Time for Another Luxury Treat: IWC Launched New Ingenieur Collection
In January of this year, IWC launched the new Ingenieur collection, which features over a dozen new watches from the updated line. While most of the collection’s press attention was focused on its calibers, case materials, and the range of difficulty in the new 46mm models, I was personally captivated by the smallest and simplest of the series, the new 40mm automatic “base model” in steel. , ref. 3239.
Unlike the previous iterations it replaces, the 2013 Ingenieur Automatic is the fairest return to the styling of Gérald Genta’s original masterpiece, the 1976 Ingenieur SL. Ghent is best known for his work on several other timekeeping icons from the 70s, namely the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (released in 1972) and Patek Philippe Nautilus (also released in 1976). The trifecta Ingenieur was sourced from this most coldly, and IWC sales were slow, rumored to have sold less than a thousand units in its first eight years of production.
It may have been due to the weight of the original SL, which was thicker and heavier than its designs for the Royal Oak and Nautilus. Its, of course, was because the Ingenieur was designed primarily as an anti-magnetic instrument watch and may not have enjoyed such popularity among buyers looking for subtle sporting luxury items. Of course, all three pieces were launched during the quartz crisis, and the fact that they survived and remain attractive and collectible today is a testament to their continued appeal.
IWC Launched New Ingenieur Collection
The new 3239 is available in three dial options, including two silvered versions (one with steel hands and markers, the other in rose gold) and one with a classic-style black dial. While all three versions are impressive, the black dial impressed me with both the sportiest collection and the most traditional, which is why I chose it for this review.
Like its predecessors, the 2013 model shares roughly the same case dimensions and iconic bracelet design. The piece has a diameter of 40 mm and a thickness of 10 mm. It features a circular steel bezel with five screws oriented in a pentagon around the dial, which is the Ingenieur line’s hallmark. The only true deviation from the original in terms of case design is the addition of triangular safety crowns on the right side of the case (there were no defenders in the SL).
The glossy dial is expertly crafted with a three concentric ring design, adding texture and depth never seen before. The outer ring features chapter markers, polished luminescent hour markers in the middle, and the classic Ingenieur script and brand logo on the center. Polished solid steel fluorescent hands have been redesigned with a partially open design. The crystal is sapphire and has an anti-reflective coating.
The integrated steel bracelet is also an homage to the original, featuring refined H-shaped ties with rectangular centers. The deployment clasp is engraved on IWC and has side pushers better than other built-in bracelet mechanisms (I’m calling you Royal Oak).
Unlike many sports watches on the market today, IWC designers have limited themselves to a case back made of solid steel, rather than the seemingly ubiquitous back. Anyone who has read my previous reviews knows that I am not a fan of demos about anything but the most exceptional production mechanisms, so I was happy that I had no reason to complain here!
The protection of the mechanism inside the case is an anti-magnetic cage, which gives the Ingenieur a resistance of 40,000 amperes per meter. Interestingly, this is the only model in the entire Ingenieur range that has anti-magnetic properties. It is surprising since the original Ingenieur was designed from the outset as an engineer’s watch suitable for environments with strong magnetic fields.
Despite its value, the biggest appeal of the new 3239 Ingenieur to me lies entirely in its design. As a fan of the classic Genta design language, I am impressed by this respect’s sincerity. The modern colors of the dial and hands do not detract from the vintage style, and the product is very comfortable to wear on the wrist. As with everything IWC makes, the fit and finish are impressive. Ultimately it is a watch winner and a true successor to the classic Ingenieur SL. The price is $ 6,600.