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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 producint 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 1954, the Ingenieur set the bar for all subsequent entries into the category, including the Omega Railmaster and the Rolex Milgauss. 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.
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. Also available to interested parties are a second GF bracelet and a nearly flawless black service dial.
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.
A great writeup on the history of the IWC Ingenieur can be found HERE.
PRICE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST. SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY, PLEASE!
Steel case is is approximately 36mm (excluding the crown). Modified Valjoux 23 Manual-Winding Chronograph Movement, signed by Breitling. Circa 1967.
Overall condition: Case is in very good condition over all, showing wear consistent with age and use. No signs of over-polishing. Original dial is in great condition, showing light rub marks in the subsidiary registers. Original luminescent elements have been sealed to prevent flaking. Even patination across dial and original hands. Case back engravings are crisp and legible. Original Breitling signed crown.
Includes one black unlined Horween leather strap and two 18mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.