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IWC Watches

Birth of the IWC Ingenieur 

The IWC Ingenieur watch collection's origin can be dated back to the post-World War II era. Throughout World War II, remarkable advancements in engineering technology sparked an explosion of industrial activity across Europe. At the time, mechanical engineering was developing new discoveries on a daily basis. It also drew an increasing number of talented professionals. As designers and builders, they played a vital role in propelling the progress of society.

In 1954-55, the IWC Ingenieur was released with the references 666A and 666AD. It incorporated the calibre 852 or 8521, both of which were developed under the supervision of Albert Pellaton, IWC's Technical Director, from 1944.

The movement and the Pellaton winding method were put inside a soft iron cage. The magnetic flux of up to 80,000 amperes per meter was designed to be protected by the dial, the caseback cover, and the movement's ring. As a result, the IWC Ingenieur outperformed the Swiss antimagnetic watch standard.

One major distinction is that the two versions employed different movements: the 666A used calibre 8521, while the 666AD used calibre 852. The 666AD simply had an add-up date window at 3 o'clock.

During the 1950s, IWC was not the only brand interested in magnetic field protection; other brands also took an interest. Rolex, which was well renowned for its dive watches, looked into the concept of a scientist's watch as well and released the iconic Milgauss.

The IWC Ingenieur took on a whole new life in the 1970s, thanks to the contribution of Gerald Genta, a famous designer who had started a revolution only a few years earlier. He was chosen by IWC to modernize the Ingenieur after developing the Audemars-Piguet Royal Oak in 1972. Genta employs some of the same codes as the RO but tweaked them to meet IWC's requirements.

The IWC Ingenieur was reintroduced with an entirely new look. The watch's complex design included a tonneau form with a circular bezel and a guilloché display. Despite the spectacular modifications, the 1976 IWC Ingenieur SL's key objective was to provide excellent legibility and flawless timing regardless of the external factors. It included some of Genta's signature features, such as an attached bracelet and a 40mm casing. The nickname of IWC Ingenieur "Jumbo," comes from its size. The self-winding version with the calibre 8541B, which employs an antimagnetic alloy called Durochrone, is the collection's primary reference. The Quartz edition, ref. 3003 was also available.

IWC Ingenieur SL

IWC introduced a new edition in 1983, the IWC Ingenieur SL, which was leaner and smaller than its predecessors. However, this new form defied convention. It first used an external movement rather than the previously used in-house movement. An ETA 2892 was incorporated within the IWC Ingenieur SL. The company also added a 21k gold rotor and superior finishing, dubbed the 'Calibre 375.'

The IWC Ingenieur 500,000 A/m

In 1989, IWC unveiled an exceptional variant of the Ingenieur, which was developed in partnership with military forces to build a watch that could withstand extraordinarily powerful magnetic fields. The IWC Ingenieur 500,000 A/m was equipped with a substantial degree of protection, but a soft iron cage was absent. Modern materials, such as niobium-zirconium 25, an iron-free and nickel-free alloy, were used in the escapement, spiral, and balance wheel. Even though they displayed cutting-edge technology, these timepieces were not without flaws. Research and development costs were extremely high. The reliability was indeed an issue, as the majority of the balancing springs failed the test runs.

After just 3,000 units, the IWC Ingenieur 500,000 A/m was discontinued in the early 1990s. These remarkably understated timepieces (with a diameter of only 34mm) have become highly collectable.

The Ingenieur line has always been reviewed and modified by IWC to keep up with the newest trends and technological breakthroughs. The reference 3227 was the first IWC Ingenieur x Mercedes-Benz watch, launched in 2005. It was a unique titanium watch in a 42 mm case and the famed IWC Calibre 80110 movement. IWC introduced a number of improved IWC Ingenieur models to the market in 2013. With the renewed cooperation with Mercedes-AMG, IWC revamped the whole Ingenieur watch. All of the designs have been simplified and made more basic. The classic stainless steel IWC watch model was produced, as well as more luxury variations like carbon and ceramic.

The IWC Ingenieur's historical nomenclature is rather significant. This classic French and mediaeval Latin related words mean "a person who makes or operates an engine." This term accurately and correctly describes the vision of the IWC watch collection and how it has been designed since its inception. The Ingenieur watch from the International Watch Company is a true engineer's watch. Engineers, researchers, and specialists all fall under this category. Engineers are individuals who build and construct, necessitating the use of a precision timepiece. This need was perfectly met by the IWC Ingenieur.

It can be confidently said that the IWC Ingenieur is one of the most pragmatic watches from the house of IWC Schaffhausen. Despite this strong focus on function, the designers at IWC have managed to successfully incorporate sleek aesthetics within the watch. The result of this exceptional combination is the IWC Ingenieur series. Since its inception, it has reigned in the world of engineer watches. For those who are not professional engineers, this watch will still inspire you to get things done with your own hands.

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