Watch & Jewellery
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of IWC
'Ingenieur Automatic 40 Titanium' by IWC
'Ingenieur Automatic 40 Titanium' by IWC
'Ingenieur Automatic 40 Titanium' by IWC
Gérald Genta
The original 'Ingenieur SL (Ref. 1832)' circa 1976
'Ingenieur Automatic 40 Titanium' by IWC

Let's be honest, any time a refurbished Gérald Genta design enters the market these days, even the casuals want one without ever considering it is the work of a modern day watchmaking GOAT. This is credit to the late Swiss watchmaker, whose portfolio of hits still dominate a sizeable chunk of top end traded watches today, namely the Nautilus and Royal Oak models. However, those who truly know the Genta timeline will acknowledge that his revision of IWC's Ingenieur series in the early 1970s stands as one of the most successful makeovers by the iconoclast, considering that 47 years on many are still romancing it. And let's not forget, IWC sat on the design for a couple of years before launching it that same year when Patek Philippe released his other greatest feat in the Nautilus which was part of an incredible era of luxe sports watches. For those who already have an Ingenieur in the collection, IWC's 2023 release of a trio of stainless steel references in 40mm might not spur you to take out the wallet at breakneck speed. What will, however, is a version that IWC has fashioned in grade 5 titanium alloy that those who have experienced the material first-hand will tell you that this one feels as comfortable and light as wearing a silk shirt as compared to a bracelet in steel. IWC says this material is roughly 45 per cent lighter than steel, and even harder to machine to its desired shape and proportion. And true to form, the metal case and bracelet are sand-blasted and satin-finished with polished accents responsible for catching the light and adding shine. 2023's Ingenieur may be an ode to Genta's genius of the original Ingenieur SL Jumbo (Ref. 1832) but there are still a few add-ons that make this fairly distinct from yesteryear pieces – some more stylish, others more subtle. This is led by the most visual upgrade, a rugged grid-like pattern on the dial in grey that is a reminder of those metal steps with an anti-slip texture being remixed with the ever-popular check patterns associated with fast cars and carbon fibre. This 2023 edition also features a new crown protector in a bid to flush the screw-down crown with the case for that sleek, seamless appearance. For those wanting to wear a piece of nostalgia, this Ingenieur has kept the five screws mounted on the bezel as well as the often unseen soft inner iron case in the blueprint, a feature that provides an anti-magnetic shield to the movement for those who are sticklers about outside forces interfering with their timekeeping (yes, it's a real thing). Although a closed case back won't let you admire the self-winding engine, just know that IWC has kept faith with its in-house base calibre 32111 – first introduced into the catalogue a couple of years ago – that is packed with enough power (72 hours) to go unattended over the weekend. But only fools will ever bench this for even a short getaway.

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