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iwc ingenieur 2024

ON THE WRIST: IWC Ingenieur 40

MONDAY MARCH 11, 2024

The Ingenieur should have the same level of love as the Royal Oak and the Nautilus as they too were designed by Gerald Genta but it doesn’t. It could be that IWC is not a brand that watch lovers aspire to owning compared to Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet or they just have not properly harnessed the allure of the Genta magic. 

 

Some say the legend himself took the longest time to pen among the Ingenieur so it should be his best design. That fable could be true as Gerald blended the elegance of the Patek’s and the boldness of the Audemars’ so well in the IWC. Will the 2023 Ingenieur be the turning point to finally joining its integrated bracelet sisters? I sure do hope so.

PRO

Iconic design

Build and finishing

Proportions

Wearability

Power reserve

CON

Bracelet removal tools

Crown guards

SPECIFICATION

40 mm Diameter

10.7 mm Thickness

100m Water Resistance

120 hours Power Reserve

45.7 mm Lug to Lug

A$ 17,300

IWC Ingenieur 40

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IWC has once again stuck to their guns by using a lot of brushed instead of polished surfaces like its competitors making the Ingenieur very tool-like staying true to its roots. The Ingenieur’s five distinctive screws on its bezel seals itself from water and a closed case back blocks out magnetism.

 

Things are further amplified by a grid pattern dial that looks holographic at times. The chequer pattern with minimal text saying IWC Schaffhausen at 12 o’clock and Ingenieur at 6. I’m not a fan of watches with a date window but this is an exception. What is done here is seriously cohesive where its date wheel has the right text and colour to match the rest of the dial.

IWC Ingenieur green
IWC Ingenieur bracelet
IWC Ingenieur clasp

The bracelet is pleasantly flexible for an integrated system and paired to a butterfly clasp that is flush and thin, sticking to how Gerald likes them. No micro adjustments on the fly could be done but this can be swapped for one that does but that one was not designed with the Ingenieur in mind. Both the Royal Oak  15510 and the Nautilus 5711 too do not have this feature but is not an excuse for the Ingenieur 40 to not have one.

 

IWC could have adapted a similar strategy from its Vacheron Constantin subsidiary's easy-fit system that allows a 4 mm extension which comes in very handy on hot days.

IWC Ingenieur 40 bracelet

Steel Ingenieurs come in black, white and this green dial which is the only one to have polished centre links so stay away if you have a lot of hate for scratches. I am usually a purist and would have gone for the black dial but new year, new me so green it is. Also known as the aqua dial is said to have gone through a complex 4-step process where it is blue to some while green to others depending on one’s colour blindness. Lastly, it was voted by their employees as the favourite hue out of 100 prototypes.

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Every component is proportionally done with the right amount of balance making this a beautiful watch. Its anti-reflecting crystal does wonders here when it comes to time telling and each component of the dial can be admired without squinting. There is also a titanium version that has a very matte finish and costs 4 thousand more than a steel model which has its novelty as IWC claims to be the first to use that material.

IWC Ingenieur 40 review

Beating inside is calibre 32111 and in its original form, some argue it not to be made in-house despite having been heavily modified by International Watch Company. Further improvements have been made for the Ingenieur and although it may not be manufactured in-house, it is actually amazing for a movement this thin to have 120 hours of power reserve. IWC must be really confident with this engine for them to offer an 8 years warranty and the accuracy of the Ingenieur during its time with me is minus 2 seconds per day.

 

Weighing in at 138 grams is on the heavier side to what I prefer and it would be great for IWC to shed some weight off the steel models to echo the ghost of Genta as he strives for wearable, comfortable watches. 

IWC Ingenieur green

The signature diving helmet inspired design by GG is likely the number one reason anyone would consider owning this watch. That perfect mixture of angular and curves of the Ingenieur is one to adore making this watch neither too bold nor too gentle.

 

Dimensions of this watch is simply incredible considering how well it works on both smaller and larger wrists which is not always the case for integrated sport watches. It is the combination of diameter, lug to lug distance and height that makes the wearing experience an incredible one.

IWC Ingenieur 2023

Finishing on the Ingenieur 40 is marvellous and it feels every bit a luxury watch where they have certainly outdone themselves this time round. Every part is finished to high standards and you can tell a lot of attention has been put into this watch particularly on its bracelet down to its insides where it is not often seen.

 

Price being the biggest debate so let’s look at the Rolex Submariner Date. It is also a time and date wristwatch and costs 16,450 Australian dollars does make the Ingenieur at A$ 17,300 seem fair. Not to disregard the watch everyone wants given it too is an icon, rich with history but you see a lot less IWCs in the wild.

IWC Ingenieur 40
IWC Ingenieur 40 review
IWC Ingenieur 2024

Comparing the Ingenieur to the RO and the Nautilus, this is very much a bargain as most of us will never be able to spend enough to be allocated either of those watches. There can be a bit of a wait for this watch as they are not readily available but it should not take longer than 6 months.

 

When the 2023 Ingenieur was unveiled, it really needed to lose its crown guards because the ’76 SL did not have them. Crown guards break the flow of the design where IWC paid so much attention to and the view from top down, those crown guards can be quite the irritation. If we look from the side, the protrusions can look organic to the case and crown but are they really needed? Without them, a smaller, less effective crown might be employed for better proportions. I am no watch designer so what I would do is just give the people what they want.

IWC Ingenieur 2024 review
IWC Ingenieur bracelet

The real downside is that the tools used to size the bracelet are made entirely of metal and we all know what happens when metals meet, they scratch. The back of these links were scratched as soon as they were sized to my wrist which is a pain to see. The team at Schaffhausen has poured so much into this watch so there must be a better way around this.

Many watches have come and gone while this one feels just right. It appeals both to the heart and the wrist which is something that can only be experienced with time. I have not had this feeling for a watch for a long, long time and if you have been reading this far, it looks like it will be staying that way.

IWC Ingenieur review

The reintroduction of the Ingenieur has been delivered in spades, I would like it even more if it were closer to its original case size of 38mm which will help in losing a bit of weight.

 

That said, I do look forward to other case sizes and configurations such as strap options or even a two-tone model to make things fun in getting more people interested in this watch instead of the usual suspects. Above all, IWC please make the Ingenieur a permanent collection and protect it every way possible to not let it dwindle like its predecessors. 

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