IWC introduced the stainless steel Ingenieur with integrated steel bracelet in 1976, designed by Gerald Genta. Last week, during the SIHH 2013, IWC again introduced the Ingenieur collection. One of them, Ingenieur ref.3239 comes very close to the original Genta designed Ingenieur, according to IWC. If you are a regular reader here on Fratellowatches, you can probably skip the next few sentences.

Gerald Genta, one of the first dedicated and independent watch designers (he was on the OMEGA payroll for a long time) designed the Royal Oak 5402ST in 1972. Audemars Piguet asked him to come up with an all stainless steel luxury watch. Rumour is, that this was an overnight request and that he delivered the sketches for the Royal Oak next day. Although the managing board at Audemars Piguet was skeptical at first, we all know what happened with the Royal Oak. It has become their most popular collection.

Some years later, Genta also designed the Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700 and the IWC Ingenieur SL1832. The Ingenieur was designed to be a watch for scientists or technicians, people who had to work in surroundings with strong magnetic fields. Hence the well chosen name ‘Ingenieur’.

The original Ingenieur could withstand 80.000 Amperes / per meter  (A/m). A soft iron case protected the movement from magnetism and made sure the watch didn’t loose accuracy.

The new IWC Ingenieur Automatic ref.3239 is part of the new Ingenieur collection of 2013. Although IWC re-introduced the Ingenieur collection with integrated bracelet in 2005 with the ref.3227, they decided to start over. The 3227 was a 42mm hefty chunk of stainless steel, being one of their first watches featuring IWC’s in-house mechanical movement caliber 80110. However, it was discontinued again in 2009. Reason unknown. Purists loved it, but I guess that it was too ‘extreme’ for most people.

IWC introduced three versions of their ref.3239 Ingenieur Automatic: a black dial version, a white dial version and another white dial version with gold applied hour markers and hands.

The case measures a very discrete 40mm and has a height of just 10mm. A toned down version of the Ingenieur ref.3227 from 2005. The dial is less extravert than its predecessor and the 40mm case now has crown guards to prevent it from getting damaged.

Unlike previous versions of the Ingenieur, IWC decided to stick to the concept of the Ingenieur and made sure a soft-iron case is in place to protect the movement from magnetism. Therefor, there is also no sapphire caseback to look at the movement. The IWC Ingenieur 3239 can therefor be considered as a real tool watch (again).

This ref. 3239 Ingenieur is protected to withstand 40.000 A/m, half of what the original Ingenieur SL1832 could do, but still will be a reliable partner for professionals who work with – or in – strong magnetic fields.

The automatic movement in the IWC Ingenieur 3239 collection is a caliber 30110. The IWC caliber 30110 is based on an ETA 2892-A2 movement. A movement that has a track record since 1982 and is considered to be very reliable.

Perhaps some IWC fans might wonder why IWC did not use their caliber 80110, but my guess is that the ETA2892-A2 is more flat so it would fit the 10mm case. Personally, I love that they did this, as this watch truly breathes functionality.

The list price of the IWC Ingenieur 40mm Automatic 3239 collection is 5950 Euro (based on the Dutch list price, including 21% VAT, approx $7900 USD).

All photos can be clicked for a larger version