Watches: IWC Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance

By Thierry Ané on December 1, 2013

IWC marked its Official Engineering Partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team with the launch of probably the most contemporary and high-tech Ingenieur timepiece so far. The Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance model comes in two versions limited to 100 pieces each.

Thanks to its unique texture, carbon fibre brings a bold and technical look to any timepiece. Well-aware of its aesthetic properties, the watch industry has been using it extensively over the last two decades. More often than not, however, its use has been purely cosmetic. IWC did not use prefabricated sections of the composite like so many competitors: carbon fibres have been laid up by hand, in an impressive webbed pattern, to create the curves and lines of the 46 mm case. The dial, as well as the bezel, is also crafted in carbon fibre. The crown and crown protections are made of black ceramic, a material also used for the five crews holding the bezel.

Most of the Ingenieur models present an inner soft-iron case to protect the movement from magnetic fields. This time, however, the brand opted for a sapphire case back held by a titanium ring. Purists will certainly regret the absence of one of the most distinctive features of the Ingenieur collection but, to tell you the truth, I strongly prefer to be able to admire the movement. The watch is powered by one of the most rugged movements ever manufactured by IWC, the 80110 calibre. Using the famous Pellaton winding system, it offers 44 hours of power reserve when fully wound. Through the exhibition back one can admire the rotor that has been shaped like pistons to keep up with the motorsports theme. The watch is fitted with a black rubber strap with a black textile inlay secured by a titanium pin buckle.

A little touch of colour breaks the monochrome look of this watch and separates the two versions. One model uses yellow touches while the other features red accents. Very discreet on the dial, the colour only appears on the minute chapter and the end of the seconds hand. It is bolder on the strap where the red or yellow stitches contrast strongly with the black textile and strengthen the racing look. Priced at USD 26,400, these two timepieces that are available now would make the perfect Christmas gift.