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Revisiting a Genta classic. The new IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40

Updated: Apr 10

It would be foolish to say that I'm excited to see a Genta design recreated and released at Watches and Wonders when the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus are Gerald Genta designs, and we see new iterations every year. However, when it comes to other Genta designs, my favourite has to be the Ingenieur.

Genta's creation, the Ingenieur SL Jumbo ref. 1832, was initially released in 1976 as the lead model for the IWC SL collection. The Ingenieur featured an all-stainless steel construction with a stainless steel integrated bracelet; a similar bracelet design can be seen in the Patek Philipe Nautilus, which Genta also designed. However, while the Ingenieur looked stunning and separated itself from other stainless steel sports watches, the watch would be a commercial flop, only selling around 1000 pieces.

Fast forward to the present day, and the Ingenieur is one of the most sought-after watches in vintage IWC, but we're not here to talk about vintage. We're here to talk about the modern watches that keep the Ingenieur running, and the newest release is the new IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 for 2023.

The new Ingenieur Automatic 40 is a reissue of the original Genta design and was released 40 years after the original production ceased. Available in 3 dial variations and a titanium edition, the new Ingenieur is a compromise between the modern and the Genta classic. The bracelet and case design is similar, but some slight changes exist. The bracelet has been narrowed slightly, and the H-link bracelet has been updated to feature a movable H-link.

The most significant change is the new bezel. On the original Ingenieur models, the bezel was screwed in and would be secured by five pins. The original bezel would screw down like a lid, meaning the five pins would always be slightly off-kilter. The new Ingenieur fixed the issue by using the actual bezel pins to secure it to the case, meaning all five pins correctly lined up.

When a brand reissues a watch, sometimes things are added to the original that isn't necessary and takes away from the beauty of the precursor. IWC did the exact opposite. With an already elegant design, IWC kept what makes the Ingenieur special and added what they thought could make the watch better aesthetically and functionally, and they were right. IWC rarely gets the formula wrong, and the 2023 Ingenieur Automatic 40 proves that statement.

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