Previously known as race sponsor and official timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht race, the Swiss watchmaking house IWC decided to up the ante and, back in May, 2008, signed a three-year sponsorship agreement to become an Engineering Partner of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team. It was only a matter of time before a special edition IWC Ingenieur Racer automatic chronograph watch was officially announced.
Set to be revealed in flesh during the next SIHH 2013 trade show, the new IWC Ingenieur Racer Chronograph is powered by the same IWC Caliber 89361 automatic movement that was released back in 2011 together with another special edition timekeeper: the sporty and elegant IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012”.
As the other members of the family, the new Ingenieur Racer will be delivered in a slightly oversized body around 45 millimeters in width and 15 millimeters in height. A pair of chronograph push-pieces is elegantly integrated into the body and doesn’t attract too much unnecessary attention.
Crafted from stainless steel, the body also contains a special anti-magnetic cage, which is made from soft iron and protects the finely crafted caliber from strong magnetic fields.
Although in times past you would have to be an electrician, a nuclear physicist or an engineer to need such a magnetically shielded watch, today you only need to own a powerful guitar amp or a just a mobile phone to spoil your timekeeper’s hairspring and ensure an unscheduled visit to your local watch repair shop.
From the visual point of view, this is just another Ingenieur: nothing but a stylized engraved F1 car on the Racer’s solid case back betrays the special relationship between IWC and the German racing team.
As usual, the watch features a pair of recessed sub-dials (a combined 12-hour and 60-minutes chronograph totalizer at 12 o’clock and a small seconds counter at 6 hours) and a rather small date aperture. The facetted hour and minute hands match the similarly shaped hour markers in color and also feature generous amount of white Superluminova.
Besides the usual minute track on the flange, there is also an almost inevitable tachymeter scale on the bezel. While not particularly useful, it still makes the body of the watch look more entertaining and, well, a bit sportier.
The Swiss brand has set the minimum retail price for this model at $13,000 that, while clearly not making the timekeeper even close to being ‘affordable’, still makes it quite competitive for a person sitting on a fence and trying to choose among a sporty Omega Speedmaster, a Breitling and this gorgeous Ingenieur.
IWC Ingenieur Racer Automatic Chronograph watch specification
Price: $13,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 89361, magnetically shielded, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 38
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 68 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 45.00 mm
Case height: 15.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Slate-colored (ref. IW378507) / Silver-plated (ref. IW378510 and IW378509) / Brown and Silver perlage (refs. IW378505 and IW378511)
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 120 meters
Strap: Stainless-steel bracelet with fine-adjustment clasp or Black rubber strap with textile inlay, pin buckle in stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides
Case back: Solid, engraved (stylized F1 car)