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The decedent of the Mark XI military watch, the Ingenieur is the result of all of IWC’s military, scientific and engineering knowhow together in one watch. This is a special one folks.
When you think of watches by International Watch Company, you'll probably conjure images of the their lovely Portuguese chronographs, sturdy Aquatimer divers, Big Pilot aviators, or their 70's inspired Ingenieur SL. The latter is without question a pillar of wristwatch design, originally penned by legendary designer Gerald Genta, the "father" of the original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus. With its characteristic integrated bracelet and sharp, angular case design, the Genta-penned Ingenieur is indisputably a sought after timepiece, but many don't know that the Ingy story started about twenty years prior.
Although IWC began producing anti-magnetic movements as early as 1888, the Reference 666 Ingenieur was IWC's first foray into producing a purpose-built anti-magnetic tool watch for scientific and industrial usage. Launched in 1955, the Ingenieur borrowed the soft iron inner case of the WWII-era Mark XI military watch and added a new in-house movement. Offered originally in date and non-date format, the 666 is one of the most hard-to-find vintage IWC models on the market today. A combination of limited production and its unassuming looks (a large number of them were probably scrapped by people who didn't know they were something special), not to mention the perils of time, make early examples such as this one a highly desirable "pre-Genta" Ingenieur.
Perhaps most interestingly, the Reference 666 Ingenieur featured anti-magnetic protection up to 80,000 amperes per meter, exactly double the resistance of the SL model currently offered by IWC. Double. Newer, it seems, doesn't always mean better.
This particular piece comes from a private collection and is in outstanding original condition, with a crisp case, lovely silver pie-pan dial, and a Gay Freres signed bracelet that is to die for.
A great writeup on the history of the IWC Ingenieur can be found HERE.
Steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding the crown). IWC Caliber 8531 automatic movement.
Overall condition: Case is in excellent condition over all, showing minor wear consistent with age and use. No signs of over-polishing. Original dial is in great condition, showing minor wear and no signs of refinishing. Original hands are in excellent condition. Even patination to lume across hands and dial. Case back engravings are crisp and legible. Original IWC crown with fish logo.
Includes original IWC-signed Gay Freres bracelet.