From the IWC Ingenieur 2017 to the Rally Passione Caracciola
“Ingenieur”: a name that inspires me more than others because it represents my professional choice. IWC, the Swiss brand that built a legend in the world of watch-making dating back to 1950 (1954-1955 to be more precise) around this name, by releasing a timepiece dedicated to those professionals who had to work very closely with intense magnetic fields. Finally, the Rally Passione Caracciola, a car race that, together with the Formula One races, represents the current link between the manufactory, the atelier from Affalterbach (AMG) and the world of engines. Combine all of the above-mentioned points and you will get one of the most beautiful experiences that I have ever been involved in since this magazine was first founded.
The IWC Ingenieur has changed; it has actually changed “once again”, as some of you will probably say. Another pillar of the IWC offer has changed its skin again. I had slowly become accustomed to the Big Ingenieur (that I'm looking for on the second-hand market in these days), the Mission Earth and the Plastiki and then, all of a sudden, we almost moved to the recreation of the Gerald Génta 40mm Ingenieur; to end up with a process that will finally match a style that is closer to that of the original Ingenieur.
It was something that had been largely anticipated by the three 2016 special editions dedicated to Rudolph Caracciola, the mythical Mercedes-Benz W125 and the Goodwood Festival of Speed, respectively. Simple, "rigorous" lines, more German than Swiss; a reinterpretation, in the three-hand-version, of the recent IW323311 reference, which, some years ago, inadvertently anticipated the 2017 IWC Ingenieur.
The days when I got to see the whole collection coincided with the 2017 edition of the Rally Passion Caracciola. It happened first in Milan and in Via Montenapoleone, in front of the IWC boutique, where the Rally officially started; afterwards it happened at the Autodromo of Monza, where the new IWC Ingenieur became the perfect frame built around a wonderful day. The setting was the original and the current race circuits, where the watch, in addition to being a travel companion in its Flyback chrono version, was also an indispensable travel companion during the simulation of the regular race on the circuit, hosted within a vintage Mercedes-Benz cabriolet.
This timepiece was also the main focus of our interview with the new company’s CEO Chris-Grainger Herr; the new man within the manufactory, who told us anecdotes and talked with us about the developments and reasons behind the idea to craft this new Ingenieur. It was a Q&A interview that you can enjoy while watching the video below taken inside and outside the hospitality of the race circuit.
Outside, at the end of that interview, we first got to enjoy a ride onboard a GLA with an AMG badge alongside Nicola Larini, to then explore the romantic interior of a Mercedes-Benz DTM version with dog-ring-equipped gearbox and 6-cylinder-normally-aspirated-engine. The latter car was driven by the German DTM super champion and Mercedes-AMG ambassador Bernd Schneider, who projected us from one bend to the other of the race circuit, at full speed.
What about our reviews of the new IWC Ingenieur? They will soon arrive, this is just a preview. Watches like the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition 50th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG or the IWC Ingenieur Perpetual Digital Calendar Date and Month deserve the well-known in-depth articles of Horbiter®. Stay tuned!
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®