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On early Monday morning, January 21st, I flew to Geneva from Amsterdam Airport. To make sure I could catch my plane in time, I stayed at Crowne Plaza Schiphol Hotel. As a side note: I managed to get the Watchuseek members that travel from or to Amsterdam and seek a very good hotel a great deal: Book at least 7 days in advance and get at least a 10% discount. Click here.

We (a couple journalists from The Netherlands) arrived at Geneva Airport around 8:30 AM and went to our hotel to store our luggage and change clothes. We were late for the Piaget press presentation, but I managed to re-schedule the appointment and will report about it later.

The first stop was at IWC.

If an IWC watch is the Beauty, well, then this car obviously is the Beast! And the other car in their booth is, well, a Beauty:

Why the Mercedes cars in the IWC booth, you might ask? Well, there is a reason. First let's watch the video:

The completely remodelled 2013 Ingenieur watch collection from IWC Schaffhausen focuses entirely on its new partnership with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One[SUP]TM[/SUP] 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[SUP]TM[/SUP]. 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.

After watching the video and listening to the IWC representatives, the next interesting part was when we got to see and hold the real watches.

This one was the most desired model by the Dutch journalists: the 40mm Ingenieur Automatic, most close to the original Genta design:

"Elegant, functional and conscious of its tradition, the Ingenieur Automatic (Ref. 3239) takes up the design cues defined by legendary watch designer Gerald Genta: it has a strikingly clear design and features the hallmark bores in the bezel."

Two Genta's side by side:

Forgive the not too well taken picture, but here shown is the Ingenieur Dual Time Titanium:

"Around 20 times a year, the international Formula One¿ cavalcade moves from one racing circuit to the next, in locations all over the world. The Ingenieur Dual Time Titanium (Ref. 3264) has a display for a second local time, which helps the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team keep track of the various time zones."

Perhaps the most striking one of the new collection is the Ingenieur Perpetual Calender Digital Date Month:

"On New Years Eve, when five of the display discs are advanced simultaneously, three semi-transparent subdials set the entire dial of the Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (Ref. 3792) in motion. It is a spectacle of such technical brilliance that no one who appreciates complex mechanical systems will want to miss it."

"While perpetual calendars tend to be very traditional, conservative watches, IWC Schaffhausen has always believed in pushing the complication forward both technically and stylistically." HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen.

Digital Date Display: IWC produced the first “digital” watches in its history as early as 1884. The “Pallweber watches”, as they were known, displayed the hours and minutes using numerals, while the seconds were shown in analogue form with a hand. In 2009, IWC unveiled a surprise for watch lovers in the form of a newly developed perpetual calendar movement, which shows not only the date but also – for the first time in an IWC watch – the month in large numerals. The energy required to advance the month display discs is built up continuously throughout the month by a quick-action switch. A spring-loaded lever on the quick-action switch is lifted a tiny bit further each day by a cam. At the end of the month, the tension in the spring has reached its maximum, and it is time for all that energy to be released; the quick-action switch jumps instantaneously to its starting position and advances both of the month display discs individually, or together, by one position, depending on the month. On 31 December, the leap year disc is also advanced at the same time. (Source: IWC).

Let's have a look at the entire new IWC Ingenieur collection:

"The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team unveiled its 2013 Formula One car, the F1 W04, at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain. Developing 464 kW (631 hp) for a kerb weight of 1550 kg, the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series accelerates to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and is the most powerful internal combustion vehicle currently produced by Mercedes-Benz."

Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, commented on the global partnership with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula OneTM 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 continuously redefine 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[SUP]TM[/SUP] motorsport. As a symbol of the ground common to their work, IWC Schaff- hausen and the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One[SUP]TM[/SUP] 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 emo- tional highs and lows and the gripping race against time make Formula One[SUP]TM[/SUP] the ideal environment for the fascin- ating 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 dedi- cated the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil to the legendary Mercedes racing car.

"With its Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil, IWC breathes fresh life into the legend of the historic Mercedes-Benz racing car. The designers took their inspiration from the illustrious W25 while the technicians equipped the chronograph, as only fitting, with a highly efficient IWC-manufactured movement."

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 Schaffhausen- based watch manufacturer. The cool, functional exterior housed a movement with a wealth of sophisticated tech- nology. 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 tech- nicians 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[SUP]TM[/SUP].

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 perform- ance, from start to finish.

Another model guaranteed a place at the front of the grid is the Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar 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[SUP]TM[/SUP] and uses the energy recovery principle. Every night, when the date dis- play 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 irresist- ible appeal for lovers of sophisticated mechanical systems.

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[SUP]TM[/SUP]. 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[SUP]TM[/SUP] cockpit. Screws attach the bezels securely to the case, which lends add- itional 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 famous watch 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 body- work of a Formula One[SUP]TM[/SUP] 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[SUP]TM[/SUP] 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 Double Chronograph Titanium (Ref. 3865). Thanks to a split-seconds function, the double chronograph is ideally equipped to keep track of lap times.

The Ingenieur Dual Time Titanium (Ref. 3264) neatly rounds off the sporty design line. It has a display that shows a second time of day, which is of enormous help to the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One[SUP]TM[/SUP] Team, who need to keep track of things when moving continuously from one time zone to another.

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[SUP]TM[/SUP] 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 engraved on 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 minor modifications 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[SUP]TM[/SUP] materials.” IWC Schaffhausen’s CEO continues: “Some of the in-house movements bear witness to the inventive spirit of our watchmakers. These include the highly complex 94800 calibre with its constant-force mechanism and 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.”

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 revo- lutionized 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.

Picture courtesy of

In the 1980s, IWC fitted its Ingenieur models with thin auto- matic 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 power reserve, the Big Ingenieur (Ref. 5005) made an impression in 2007. In the following years, the ruggedness and reliability of the Ingenieur Auto- matic (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.

With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at its finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design.

So what's the fuzz at the IWC booth the other day? Why all the camera's, microphones, lights? IWC presents to you ... Adriana Lima. Remember my words from the beginning of my report? Yes, she is the BEAUTY ... Well done IWC ! :)

And last but certainly not least, I bumped into Richard Krajicek, former TOP tennis player and nowadays the director of the ABN-AMRO Rotterdam Tennis Tournament. He happened to be at the SIHH to pick up his new IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days watch. His comment: "For me this Portofino is the most beautiful IWC watch with the most clean dial I have ever desired"

"Richard Peter Stanislav Krajicek is a Dutch former professional tennis player. In 1996 he won the Men's Singles title at Wimbledon, the only Dutch player to have done so. In the quarter-finals of that tournament he defeated Pete Sampras. Wikipedia"

Visit the IWC website.

Sources:,,, iwc press releases
Pictures: IWC, Watchuseek 2013 (c)
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