IWC Ingenieur: A Design Icon for Cool Heads
The Ingenieur from Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC is highly resistant to magnetic fields. Designed by Gérald Genta, the SL Jumbo is a coveted collector's item. Models with a tourbillon or perpetual calendar also make sound investments.
5 Reasons to Buy an Ingenieur
- The iconic Ingenieur SL designed by Gérald Genta
- Numerous limited editions with potential to appreciate in value
- Cases in stainless steel, gold, carbon, ceramic, or titanium
- Anti-magnetic to 6,283 Gauss: the Ingenieur 500,000 A/m
- Models with complications like a tourbillon or perpetual calendar
Resistant to Magnetic Fields for Over 60 Years
The Ingenieur collection has been an important pillar of the IWC Schaffhausen catalog since 1955. It was one of the first watches with protection against magnetic fields thanks to an inner soft iron cage. Moreover, it was extremely precise and came with improved water resistance – traits that define the Ingenieur to this day.
Models designed by the famous Gérald Genta have enjoyed cult status since 1975. Like Genta's Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, these timepieces feature a barrel-shaped case with an integrated bracelet. The bezel resembles a porthole thanks to five small indentations. However, the Ingenieur has a round bezel instead of the octagonal bezel of the Royal Oak.
As of 2016, IWC has returned to the simpler design of earlier models. Most are powered by in-house movements, and some even have complications like a flyback chronograph, perpetual calendar, or tourbillon. A few entry-level models use a refined ETA or Sellita caliber.
How much does the IWC Ingenieur cost?
|Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon||167,000 USD||Platinum, ceramic||Tourbillon, moon phase, power reserve indicator|
|Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month||52,500 USD||Rose gold||Perpetual Calendar, outsize date and month, flyback chronograph|
|Ingenieur SL Jumbo||15,000 USD||Stainless steel||Date, designed by Gérald Genta|
|Ingenieur Chronograph Sport||10,500 USD||Titanium||Flyback chronograph, date, soft iron cage|
|Ingenieur ref. 666A||10,500 USD||Stainless steel||Vintage watch, date, soft iron cage|
|Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium||8,900 USD||Titanium||Double chronograph, date, day|
|Ingenieur Automatic 40||4,000 USD||Stainless steel||Date|
The Vintage Classic Ref. 666 and Genta's Ingenieur SL Jumbo
IWC first released two versions of the Ingenieur. There was the simple three-hand ref. 666A with the caliber 852 and the ref. 666AD with the caliber 8521 and a date display. Both of these stainless steel watches are popular collector's items today. Depending on their condition, prices for these timepieces range from 6,900 to 11,000 USD.
Collectors also covet the Ingenieur SL Jumbo designed by Gérald Genta. Poor sales numbers upon its release in 1975 meant IWC only ever produced 1,000 copies of this timepiece. This rarity is reflected in its price: A well-maintained watch with the caliber 8541ES often sells for around 15,000 USD. You can save about 1,900 USD by purchasing the quartz-powered version of the Ingenieur SL instead.
The Ingenieur 500,000 A/m from 1989 marked a milestone in terms of magnetic field protection. While it shares the design of the Ingenieur SL, it can withstand magnetic fields of up to 500,000 A/m and does so without a soft iron cage. This is made possible by a heavily modified ETA caliber 2892 with components made of amagnetic materials like niobium-zirconium 25 – a superconductive alloy. These collector's items demand about 4,700 USD today.
Ingenieur Automatic AMG: Carbon, Ceramic or Titanium
The Ingenieur received a sporty update in the early 1990s. It still used Genta's same basic design but with heavy influences from the world of motorsports. One example is the Ingenieur Automatic AMG. It has a titanium case and houses the caliber 80110 with a 44-hour power reserve. Its black dial was inspired by the dashboard displays found in a Mercedes-AMG race car. Prices for this watch sit around 3,800 USD.
A black ceramic case helps the Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series stand out from its sister model. What's more, it features a crown protector that gives it a more robust feel. Plan to spend about 8,900 USD on a mint-condition model and 6,200 USD on a well-maintained pre-owned timepiece.
The Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance pairs a carbon case with a ceramic bezel. Like the other Automatic AMG models, this 46-mm watch gets its power from the caliber 80110. It costs between 10,500 and 12,000 USD depending on its condition.
In keeping with the motorsports theme, this collection also contains a series of interesting chronographs. For example, the Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium boasts a double chronograph that allows you to measure intervals. A modified Valjoux 7750 ticks away inside its 45-mm titanium case. This sporty chronograph is worn on a rubber strap and changes hands for about 8,900 USD in mint condition. You can purchase a pre-owned model for around 6,600 USD.
The Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil (silver arrow) sits in a similar price range. Its brown or silver perlage dial is a nod to historical Mercedes racing cars. The in-house caliber 89361 features a flyback function, and the elapsed minutes and hours share a subdial at 12 o'clock. At 6 o'clock you'll also find a dual small seconds dial and date display. Expect to spend anywhere from 6,400 to 8,600 USD for one of these timepieces.
2016: A Retro, Round Case and an In-House or Sellita Caliber
A new design in 2016 saw the IWC Ingenieur going back to its roots. Like the original models, these watches have a round case. The three-hand Ingenieur Automatic bears an especially close resemblance to the ref. 666 from 1955. It comes with narrow, glow-in-the-dark hands and hour markers dotted with luminous material. However, these new watches are powered by the caliber 35111 with a date display and 42-hour reserve. This movement is based on the Sellita SW 300-1.
Set aside around 4,100 USD for a 40-mm stainless steel model with a bright sunburst dial and a leather strap. If you'd prefer a black dial and a three-piece link stainless steel bracelet, that price climbs to about 5,000 USD. Pre-owned versions sell for between 3,600 and 4,300 USD depending on the band. You'll have to dig much deeper in your pockets for the rose gold Ingenieur Automatic. This timepiece costs a solid 10,500 USD pre-owned and 12,500 USD new.
In addition to three-hand models, this collection also includes various chronographs. For example, the 42-mm Ingenieur Chronograph is outfitted with the in-house caliber 69375. This movement comes with a date display at 3, small seconds at 6, hour counter at 9, and minute counter at 12 o'clock. A tachymeter scale runs around the dial's outer ring.
The stainless steel edition with a white or blue dial sells for about 7,200 USD new and 5,900 USD pre-owned. There's also a model in 18-karat rose gold, which demands some 15,500 USD in mint condition.
Limited Edition Chronographs with a Flyback Function
IWC offers a series of limited edition chronographs under the name Ingenieur Chronograph Sport . Every timepiece has a 44-mm titanium case. These watches also use the soft iron cage found in the original Ingenieur. The cage in the 50th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG edition is modeled after a brake pad and can be viewed through the sapphire glass case back. This model is limited to a run of 250 pieces and costs between 10,000 and 11,500 USD depending on its condition. The in-house caliber 89361 gives this watch its date display at 3, small seconds at 6, and dual minute and hour counter at 12 o'clock.
Only 176 copies exist of the 76th Members' Meeting at Goodwood, which IWC has equipped with the in-house caliber 69380. It has an hour counter at 12, a minute counter at 9, a small seconds at 6, and a day-date display at 3 o'clock. A sapphire glass case back offers a view of its soft iron cage. Plan to spend around 9,400 USD on a mint-condition model. Pre-owned pieces usually only sell for a few hundred dollars less.
Complicated Watches: Tourbillons, Perpetual Calendars, etc.
IWC also produces the Ingenieur with more extravagant complications. For example, the Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon from 2013 boasts a small seconds dial, power reserve indicator, tourbillon, and a precise moon phase display that takes both the northern and southern hemispheres into account. The manual caliber 94800's tourbillon features IWC's patented constant-force mechanism. This technology guarantees the same level of accuracy regardless of whether the watch is fully wound or not. You can purchase the 46-mm version in platinum and ceramic for around 167,000 USD. The rose gold and ceramic edition costs about 11,000 USD more.
At 41,000 to 52,500 USD, the Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month is much more affordable despite its interesting features. Its 45-mm rose gold case contains the in-house caliber 89801 with a flyback chronograph, perpetual calendar, and outsize date and month displays. These numeric displays sit just above 3 and 9 o'clock. A combined hour and minute counter at 12 and a small seconds and leap year display at 6 o'clock round off this watch's functionality. This refined timepiece is limited to a run of 100 pieces.