In the year of the Ingenieur family, IWC launched its very first timepiece housed in a carbon fiber case. IWC Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance Watch is yet another outstanding sports-inspired timepiece for Formula One fans. With this watch, IWC marks its cooperation with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team.
The three-part outer case of the Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance timepiece is based on the same principles as those used for the monocoque of a racing car. The fiber matting is soaked in epoxy resin and shaped to the desired shape before being baked at a high temperature with overpressure. Meanwhile, the resin is cured. If you look closer at the webbing, you will notice that individual fibers are very thin (they are five times finer than a human hair, for example).
Its masculine case comes with the diameter of 46mm and with the thickness of 14.5mm. The crown and its protection are made of Ceramic, like the screw heads.
The dial is also crafted from carbon fiber and it perfectly matches with the authentic Formula One look, thus giving the watch a three-dimensional surface. Its dial comprises Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock positions and a small date window which is located at the 3 o’clock position. The hour and minute hands are partly skeletonized and filled with luminous material. The same material is applied on indices and numerals.
Good thing about this material is its low weight. Carbon is only one-fifth the weight of steel, but unfortunately it does not have its resistance to impacts or scratching. Besides Carbon fiber and Ceramic, IWC designers also used titanium for the case back of the watch.
High-Tech Watch Equipped with the Impeccable IWC-made Movement
Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance is powered by the in-house manufactured Caliber 80110 mechanical movement with Pellaton automatic winding system. The 28 jewels mechanism oscillates at the rapid frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) and provides no less than 44 hours of power reserve.
The watch is also equipped with the integrated shock-absorption system. Thanks to this system, the mechanism is unaffected by extreme acceleration, as well as sharp braking manoeuvres and vibrations, which makes it perfect for racing drivers.
The new Ingenieur that was presented at SIHH 2013 boasts a see-through case back where you can admire the inner beauty of the watch (Geneva stripes, perlage, skeletonized oscillating weight). Also, the design of the rotor which is shaped like pistons is very interesting. Its carbon fiber case is shielded with sapphire crystals, antireflective on both sides. The water resistance is assured up to 120 meters (about 400 feet) below water surface.
The Swiss manufacturer from Schaffhausen offered two versions of this watch – the first one with yellow and the other one with red stitching and minute track numerals (their referent numbers are IW322401 and IW322402). Each version will be produced in only 100 individually numbered pieces. The retail price is $26,400 per each.
For the best comfort of the wearer, IWC attached this watch to a black rubber strap with textile inlay featuring either yellow or red nylon stitching depending on the model.
Carbon Fiber and Formula One
Carbon fiber has long been one of the hallmarks of Formula One™. Formula One cars use carbon fiber to reduce weight and to increase the power to weight ratio. This innovative material actually is a mixture of carbon with a plastic resin. The result is a stiff material with high tensile strength and low weight that can be easily molded into different shapes. The carbon fiber is already making its way in the higher end sports cars and even being used for aftermarket parts to customize more humble cars.
Although Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance is the first IWC’s watch crafted from high-tech carbon fiber, the usage of this material started five years ago when Audemars Piguet presented the Royal Oak Carbon Concept Tourbillon and Chronograph watch that had the case and even some parts of mechanism made of forged carbon fiber. Three years ago, Hublot realized an ultra-expensive King Power Ayrton Senna Limited Edition model that combined carbon fiber with scratch-proof ceramic.