IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Automatic 40mm Ref. IW3228 (2007)

The Ingenieur from IWC Schaffhausen was already an horological standard with a quality lineage established over 50 years ago. The new Ingenieur Automatic in its 40mm case is also what might be described as a watch for life: neither too large, nor too small, perfect engineering and robustness with a hint of timeless elegance.

Since its infancy more than 50 years ago, the Ingenieur from IWC Schaffhausen has successfully provided proof that flawless engineering, the highest functionality, robustness and beauty are not mutually exclusive, but that their perfect combination can bring to light an aesthetic triumph of engineering. This happens when every aspect of a watch is in harmony. The new Ingenieur in its 40 mm stainless steel case with an integrated IWC bracelet system is fitted with the 80111 calibre manufactory movement which follows in the tracks of the old ideal: the simple but perfect mechanical watch, which exhibits three hands, a date display and nothing else.

What appears to be extremely subtle, offers no more than a hint of elegance from the silvered dial and the rose gold-plated hands and indices. Granted, the Ingenieur models that succeeded the Ingenieur SL in the 1980s have already made such subtle allusions to their particular class, which is revealed beneath the dial or, to put it more accurately in this case, behind the sapphire glass back, where the 80111calibre manufactory movement takes centre stage; it differs from its predecessor, the 80110 calibre, by the smaller height of its motion work and, as a result, by a flatter dial.

This interesting view of the internal workings of an Ingenieur was previously denied to the wearer of the watch because the soft iron inner case precluded this, which demonstrates its indisputable utility above all in activities involving high magnetic field strengths. The new Ingenieur Automatic, Ref. 3228, does without this extreme protection against magnetic fields. However, the Ingenieur Ref. 3227 in stainless steel or titanium, as well as the family of pilot’s watches with protection against magnetic fields, continue to offer this facility.

The appeal of the new Ingenieur Automatic is as a less specialized, and therefore significantly lighter and slimmer everyday watch. It has mechanical qualities which are concealed in its movement: foremost among these are the automatic Pellaton winding system and the built-in shock-absorbing system with the spring-mounted and additionally buffered rotor. These measures make it one of the most robust watches currently produced anywhere in the world. These innovative technical features are used exclusively by IWC Schaffhausen.

The designers have also directed their special attention to the visual appearance: the silvered dial derives particular depth from the inner circle structured with the small “I” logo of the Ingenieur, which corresponds precisely to the radius of the hour hand. The minutes hand paces out the outer, matt silvered segment with gilded indices. The central seconds hand is slightly longer and projects a little further into the outer seconds and hours markings. Functionality in detail is what counts here – with no concessions. The IWC bracelet architecture, with its appealing interplay of brushed and polished links, imparts complete harmony to the entity consisting of the watch and the bracelet.

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