Performance Engineering for the wristSIHH 2013: The new Ingenieur watch collection from IWC Schaffhausen
The completely remodelled 2013 Ingenieur watch collection from IWC Schaffhausen focuses entirely on its new partnership with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team. For the next three years, the watch manufacturer will be the Official Engineering Partner of the Mercedes-Benz works team. For the new collection, IWC’s design engineers took their inspiration from Formula One™.
Materials typically used in motorsport, such as carbon fibre, ceramic and titanium, are the hallmarks of a new design line in the Ingenieur watch family. The technologically demanding workmanship confirms the reputation of IWC Schaffhausen as a company that has been manufacturing top-quality timepieces for more than 140 years.
Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, commented on the global partnership with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONASFormula One™ Team: “The engineers who work within our two companies have many things in common. They share a passion for precision technology and innovation. They are the heroes behind the scenes: their craftsmanship and expertise with high technology lay the foundations for our success. Their pioneering spirit and know-how push the boundaries of mechanical engineering and continuouslyredefine the achievements of precision technology. The two companies have a name for this untiring quest for perfection:performance engineering.”
IWC’s cooperation with Mercedes-Benz dates all the way back to October 2004, when the Schaffhausen-based watch manufacturer announced a partnership with AMG, the car producer’s high-performance brand. The following year, IWC unveiled its first two Ingenieur models named exclusively after AMG. This successful and long-lasting partnership is now to be extended to Formula One™ motorsport. As a symbol of the ground common to their work, IWC Schaffhausen and the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team have joined forces and merged their strengths in a new form of cooperation. “We are delighted that for the next three years we will be working side by side with a partner who stands for the same values as we do,” explains Karoline Huber, Director of Marketing & Communications. “Apart from fitting perfectly with IWC’s central message ‘Engineered for men’, the technical challenges, the emotional highs and lows and the gripping race against time make Formula One™ the ideal environment for the fascinating stories that surround our Ingenieur watches.” IWC Schaffhausen’s new watch models have been inspired not only by high-tech, state-of-the-art motor racing, but also by the sport’s historic roots. In the 1930s and in 1954/55, the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow dominated the international motor-racing scene. This is the reason why IWC has dedicated the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil to the legendaryMercedes racing car.
The 1950s was also the decade that saw the advent of the tradition-steeped Ingenieur watch family. By pursuing the motto “Progress results from continuous change”, the Ingenieur fully embodied the philosophy of the Schaffhausenbased watch manufacturer. The cool, functional exterior housed a movement with a wealth of sophisticated technology. The more outstanding features included the first bidirectional automatic winding system and protection against magnetic fields. The timepieces very soon came to stand for precision and reliability. Thanks to their rugged qualities, the Ingenieur models not only appealed to technicians but also gradually found favour with sportsmen and globetrotters. In 2013, to coincide with the relaunch of the Ingenieur line, this trend has logically taken IWC to a sporting discipline that brings together all three attributes: Formula One™.
Two watches at the front of the grid
The 2013 Ingenieur watch collection has been completely overhauled and comes to the grid with a host of new features. Pole position has to go to the spectacular Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon (Ref. 5900) in its platinum and ceramic case. Its patented constant-force mechanism is integrated in the tourbillon and guarantees an extremely precise rate. Two barrels supply the higher torque required to drive the constant-force tourbillon and also supply the energy needed for the moon phase module: pure performance, from start to finish. Another model guaranteed a place at the front of the grid is the Ingenieur PerpetualCalendar Digital Date-Month (Ref. 3792) with its case made of titanium aluminide, perpetual calendar and digital date display. In order to maximize efficiency, it emulates the hybrid boost button used in Formula One™ and uses the energy recovery principle. Every night, when the date display advances, the quick-action switch taps off a little energy and stores it until the end of the month or year, and makes it available precisely when it is needed. The dial has semi-transparent sapphire-glass inlays over the date, month and leap year discs, which enable the wearer to observe the complex interplay of the discs as they advance. On New Year’s Eve, the five displays begin to move simultaneously. It is a complex technological feat that will hold an irresistible appeal for lovers of sophisticated mechanical systems.
A new, sports-inspired Ingenieur Line
With these two high-tech time machines fronting the grid, the 2013 Ingenieur watch collection is divided into two distinct lines: first, the purist-inspired timepieces in stainless-steel cases; second, sports models whose cases were inspired by the innovative range of materials used in Formula One™. Christian Knoop, Creative Director at IWC: “In the new Ingenieur line, IWC interprets the racing theme by using materials typically employed in motorsport, such as carbon fibre, ceramic and titanium, and drawing on design cues taken from the modern Formula One™ cockpit. Screws attach the bezels securely to the case, which lends additional emphasis to the watches’ sporty, high-tech character. They are thus a logical continuation of an IWC product family that has one of the richest traditions of them all. Inspired by our own history, which naturally includes the legendary design of the Ingenieur SL created by the famouswatch designer Gérald Genta, we combine technical innovation with characteristic design in the new collection. The result is a set of powerful, striking Ingenieur watches in a class of their own.”
An outstanding example of the new sports-inspired ethos is the limited Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance (Ref. 3224). Like the safety cell (monocoque) and bodywork of a Formula One™ racing car, the case and dial are made of epoxy resin-soaked carbon-fibre matting, which is then cured at high temperatures and overpressure. Carbon fibre has long been one of the hallmarks of Formula One™ and, at the same time, an impressive symbol for innovative materials. By using this demanding material not only for individual components but also for the entire outer case of the Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance, IWC Schaffhausen underscores its reputation as a manufacturer of top-quality watches. The Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic (Ref. 3225) recalls the many years of cooperation between IWC and AMG, the high-performance arm of Mercedes-Benz. The Schaffhausen-based watch manufacturer discovered the use of ceramic – or, more specifically, zirconium oxide – for the watch industry as early as 1986. Titanium, which was introduced by IWC in 1980, was used for the Ingenieur DoubleChronograph Titanium (Ref. 3865). Thanks to a split-seconds function, the double chronographis ideally equipped to keep track of lap times. The IngenieurDual Time Titanium (Ref. 3264) neatly rounds off the sportydesign line. It has a display that shows a second time of day, which is of enormous help to the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, who need to keep track of things when moving continuouslyfrom one time zone to another.
Purist, functional and technically mature
The classic Ingenieur line can still be recognized by the robust stainless-steel cases and the five bores in the bezel. Purist, functional and technically mature, it distils all that is best from six decades of Ingenieur history. The Ingenieur Chronograph Racer and the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil (Ref. 3785) are perfect for recording periods of time, pit-stop times and, with the help of the tachymeter scale, the speed achieved over a measured distance. The Racer features the engraving of a modern Formula One™ car while the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil revives the legend of the historic Mercedes-Benz racing car of the same name. The silver-coloured circular graining on the dial is a tribute to the legendary Silver Arrow W25, whose instruments were placed on a dashboard with a circular-grain decoration. In addition, a historic Silver Arrow is engravedon the case back. The elegant Ingenieur Automatic (Ref. 3239) with its three hands rounds off the classic line and has a timeless,distinctively clear design together with protection against magnetic fields up to 40,000 amperes per metre.
The quest for ever-superior materials extends not only to the watch itself but also to IWC’s straps. There is a surprise this year in the form of a new rubber strap with a textile or leather inlay. This solution cleverly combines the elegant look of the outer material with the comfort and durability of rubber on the inner side. In order to ensure that the watch is comfortable to wear despite the dimensions of the case, the lugs have been ergonomically improved and point more noticeably downwards. This ensures that the surface in contact with the wrist is concave. The metal bracelet of the Ingenieur Chronograph Racer is equipped with a special fine-adjustment clasp that enables the wearer to make minormodifications to the length of the strap whenever he wishes.All he needs to do is press gently on the button with the IWC logo at the centre of the clasp cover and pull or push the bracelet slightly.
Georges Kern sums up the major relaunch of the Ingenieur watches as follows: “The new Ingenieur collection boasts three distinct quality features: first-class IWC-manufactured movements, sophisticated functions and typical Formula One™ materials.” IWC Schaffhausen’s CEO continues: “Some of the in-house movements bear witness to the inventive spirit of our watchmakers. These include the highlycomplex 94800 calibre with its constant-force mechanismand the 89802 calibre with the quick-action switch. With complications like the tourbillon, perpetual calendar, digital big date and moon phase display, the Ingenieur watch line has finally taken its place in the upper echelons of haute horlogerie.”
Forward-Looking and inspired by the Zeitgeist
The history of the Ingenieur watch family has been defined by models that reflected the prevailing zeitgeist but at the same time incorporated the forward-looking technology and progressive design that have opened up new avenues in the watchmaking industry. The launch of the first Ingenieur in 1955 (Ref. 666) took place at a time of growing enthusiasm for technology and economic boom. Its automatic movement with bidirectional winding had been developed by the then Technical Director Albert Pellaton. The Pellaton winding system was particularly efficient and gave IWC a decisive competitive edge. This was also true of the watch’s protection against magnetic fields. It was aimed specifically at a professional group that came into regular contact with magnetic fields and gave the watch its name: engineers – or, in German, Ingenieure.
In the mid-1970s, freelance designer Gérald Genta revolutionized the appearance of modern timepieces with an uncomplicated, technology-inspired design language. For IWC Schaffhausen, he designed the legendary Ingenieur SL (Ref. 1832). Instead of concealing the bores for the screws that held the bezel in position, he made them a design feature and the hallmark of the watch family.
In the 1980s, IWC fitted its Ingenieur models with thin automatic movements. One of these was the new Ingenieur SL (Ref. 3505), unveiled in 1983, which was just 10 millimetres in height. In 1985, with the Ingenieur in titanium (Ref. 3350), the Schaffhausen-based manufacturer made use of this challenging material for the first time in the Ingenieur watch family. In 1989, IWC presented the Ingenieur Automatic “500,000 A/m” (Ref. 3508), whose impressive protection against magnetic fields withstood even the 3.7 million A/m generated by a magnetic resonance tomograph. In 2005 the watch family celebrated a comeback with three new models.Equipped with the large 51113 calibre featuring Pellaton winding and a 7-day powerreserve, the Big Ingenieur( Ref. 5005) made an impression in 2007. In the following years, the ruggedness and reliabilityof the IngenieurAutomatic (Ref. 3236) helped it to become the timekeeper of choice in extreme situations.
The new 2013 Ingenieur collection will doubtless appeal equally to admirers of highly sophisticated in-house watch movements and to those who love nothing more than the scream of a high-performance engine.