It’s a little-known actuality that prior to the Ingenieur was launched in 1955 IWC had produced some military pilot watches with soft-iron cages in order to look after the moves from the more powerful magnetic fields within the ever-more developed and better-equipped cockpits of the 1940s. Ditching the pilot watch DNA the IWC Ingenieur was a handsome-looking dress watch designed for – you guessed – engineers compared to pilots. The collection received its most notable overhaul in 1976 if Gerald Genta redesigned it — but that is another story.All this was to mention that matters are going back to basics in precisely the same manner as we found with the old-new Da Vinci (hands-on here): the IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40mm, closest to the first among the four new versions, provides a fantastic conservative dimension (most notably the same as a Rolex Submariner) with an “IWC grade 35111” beating inside. The 35111 is a foundation Sellita SW300 which in turn is an ETA 2892 clone, which will help explain some of the cost difference between the Ingenieur Automatic and the Submariner. It runs in 4Hz and provides 42 hours of power reserve, making sure it won’t be a top pick for those searching for a more contemporary motion in this price segment.The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph is essentially the non-limited re-release of last year’s limited editions — references IW380802, IW380801, and IW380803 as seen previously. They’re a modest 42mm wide, clad in stainless steel or 18k red gold and sport what is an ample 120m depth score. Interior is what we’re told to become an all-new movement called the IWC Caliber 69375.
On 12 November 2017, in Geneva, Sotheby’s auctioned the one-of-a-kind IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”, which was sold for CHF 38,000. A portion of the proceeds of this auction will benefit the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, in order to boost its expansion into the USA and reach its goal of offering training and educational projects to even more young people throughout the world.
This auction in Geneva was the fifth IWC has carried out in cooperation with Sotheby’s Geneva. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, helping it to establish itself on the North American continent. It is no coincidence that the foundation is aiming to cross the Atlantic. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry himself had a strong connection to America: he flew a Lockheed P-38 Lightning on multiple occasions and wrote his story “The Little Prince” in New York.