Beginning of a legend - the IWC racing watches

 

The first Ingenieur was born in 1955, designed and built for engineers and scientists in need of a timepiece that could withstand shock, vibration, and magnetic fields. Decades later, the Ingenieur has evolved to honor another pinnacle of engineering – motorsport. In the racing world, timing is everything, and months of effort can go into saving a tenth of a second. The drivers get most of the attention, but we see heroes in the engineers and scientists behind the pit wall.

IWC Gentleman's Racing Watch (Ref. 666 AD)

A Swiss engineer watch for heroes

 

In 1955, Europe was in the midst of rebuilding after the devastation of World War II, and the engineers and scientists leading the effort were regarded as heroes. But as technology rapidly evolved, magnetic fields became pervasive, and suddenly the average wristwatch was no longer reliable. IWC stepped up with the Ingenieur Reference 666, a purpose-built anti-magnetic tool watch for scientific and industrial usage. It featured the first instance of the famed Pellaton bi-directional, automatic winding system and a soft-iron inner case that protected the movement from magnetic fields up to 1000 gauss. It was as rugged as it was beautiful, and a legend was born. 

Icons of resistance

 

The Ingenieur SL Automatic, Reference 1832, is one of the best-known IWC’s racing watches. Designed by Gérald Genta in 1976, it featured his signature style, inspired by a traditional diving helmet. The SL was built around the IWC-manufactured 8541 ES calibre, which used antimagnetic materials in addition to a soft-iron inner case enabling it to resist magnetic fields of up to 80,000 A/m.

 

How far can engineer watches be pushed? IWC decided to find out in 1989 with the Ingenieur 500,000 A/m. The movement was built in part with niobium-zircon alloy, and withstood an incredible 3,700,000 A/m. It could actually have taken more, but it was a bit too far ahead of its time – instruments capable of measuring higher hadn’t been invented yet. 

 

In 2013, IWC set the watch world ablaze with the Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon. Its ceramic and platinum case contained the patented Constant-Force Tourbillon, a breakthrough in precision timekeeping. The double moon display on the dial contains images of the moon so detailed that the craters on the surface are visible, and the moon phase runs with a deviation of just a single day every 577 years.

IWC Ingenieur SL (Ref. 1832) designed by Gérald Genta
IWC's racing watch Chronograph Edition "Rudolf Caracciola" (Ref. IW380702)

Luxury racing watches honoring legends

 

The Ingenieur family’s 60 years of history continues today with the latest line of watches. With their classic design, outstanding precision, and intriguing use of materials, The Ingenieur Automatic (Ref. 3570), Ingenieur Chronograph (Ref. 3808), and Ingenieur Chronograph Sport (Ref. 3809) hearken back to the original Ingenieur, the legendary Reference 666. The Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “74th Members’ Meeting at Goodwood” (Ref. IW380703) is a tribute to the celebrated event held in Southern England. The Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Rudolf Caracciola” (Ref. IW380702) pays tribute to the legendary German racer, and the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W 125” (Ref. IW380701) was built to honor the iconic Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows. All three feature a chronograph with a tachymeter, and are built around a self-winding IWC-manufactured 69370 caliber movement running at 4Hz, which is visible through a sapphire glass back.

 

Learn more about luxury racing watches made in Schaffhausen and discover the full collection.