I have great trouble explaining Baselworld to anyone who’s not been. Seriously – is it possible to understand even remotely the galactic scale and Faustian ambition of Hall 1.0 without actually seeing it?
And what of the transient decadence of the pavilions (the word ‘stands’ is now etymologically insufficient for some brands, I gather)? How do you justify the cost of these things against the time they’re actually of any use?
Or the people – oh, so many extraordinary people. Drawn from all corners of the globe as if answering the Siren’s call, they are a perfect study in the peculiar diversity of the luxury world.
And how exactly does one insert into this inadequate explanation the preponderance of pushchairs? Yes, pushchairs – incongruous, incorrigible and infuriating, they trundle into the path of whirling wordies with inevitable frequency. Do they not know we have hopelessly ambitious appointment schedules to keep?
There is, I have concluded, little a dull-eyed Baselworld graduate can do to convey its majesty and its madness.
By contrast, what I can allude to with considerably more lucidity is the nature of the wristwatch that accompanied me on my annual Baselworld pilgrimage this year.
Rather like the fellow at school who always wore non-regulation shoes, I went off message and travelled with one of my picks from this year’s SIHH strapped to my ulna – the Iwc Ingenieur Edition Laureus Replica Ingenieur Automatic (black dial, for the record).
I’ve liked this watch ever since I first laid eyes on it, and judging by the reactions I got as it peeked out from under my cuff at the fair, I’m far from alone. The consensus among those prepared to offer a view – which, given this profession attracts the firm of mind, was most – was that it was the standout piece in IWC’s line-up this year.
There was a caveat to the appraisals, mind. Its superiority, so went the rationale, owed as much to the aesthetic paucity of the other nine pieces in the revamped Ingenieur line, as to its own excellence.
Which will be an uncomfortable sentiment for IWC. While I don’t agree with it entirely – I had the black-dialled version of the Double Chronograph Titanium on my wrist for a few days earlier this year and found little wrong with it – I’m happy to argue the case that Iwc Ingenieur Vs Omega Aqua Terra Replica tried to do too much with the Ingenieur reboot. It felt overthought and overwrought.
No little irony then, that the one thing they didn’t do was make all the new pieces antimagnetic – that quality has been attributed only to the Automatic. Which was perplexing. The Ingenieur is one of the great antimagnetic watches of the last 60 years, but without its original trick it feels like a Land Rover without four-wheel drive. It stops making sense.
On top of that, it’s a missed opportunity. Anti-magnetism is big this year and I’ll happily nail my colours to the mast and say technical developments made in this area will prove to be the most significant over the course of this decade – just as the use of silicon was in the last. Iwc Ingenieur 1970s Replica could and should have shared in the antimagnetic spoils this year – and probably will further down the line – given it’s a brand that rightly prides itself on its engineering creds.
But enough of that. Because what I really wanted to say is how good the Automatic is. As well as being antimagnetic, its proportions are nigh on perfect (on my wrists, an extra millimeter on the 40 would have been handy – but I’m nitpicking); its bracelet is a lesson in ergonomics and very simple to adjust; and because it’s a faithful restyling of the late, great Gerald Genta’s 1976 Iwc Ingenieur Family Replica Ingenieur SL, its kudos is guaranteed.
I’d suspected as much beforehand, but Baselworld confirmed it – the Iwc Ingenieur 2012 Limited Edition Replica Ingenieur Automatic is one of this year’s standout watches.
Thanks to our friends at IWC, I was fortunate to receive my hands on a few of the very first pieces available to examine in the USA. Since I attended occasions with it within the last couple of weeks, it received lots of attention from fellow watch journos and enthusiasts alike. The layout was universally praised– and many agreed that it was the highlight of the new Ingenieur collection. Although the price/movement discussion came up frequently, most agreed that the value proposal weighed heavily in its favor. I know I don’t talk for myself when I say we would love to see a version with an in-house movement in the near future, but are scared of what the price tag might look like on one. Right now this is actually the only “re-edition” 70’s Genta masterpiece accessible new for below (and in this case, well under) $15K, which makes it a true bargain.Despite its worth, the greatest appeal of this new 3239 Ingenieur for me personally is entirely in its design. As a fan of Genta’s classic layout speech, I am impressed with the sincerity of this homage. Modern flourishes from the dial and hands do not detract from the classic styling, and the piece wears very comfortably on the wrist. As with everything Iwc Ingenieur 42mm Replica is setting out, the finish and fit are magnificent. Finally that is a winner of a timepiece, along with a proper successor to the timeless Ingenieur SL. The IWC Ingenieur reference 3239 I review this was introduced in 2013, IWC’s year of this Ingenieur. You need to know that IWC is restyling an entire collection, every year, to keep it fresh and up-to-date. So in 2013, IWC introduced a number of new Ingenieur versions. From a simple straight-forward stainless steel model to a carbon variation and a platinum version with endless calendar.