IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40

written by YWH team 25 May 2023
IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 ref. IW32890x

Quick specs IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40
Price: Stainless steel: € 12.900 | CHF 12’000 | $ 11,700 | £ 10,500 / Titanium: € 15.900 | CHF 15’000 | $ 14,600 | £ 12,900
Size: 40 mm
Reference: Stainless steel: IW328901 (black) | IW328902 (silver) | IW328903 (aqua) / Titanium: IW328904 (grey)

The IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 marks a new era for one of IWC’s icons. A very high-quality watch that was once one of the benchmarks for the every-day tool watch. Some say some models lack a bit of sex appeal, but perhaps that is what the Ingenieur is all about, if you name a watch The Engineer. Let’s quickly dig-up the history of the IWC Ingenieur.

It all starts in 1955 with the IWC Ingenieur reference 666, a 36-millimeter every-day watch with an elegant but simple design. The real highlight of that model is inside its round case: the movement sits in a soft iron inner case that acts as a sort of Faraday cage. A protected environment that kind of works like a car when it is struck by lightning: nothing happens when you are inside. So, this Ingenieur was not only water resistant and shock proof, it could also withstand heavy magnetic fields. Its protection for, let’s say unforeseen electrical energy, gave the model its logo. And perhaps its name.

In 1976 IWC hires Gérald Genta to restyle the Ingenieur. Gérald Charles Genta (1 May 1931 – 17 August 2011) was an independent watchmaker and artist, and designed watches for brands like Omega, Universal Genève, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. And also for IWC, for which he dumps the round case of the Ingenieur and creates the reference 1832. A design revolution compared to the basic design of its predecessor. This IWC Ingenieur SL (Steel Luxury) reference 1832 has a more cushion-shaped case, with a round screw-on bezel. It is 40 millimeters and is even more resistant to magnetic fields (up to 80,000 Ampères per meter in case you want to know) as the soft iron inner case is mounted on rubber buffers.

In the late 1980s IWC releases a successor of the ref. 1832: the IWC Ingenieur Automatic with reference 3508. A 34 millimeter, with a boring design compared to what Genta created, but it can withstand up to 500,000 A/m when it comes to magnetic fields. We have no clue if this made people want this watch more then any other, but if you are an engineer, it might be helpful.

Yes, the IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 still has a soft iron case

After this rather boring period the IWC Ingenieur with reference IW322701 is launched in 2005, a cool 42.5-millimeter model that brings back some Genta boldness. Chronographs are introduced (with Valjoux movements), titanium cases, materials like ceramic and carbon are used, and partnerships with Mercedes-AMG spice-up the model. Now can you expect the same with the new one?

Let’s hope so as this new IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 isn’t a lot of rock ‘n roll. But it’s a good base for new frivolities. The 40-millimeter case is from stainless steel or titanium (that’s a +1) and comes with three different dial colors for the steel model: black, silver or aqua (the one that sparkles the most). The titanium version has a grey dial. All dials have the classic Genta pattern, which feels a bit like having a mustard yellow bathroom nowadays.

Inside the watch – engineers, pay attention now – is IWC’s automatic caliber 32111 with a great power reserve of five days (120 hours). And yes, it is still mounted in a soft iron case. Unfortunately, IWC did not reveal how much Ampères per meter the new model can withstand, but we assume it is sufficient.

Technical data IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40
Stainless steel: IW328901 (black) | IW328902 (silver) | IW328903 (aqua)
Titanium: IW328904 (grey)
IWC caliber 32111 | Automatic | Diameter: 25.60 mm | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Parts: 164 | Jewels: 21 | Hours, minutes, seconds, date | Power reserve: 120 hours
Case and dial:
40 mm | Stainless steel or titanium | Height: 10.7 mm | Sapphire with anti-reflective coating | Black, silver, aqua or grey dial | Applied rhodium-plated markers and hands filled with super-luminova | Screw-down crown | Screwed steel back | Water resistance: 10 ATM / 10 bar / 100 meters / 330 feet
Integrated stainless steel bracelet or integrated grade 5 titanium bracelet | Butterfly folding clasp
Price IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40:
Stainless steel: € 12.900 | CHF 12’000 | $ 11,700 | £ 10,500
Titanium: € 15.900 | CHF 15’000 | $ 14,600 | £ 12,900

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