Let’s delve into the magnetic charm of IWC. Are you concerned that your watch might fall victim to magnetization? Well, fret not, because the IWC Ingenieur 40 is virtually impervious to magnetic fields—unless, of course, you decide to test its mettle by subjecting it to an MRI machine. As the name implies, the magnetic forces at play in an MRI machine would effortlessly wipe out hard drives without even breaking a metaphorical sweat.
The original Ingenieur watch made its debut back in 1955, specifically designed to confront the emerging challenge of navigating magnetic fields. It was part of a cohort of watches created for this very purpose. This pioneering timepiece came equipped with an automatic movement and an inner soft iron shell, which served as a Faraday cage, safeguarding its delicate mechanisms from magnetic interference. Even back then, traditional watchmakers foresaw the hidden threat that the digital age might pose to mechanical movements.
Fast forward to 2023, and the new Ingenieur 40 pays homage to the visionary Gerald Genta and his Ingenieur SL redesign of 1976. Over the past decade, IWC has experimented with various designs, cautiously searching for the perfect balance. They aimed to create the quintessential luxury sports watch, a timepiece that could live up to the legacy of Genta.
On the surface, with its Genta pedigree, the Ingenieur 40 appears poised for success. However, it enters a crowded arena of sports watches, where mere reissues won’t suffice. To stand out, IWC has focused on enhancing build quality and made subtle yet profound changes to the screws securing the bezel. Unlike the original SL, where the bezel was screwed into the case, the five screws in the Ingenieur 40 now connect directly with the case, with the pins serving more of a decorative purpose. The core message remains centered on anti-magnetism, echoing the ethos of the original 1955 model and the very name “Ingenieur,” meaning “engineer” in French and German.
Given the watch’s name and purpose, functional aspects are paramount. Note the inclusion of crown guards, a practical addition. The stamped design on the soft iron dial serves as a visual nod to the inner soft iron case, although it does contribute to the watch’s slightly thicker profile. This added heft imparts a sense of utilitarian robustness, which many watch enthusiasts appreciate.
Hidden within this timepiece is the automatic calibre 32111, boasting an impressive power reserve of 120 hours. While this calibre is certainly capable, one can’t help but wonder if further advancements could be made. Perhaps a completely anti-magnetic escapement, rendering the Faraday cage obsolete, might allow for an exhibition caseback. It’s a prospect we eagerly anticipate.
In conclusion, the IWC Ingenieur 40 is a testament to the brand’s enduring commitment to craftsmanship and innovation. Its magnetic resistance and functional design elements make it a compelling choice for those seeking a luxury sports watch that not only stands the test of time but also transcends it. As IWC continues to evolve, we can’t help but anticipate the future developments that will further enhance this horological masterpiece.
MOVEMENT Automatic 32111 with date; 120-hour power reserve
CASE 40mm in titanium and steel; water-resistant to 100m
STRAP Integrated bracelet
PRICE From US$17,300