Written by Stephanie Hsieh
In this year’s Salon Internationale de Haute Horlogerie, Gerard Butler stopped by IWC Schaffhausen’s booth to help the relaunch of their celebrated Ingenieur collection.
It’s no wonder that the Ingenieur collection should be the one to catch his eye. Unveiled in 1955, the original Ingenieur was one of the first high-precision watches to be wound by nothing more than the movements of its wearer’s arm—and nothing more. This was made possible by an innovative bidirectional automatic movement, the brainchild of famous technical director Albert Pellaton. In the 1970’s this amazing movement was paired with a rugged, sporty, technical casing: one of stainless steel, matched with a bezel marked by five distinctive bores. And with this combination a classic timepiece was born.
That classic timepiece lives on in 2013, with the relaunched Ingenieur redesigned to celebrate the precise, reliable engineering of Formula One racecars, as well as IWS Schaffhausen’s new partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team. This partnership can be seen in the high-tech materials that have found their way into the latest Ingenieurs. Materials such as carbon, ceramic, and titanium—common to both high-performance racing cars and high-performances watches—ensure that the 2013 Ingenieur timepieces are both powerhouses of the watch-making world as well as fitting homages to the engineers of Formula One racecars. The entire collection has also been overhauled and updated with a host of new features. However, despite these modern innovations, the classic stainless-steel case and five-bored bezel remain, marks of the Ingenieur line’s proud heritage and IWC Schaffhausen’s hand in the making of this amazing new series.
Though the relaunched Ingenieur collection features many choice designs, one in particular deserves mention as an illustration of the culmination of the collection. This is the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil. Just as Albert Pellaton’s revolutionary new movement dominated the watchmakers of the 1950’s, so too did the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow dominate motorsports all around the world in that same era.
In 2013, IWC Schaffhausen has brought these two powerhouses of technology together in a single tribute to the engineers of the past. The most striking feature of the watch is the circular-grained dial, the cloud-like pattern of overlapping circles echoing the circular-grained dashboard of the legendary Mercedes-Benz W25. This superb timepiece comes in two variations, distinguished by the brown or silver dial, and each variation has a limited run of just 1000 watches.
Steeped in history, performance engineering, and rugged aesthetics, the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil is truly an outstanding part of the collection and exemplary of what the relaunched Ingenieurs are all about. Even so, the watch is just one of the nine superb timepieces that IWS Schaffhausen has released, and more—Ingenieur or otherwise—are sure to come.