IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition W125

Angus Davies gets hands-on with the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition W125.

This detailed review of the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition W125 includes live pictures, specification and pricing.

IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition W125 - column-wheel chronograph movement

The first IWC Ingenieur was unveiled in 1955. The timepiece was intended for engineers and was capable of tolerating strong magnetic fields which would otherwise prove harmful to a wristwatch. The magnetic resistance of the Ingenieur model continued to be improved, culminating in the creation of the Ingenieur Automatic “500,000 A/m”, a technical feat which still continues to impress.

Perhaps the most famous Ingenieur watch was the Ingenieur SL, first released in 1976. This model was conceived by legendary watch designer Gérald Genta and featured distinctive bored holes within the bezel, conferring an unusual appearance to the timepiece. It was with the advent of this model that a horological legend was born.

In 2016, IWC unveiled the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W125”, a watch referencing the legendary Mercedes race car of the 1930s. Renowned for its prodigious power, the W125 featured a fire-breathing engine capable of producing 595 Bhp. Indeed, after a change in regulations, the W125 remained one of the most powerful race cars for nearly 30 years.

The prowess of the W125’s engine acts as a fitting metaphor for the impressive motor powering the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W125”. The 69370 Calibre is a modern-day movement featuring a column-wheel, affording seamless shifts as the chronograph is actuated, halted and reset.

Mindful of the capability of its horological engine, I took the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W125” on the road for a few evaluation laps.

The dial

The silver-plated dial doffs its cap to the legendary colour scheme of the W125, the revered ‘silver-arrow’, a colourway which continues to be held in high esteem. The black baton-shaped hands are lined with luminescent fill, aiding legibility in limited light.

IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition W125 - column-wheel chronograph movement

The tri-compax layout consists of a 12-hour chronograph register at 9 o’clock, a 30-minute chronograph register at noon and a small seconds display at 6 o’clock. Both chronograph registers feature red-tipped hands. It seems a little odd that the 12-hour chronograph register is tiny compared to the small seconds display. Nevertheless, the scale of the 12-hour chronograph register fails to lessen my affection for the dial of this interesting chronograph.

A date aperture is positioned at 9 o’clock, accompanied with the brand’s nomenclature and place of origin.

Double batons and white pearls denote the hour with notable clarity. The central chronograph hand is supremely slender and, once again, red tipped. A tachymeter scale occupies the periphery of the dial and proves ideal for honing ever-quicker lap times.

IWC has imbued the dial with matchless readability, together with a handsome mien. Form has followed function and in so doing delivered a superb performance.

The case

The gleaming titanium case measures 42mm in diameter and has a case height of 15.2mm. Despite its significant depth, the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W125” does not feel cumbersome, appearing tastefully restrained when worn.

IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition W125 - column-wheel chronograph movement

The rectangular shaped push-pieces prove simple to press and, courtesy of the column-wheel, confer a silken action.

Gracing the rear of the case is an exhibition case back, affording views of the 69370 Calibre. The sapphire crystal affixed to the front of the watch is convex and features anti-reflective coating on both sides of the glass.

It is rare that a strap justifies mention, but the quilted, black calfskin strap proves a tactile delight. Its neat pattern of stitching exudes an octane-rich air, tastefully reinforcing the automotive influences.

The movement

Over the years, IWC has continuously improved the movements within its chronographs. The 69370 Calibre is the latest chronograph movement from the brand and features a column-wheel. As stated earlier, this yields a silken push-piece action. Moreover, pressing the reset push-piece returns the central chronograph seconds hand to zero without the merest hint of wobble.

IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition W125 - column-wheel chronograph movement

The finishing of the movement is delightful, with circular Côtes de Genève motif on the rotor and bridges. Furthermore, perlage graces the main plate. Horophiles will also appreciate the sight of the six pillar column-wheel.

This is an IWC manufactured calibre, demonstrating the brand’s in-house competence.

The balance oscillates at 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 33 jewels. The power reserve is 46 hours.

Closing remarks

The danger of aligning a product to an automotive icon is that the modern-day namesake often fails to live up to the exalted standards of the legend, leaving buyers feeling shortchanged. Not so in this case. Indeed, the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition W125 is a wonderful timepiece and upholds the reputation of the famous car of the 1930s.

The silver-plated dial is gorgeous and proves the perfect foil for the various black hands employed. The dial delivers excellent readability and the display is incredibly handsome.

IWC has chosen to house the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W125” in a titanium case. This hypoallergenic metal is both skin friendly and light, while the 42mm is an agreeable size, delivering widespread appeal. Although the case height is substantial, measuring 15.2mm, the watch does not prove unwieldy.

The movement is beautifully appointed with Côtes de Genève and perlage while the wearer is granted the wonderful sight of the column-wheel at play.

This is a powerful performer from IWC. It fuses practicality, style, comfort and elevated engineering. The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition W125 is stunning and deserves a winner’s garland. Indeed, this watch has successfully upheld the reputation of the iconic Ingenieur SL and does nothing to sully the glorious “W125” legend.

Further information

https://www.iwc.com/en/home.html

Technical specification

  • Model: IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition W125
  • Case: Titanium; diameter 42 mm; height 15.2mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistance 6 bar (60 metres)
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, date; small seconds, chronograph, tachymeter scale
  • Movement: 69370 Calibre; Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 33 jewels; power reserve 46 hours
  • Strap: Black calf leather strap
  • Price: £6,450 (RRP as at 9.10.2017)