Fellow Friends, here is a timepiece that breathes the phrase “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication.”
Today we’re going to take a brief look at the (his)story behind this iconic watch that exemplifies both classic and modern characteristics. Shall we?
IWC Ingenieur: A Bit of History
We can’t get into the nitty gritty of the IWC Ingenieur without talking about its early beginnings with a certain Albert Pellaton, the Swiss watchmaker’s Technical Director from 1944.
Inventor of the very efficient bidirectional automatic winding system, his name may ring a bell with certain among you. The illustrious man was also responsible for their earliest automatic movements, beginning with the 81 calibre. What followed were the 85 calibre and, what is of special interest to us here, the 852 calibre.
This particular movement was the first ever to be protected inside the watch case by a cage made from soft iron, a magnetically impermeable material. (Remember, magnetic fields are one of the most common factors negatively affecting the accuracy of a mechanical watch.) Doted with this new security blanket, the Ingenieur was born in 1954.
IWC Ingenieur Reference 666
Early versions of the Ingenieur can be identified by their remarkable simplicity and irresistible refinement. Easily recognisable, elegant stick hour markers and Dauphine hands adorn the 3-hand Railroad dials of the first models. At the same time, models with date display, numbered markers, and arrowed markers were also released. A modern watch for its time…
If we take a closer look at these early dials, you’ll notice that “IWC” is nowhere in sight, but instead a vintage “International Watch Co” written in graceful calligraphie. Yes, we’re fans!
At 6 o’clock a lightning bolt strikes through the historic logo “Ingenieur”. No biggie. Thanks to its protective gear, the logo, just like the watch, remains intact and unaffected against all magnetic forces…no matter how strong.
Among other references, the 666 is released from 1955. The 666A is a 3-hand dial, equipped with the 852 calibre, while the 666AD houses a 8521 calibre and boasts a date display.
The 853 calibre is already up and running by the end of 1959 and resembles the previous 852 calibre, both equipped with the Pellaton winding system.
A resolutely modern watch for its time, the Ingenieur is simple, clean, and functional. A type of civilised tool watch, if you will, durable and still attracting collectors and enthusiasts alike.