise
In addition to displaying the stainless steel model of the Ingenieur Automatic 40, IWC is also showing off a titanium model. Titanium has a weight savings of roughly 35% compared to steel. This material stands out from the crowd thanks to its hypoallergenic and skin-friendly qualities. The strong and durable metal, however, is extremely challenging to produce. In the 1980s, IWC introduced titanium to the watch business, and since then, the brand has become an industry leader in this area. Sandblasted, satin-finished, and polished surfaces characterize the Ingenieur Automatic 40’s grade 5 titanium case and bracelet. The grey dial, hands, and appliques in contrast with the matte grey titanium are all quite eye-catching.
Ingenieur Automatic 40, Reference: IW328904; Case: Grade 5 Titanium; Dial: Grey; Hands and Appliques: Black; Bracelet: Grade 5 Titanium; Butterfly Clasp: Integrated
Some IWC boutiques carry the newest Ingenieur Automatic 40 models. A 6-year extension to the regular 2-year International Limited Warranty is available upon participation in the My IWC care program.
Mechanical movement – Date display – Central hacking seconds – Screw-in crown –
Soft-iron inner case for magnetic field protection
IWC-manufactured calibre 32111
Frequency 28,800 vph / 4 Hz
Power reserve 120 h
Materials Ref. IW328901: Stainless steel case, black dial, rhodium-plated hands
and appliques, integrated stainless steel bracelet with butterfly folding
Ref. IW328902: Stainless steel case, silver-plated dial, rhodium-plated
hands and appliques, integrated stainless steel bracelet with butterfly
Ref. IW328903: Stainless steel case, aqua dial, rhodium-plated hands
and appliques, integrated stainless steel bracelet with polished centre
links and butterfly folding clasp
Ref. IW328904: Grade 5 titanium case, grey dial, black hands and
appliques, integrated grade 5 titanium bracelet with butterfly folding clasp
Glass Sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant 10 bar
Diameter 40 mm
Height 10.8 mm