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The IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 Watch Is a Revived 1970s Icon

IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 Watch 00 Hero
Photos: IWC Schaffhausen

Born in Geneva in 1931, Gérald Genta is unequivocally one of the most celebrated watch designers of all time, leaving just as much of an indelible mark on the horological space as Marcello Gandini did the automotive one, having penned some of the most game-changing and influential timepieces in history. Alongside bonafide horological icons like the Omega Constellation and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Genta is also famous for delivering the IWC Ingenieur SL in 1976 — the same year the Swiss designer also penned the Patek Nautilus. The Ingenieur range had existed for over two decades by the time Genta delivered his game-changing take on the watch, however, the design nonetheless made such an impact on the horological world that IWC has not only kept this lineup in production in one form or another for the vast majority of the years since its debut — most recently in 2017 — but has now also prompted it to introduce a modern interpretation of Genta’s beloved 1976 design with the new IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Automatic 40 Watch. 

IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 Watch 01
Photo: IWC Schaffhausen

Taking ample inspiration directly from IWC’s Ingenieur SL Reference 1832 — which was unofficially known as the “Jumbo” — while still sporting some clear modern design elements, the Ingenieur Automatic 40 is crafted around a 40mm stainless steel case — though is also offered in a top-shelf titanium variant. Sporting a date window at 3 o’clock, the black dial employs an elegant structured layout with horizontal lines that see vertical lines checkerboarding the face of the watch in order to create the textured 3D effect. Encompassing the dial is one of the original watch’s most iconic design features; its screw-on bezel with five cricular recesses. Machined from a solid piece of billet before being hand-finished in a combination of satin and polished, the bezel is fixed to the casing ring via five polygonal screws. 

IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 Watch 2
Photo: IWC Schaffhausen

What’s more, the case is also mated to an integrated H-link bracelet that’s largely modeled after the item on the 1976 Ingenieur SL, however, the case’s previously completely unprotected crown has now been fortified via a set of guards above and below and screw-down item. Inside the case is the Swiss watch brand’s 32111 Calibre automatic movement. Comprised of 164 components including 21 jewels, this motor ticks at 28’800 VPH and affords a 120-hour power reserve. The main housing’s soft-iron inner case also shields the movement from external magnetic fields. Water resistant down to 100 meters, the watch also features glass that’s been mated to its emplacement using a drop in air pressure. Debuting at the ongoing Watches & Wonders event, this new IWC model maintains the majority of its predecessor’s signature visual elements while bringing modern accuracy and reliability into the frame, resulting in an attractive, modern-looking timepiece that’s still dripping in the same style and DNA that made its progenitor such a hit 47 years ago.

IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 Watch 3
Photo: IWC Schaffhausen

The IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 Watch will be offered in black, white, and aqua-dial variants, as well as in a titanium version with a gray dial. And, while the company has yet to reveal the watch’s release date, the IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 Watch will start at $11,700 for the stainless steel models and $14,600 for the titanium version.