Press releaseIWC_334045_0

 

Haute horlogerie and Formula OneTM motorsport have one thing in common: only if the engineers adjust the individual parts to interact perfectly can they get the most out of their machines. And only then, whether they’re designed for the wrist or the racetrack, will their performance be spot on. While V8 engines are built for extreme acceleration and braking power, the hand-wound mechanism of a mechanical wristwatch should ideally supply energy at as constant a rate as possible. But because the mainspring in a conventional hand-wound movement is under more tension when freshly wound than when running down, the amount of power it generates varies constantly. IWC’s team of engineers, watchmakers and designers sought an answer to the problem for 10 whole years. The result of their efforts is a highly complex constant-force mechanism integrated in a tourbillon. And in 2013, IWC’s invention makes its way into the Ingenieur watch family for the first time in the form of the Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon (Ref. IW590001) in a platinum and ceramic case.IWC_334045_1The Constant-Force Tourbillon: the heart of the watchPositioned at “9 o’clock”, the impressive constant-force tourbillon provides a fascinating view of its layered construction. Connoisseurs of precision mechanics will particularly enjoy watching the complex interaction of the springs, wheels and pallets. The striking black tourbillon bridge is calibrated to facilitate reading off the seconds and, like the black screws, underscores the dial’s high-tech look. As a captivating contrast to this we see the delicate, gold-coloured Glucydur®* beryllium alloy balance with its high-precision adjustment cam on the balance arms. The tourbillon revolves around its own axis once every 60 seconds to offset the influence of gravity on any positional error in the balance and its adverse effect on the rate. Down in the depths of the tourbillon we see the constant-force mechanism, the true heart of the watch. This intricate assembly allows the escapement to be uncoupled from the gear train, which keeps the amplitude of the balance – and thus the watch’s rate – virtually constant. The energy is stored temporarily in a balance spring and dispensed to the escape wheel. This balance spring is put under tension once a second, as we can see from the one-second advances made by the tourbillon hand. After every five beats of the balance, the stop wheel and the tourbillon cage are also released. The stop wheel turns and causes the tourbillon cage to rotate with it, which puts the balance spring under tension again. After about 2 days, the watch moves from constant-force mode into normal mode. Now, the seconds hand advances smoothly every one-fifth of a second. The constant-force tourbillon guarantees a regular and precise rate over a period of at least 48 hours.IWC_334045_2Instrument-like totalizersThe new 94800-calibre basic movement was developed entirely internally by IWC. It features two barrels, which provide the energy for the higher torque required to drive the constant-force tourbillon. It also provides the moon phase module with the necessary power. IWC’s hallmark double moon display for the northern and southern hemispheres also makes its debut in the new design. If its position on the dial is a bold statement in itself, the incredibly realistic depiction of the moon is even more daring. IWC used a special 3-D laser technique to render the surface as authentically as possible. As a result, even tiny craters are visible to the naked eye. The countdown display on the outer ring of the totalizer shows the number of days remaining before the next full moon. A new departure for IWC is the retrograde design of the power reserve display between “4” and “5 o’clock”, which has a triangular indicator to show the power remaining. The connecting bridge was designed in such a way that the IWC logo is not concealed at any point during the watch’s 96-hour run time. The three totalizers protruding into the bezel were inspired by dashboard instruments and underscore the watch’s sporty character. In keeping with the cool, technically inspired look are the finely nuanced shades of black on the dial, the black, high-tech ceramic lugs and the solid crown protection in platinum. In the inner circle is the traditional pattern consisting of interlocking capital “I”s with elongated serifs. The letter stands for Ingenieur and lends an unusual depth to the relief.IWC_334045_3A look under the bonnetIf we look at the Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon from the movement side, it’s like peering into a sports car’s engine compartment. Complementing the bores in the bezel on the front side are five titanium screws with ceramic heads, which secure the sapphire-glass back firmly to the case. On the bottom plate, the lively interplay of blasted and satin-finished surfaces combined with polished edges is reminiscent of a high-performance Formula OneTM racing car. Perforated sections reveal the intermeshing gears, while engravings provide the technical details. All the design elements are meticulously harmonized and radiate power and pure dynamism.  

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION 

Ref. IW590001Features– Mechanical movement
– Power reserve display
– High-precision moon phase display
– Double moon phases for the northern and southern hemispheres
– Countdown display showing phases until next full moon
– Tourbillon with integrated constant-force mechanism
The integrated steel bracelet is similarly an homage to the original, including brushed H-shaped connections with rectangular centers. The installation clasp is included IWC, also features release pushers on the sides, an advancement over other mechanisms on integrated bracelet designs (I am calling you out, Royal Oak). Unlike a lot of sports watches available on the market nowadays, IWC’s designers controlled themselves on the situation back, which can be solid steel instead of the seemingly omnipresent display back. Anyone who has read my past reviews knows that I’m not a fan of display guards on anything but the most exceptional of fabrication movements, so I was happy not to have some reason to whine here!Protecting the movement inside the instance is an anti-magnetic cage, which provides the Ingenieur a resistance of 40,000 amperes per meter. This is the only version in the whole Ingenieur range to be anti-magnetic. This is surprising as the original Ingenieur was created from the beginning to be an engineer’s watch, good for environments with strong magnetic fields.Which brings me to the motion. Contrary to the bigger 46mm models from the new set, the 3239 uses the IWC calibre 30110, and it can be a modified ETA 2892, stated by IWC to be a foundation Sellita. This is an established, powerful tool watch motion with a 42 hour book that’s readily serviceable and quite trustworthy. Although pedestrian when compared to their new in-house calibres, I am personally not put off from the choice. The 2892 serves its purpose well and keeps the price reasonable. And with IWC’s amazing (and deserved) popularity, I doubt it will dissuade most purchasers. Furthermore, I’m certain that IWC will create in-house movements to fit smaller bits in the next several years, as IWC (and parent company Richemont) move from third party suppliers completely.
– Glucydur®* beryllium alloy balance with high-precision adjustment cam on balance arms
– Screw-in crown
– See-through sapphire-glass backMovement– Calibre: 94800
– Frequency: 18,000 A/h / 2.5 Hz 
– Jewels: 43
– Power reserve: 96 h
– Winding: hand-woundWatch– Materials: platinum and ceramic case, black dial, black alligator leather strap, pin buckle in platinum
– Glass: sapphire, flat, antireflective coating on both sides
– Water-resistant: 12 bar
– Diameter: 46 mm
– Case height: 14 mm

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