Hands-On with the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Mercedes-AMG 50th Anniversary Replica At Lowest Price
In 9 o'clock, you've got the sub-dial that suggests the day, and now at 3 o'clock you have the sub-dials that show that the date and power reserve. At 6 o'clock, there is a
In 9 o’clock, you’ve got the sub-dial that suggests the day, and now at 3 o’clock you have the sub-dials that show that the date and power reserve. At 6 o’clock, there is a month indicator and moon phase display, as well as the left of it at around 8 o’clock you’ve the year index. Ultimately, there is the flying tourbillon that makes a single turning every minute at 12 o’clock. The motion within is the self-winding IWC grade 51950, which is based on the Caliber 51900 located in IWC’s other tourbillon watches like the Portugieser Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde however with the innovative 82-part endless calendar module manufactured by Kurt Klaus. This movement also contains IWC’s Pellaton winding system and contains a generous power reserve of 168 hours, or seven days. It’s visible through a sapphire display caseback and comes with a unique commemorative 18k gold rotor.The other tourbillon watch that IWC has especially prepared for its 150th anniversary would be your Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “150 Years.” This comes at a slightly larger 46mm wide Portugieser design situation and is only accessible platinum. Water resistance is a just 30m, and the watch comes paired with a black alligator strap by Santoni.The Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “150 Years” comes with a white lacquered dial with large black Arabic numerals printed in the signature ribbon of IWC’s Portugieser watches. Like the earlier Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition “150 decades,” this view also has heat-treated blue hour and minute hands. This is an upgraded version of past Constant-Force Tourbillon watches — Portugieser along with other versions — combined with the “perpetual moon phase display. At 1 o’clock there’s a moon phase display that just needs to be corrected by means of a day after 577.5 decades. Ultimately, we’ve got the highlight of this opinion, the massive tourbillon featuring a constant-force mechanism which delivers power in even impulses into the escapement. In theory, this should enhance the chronometric performance of the motion.
In the last couple of years the IWC Ingenieur line has evolved from a chunky watches into something slimmer, simpler and slightly retro. While most of the Ingenieur watches are pretty straightforward in style, the Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG” has more zing, along with a strong tactile feel.
Made for the golden jubilee of the Mercedes division famous for its aggressively powerful sedans (albeit ones with smaller engines now that emissions rules are starting to bite), the chronograph takes on a heavily automotive look. It’s not a novel look – the dial is modelled on a speedometer – but attractive and legible.
Looking clean and functional, the dial is silver-plated, with red accents giving it a bit of flair. And instead of hour indices, the dial has oversized five-minute markers. The sub-seconds hand at six is shaped like a lightning bolt, a motif derived from the Ingenieur logo and one that’s faintly cheesy but fun.
The case is somewhat large at 44.3mm wide and 15.9mm, but feels agile because it’s titanium. While the stock versions of the Ingenieur chronograph are either 18k gold, which is ponderous, or steel, which feels entry-level, the titanium models have a light, solid feel. IWC definitely thinks steel, however, has greater ordinary appeal, as all of the titanium models are limited editions.
While titanium is a common material for watch cases, the finish of the AMG chronograph is not. The case is mirror-finished on the bezel and tops of the lugs, instead of being blasted or brushed as is common for titanium. Matte finishes are easier due to the nature of the metal, but a polished finish looks better. But because of that very nature of the metal the polished surface of the titanium is not quite as flat and mirror-like as when done on steel, though that’s barely discernible for most observers.
Like most other limited edition Ingenieur chronographs, the AMG edition contains the cal. 89361 (the ordinary models are powered by a Valjoux 7750). That makes the watch significantly pricier compared to the ordinary model, by some 40% or so, but the movement is significantly superior.
The cal. 89361 has co-axial hour and minute registers at 12 o’clock, leaving the dial both symmetrical and free of clutter, while also having a flyback function and lengthy 68-hour power reserve. Like most high-end modern chronograph movements, it also boasts a column wheel and vertical clutch.
It is an in-house movement, though like the rest of the 8000 series calibres it shares some basic parts (like the gear train) with the Valjoux 7750. However good it is the movement is unfortunately hidden behind a disc perforated to resemble a brake disc.
Like the typical Ingenieur watch, the AMG chronograph features a soft iron cage around the movement to shield it from magnetism. Exactly the same as the original Ingenieur had 60 years ago, it’s a low-tech solution to magnetism but effective.
Price and availability
The Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG” (ref. IW380902) is limited to 250 watches, and priced at SFr12,600. It is available from IWC boutiques and retailers.