This installment of Pre-Owned Spotlight is specifically for all you engineers out there. My wife is actually a chemical engineer. She spends most of her time in the office, though, so she wouldn’t really need any antimagnetic watches. While I think that’s the case for most engineers these days, it’s still nice to get a watch that’s designed with your profession in mind. In a way, it’s even better than all those non-divers desk diving with their capable Rolex Submariners and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphes.

We all suspect that Rolex and IWC will probably introduce new iterations of the Milgauss and Ingenieur models this year. The prime opportunity to do so would be at Watches and Wonders, which is happening at the end of next month. But actually, that wasn’t the inspiration for this article. No, it was an Instagram post that I stumbled upon while scrolling through my feed. When I saw it, I immediately showed it to my colleague Lex, who was sitting right next to me. Both of our jaws dropped to the floor, and we were getting more and more excited with each picture that we looked at. But then we saw its price tag…

Rolex Milgauss 6541 antimagnetic watches

Image: Oliver&Clarke

The fat-bezel Rolex Milgauss

I’m talking about this 1959 Rolex Milgauss ref. 6541 that’s being offered for $265,000 in the US. Of course, this is way out of our league, but it’s still nice to dream big sometimes. It looks so good with that textured dial and the applied markers at each quarter that match the sword-style hands. And then, of course, there’s the cherry on top in the form of that high-voltage seconds hands. The 39mm case and the wide bezel show you that this watch can take a beating. But I guess I should go and look at other options.

Rolex Milgauss 1019 antimagnetic watches

Image: Peter Machlup

A later Milgauss reference 1019 isn’t cheap either, and it doesn’t have that quirky seconds hand. But with a value somewhere between €20,000 and €30,000, it’s certainly a lot more affordable than the 6541 mentioned above. I’d go for one with a silver dial, like this one from South Africa, for example. The bracelet definitely needs some TLC to get rid of the play, but the lume on the dial looks finger-licking good! But let’s see whether there’s a nice IWC Ingenieur out there for even less than this US$25,000 Milgauss.

Image: Select Watch Tokyo

An Ingenieur without an integrated bracelet, please!

I’ve never really been a fan of IWC’s Ingenieur models with integrated bracelets. Of course, they’re watches made for a specific purpose, but they look too awkward to me to ever seriously consider buying one. If I were going to buy a pre-owned Ingenieur, I think I’d go for the devil’s reference 666. For example, this one from Japan, offered for ¥478,500 (about €3,350), looks great with a nice patina on the dial. It’s the perfect under-the-radar engineer’s watch. It almost looks like a very straightforward everyday watch with the time and a date function, but the 13mm thickness tells you that there’s a little more going on here.

I’m curious whether or not IWC will go the integrated-bracelet route for the upcoming reintroduction of the Ingenieur. I guess most people are waiting for a version with an integrated bracelet. And even though IWC would be a little late to the game, I think that style is still very popular these days. But wouldn’t it be cool to see a re-edition that’s inspired by the earlier Ingenieurs?

Omega Railmaster antimagnetic watches

Image: Amsterdam Watch Company

An original Railmaster

Another great classic among the engineer’s watches out there is the Omega Railmaster, which Omega introduced in 1957. Indeed, that was the same year that both the Speedmaster and Seamaster came out. Omega did, of course, reissue these models in 2017, using an orangey color to mimic the lume on the older versions. But wouldn’t it be nice to own an original model with properly aged lume? Consider this 1961 Omega Railmaster, for example, on offer for €13,750 here in the Netherlands. It even has the characteristic lollipop hand. It’s true that its lume has almost entirely faded, but that only helps you to imagine what this watch has gone through since life with its first owner.

Image: Closer

The Grand Seiko SBGX093

But I get it if you want something a bit less vintage and maybe also less expensive. In that case, the Grand Seiko SBGX093 could be a great option. I actually used to own this watch. Its angular case wasn’t really my style, and I couldn’t get the right fit without any micro-adjustment on the bracelet. But it’s a very cool-looking watch nonetheless and one of the most accurate ones out there with its 9F61 quartz movement. It also has a very deep black dial, which almost makes you feel like you’re looking into an infinite abyss. You can usually find one of these for somewhere around €2,000, like this one from Japan via eBay for US$2,023.

Which engineer’s watch would you pick up from a pre-owned dealer? Let me know in the comments below.

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