Angus Davies provides an in-depth review of the IWC Ingenieur Dual Time. This recently launched watch is equipped with a GMT function, proving highly useful for today’s battle weary business traveler. You can read more from Angus on his Escapement watch blog.
As a child, the mere thought of flying evoked effervescent excitement. Air travel seemed glamorous. I recall sleepless nights, yearning for time to speedily evaporate in order that adventures could ensue. Flying to foreign shores offered new sights, sounds and experiences for a prepubescent boy and the prospect of visiting the cockpit, meeting the pilot, was always the highlight of any flight.
Times have changed and in some respects, not for the better.
My current occupation now means I frequently face the hostile prospect of flying. Air travel has become a test of endurance, not for the faint-hearted. Indeed, flying from my local airport is akin to undertaking a commando assault course and, seemingly, no less physically arduous.
First, there is the need to join a seemingly endless security queue where everyone is viewed with suspicion. “Due diligence” necessitates stringent security controls and there is a ubiquitous sense of distrust. When flying via some airports this is tempered with a sense of warmth and humanity, but sadly not always.
There is usually a need to partially undress. The removal of jackets, scarves, belts and shoes is typical of most airports.
After passing through security, only then can the intrepid traveler look forward to the sight of soiled coffee tables and beer-swilling miscreants enjoying a liquid breakfast before being squashed into an undersized seat aboard a plane.
No, it is not easy being a business traveler in 2014, especially if you have to use the same airport as me. At least I can find some refuge in my own mind, listening to music and dreaming about another fine watch on which to wax lyrical. Yes, my prolonged rant is leading to discussion of a fine timepiece and one perfectly adept at cruising above the clouds.
In 2013, IWC, the masters of masculine timepieces, revisited its former Ingenieur collection, launching a plethora of octane-inspired watches. This year, it has been busy again, augmenting the range with some interesting new models.
The new Ingenieur Dual Time, when compared with its siblings, is a rather understated affair, measuring a comparatively restrained 43mm in diameter. This model is not only easy on the eye but, most pertinently, it is perfectly suited for business travel, courtesy of an additional hour hand allowing the wearer to display a second local time of their choosing.
I recently visited the Swiss brand’s UK office and chose to inspect the Ingenieur closely and I was not disappointed.
The hour and minutes hands are bold and edged with a resplendent silvery finish, articulating time with notable lucidity. The hours are marked with applied and faceted batons, with a soupçon of purplish-blue detail to their centers.
The slim second hour hand features a purple triangular tip and is simply adjusted via the crown at 3 o’clock. A date display sits adjacent the screwed-in crown. It is simple to read with its crisp black numerals presented against a fresh white disc.
A central sweep seconds hand, detailed with a red tip, completes the array of functions, fulfilling the needs of most frequent flyers.
Encircling the dial, a 24-hour ring is used to read-off the prevailing hour in a second time zone. Moreover, the white numerals are presented on a colored background, purple for nocturnal hours and grey when displaying daylight hours. This simple but effective aspect to the specification proves highly intuitive and should prevent phoning home at an inopportune hour. A small, attractive detail is the depiction of the midnight hour in red, matching the tip found on the central seconds hand. Indeed, one key strength of the design language selected by IWC is the restricted and judicious palette of colors employed.
Presented in stainless steel, the case of this watch is contemporary but remains visually reminiscent of the Ingenieur SL, penned nearly 40 years ago by design genius Gérald Genta. A key reason for this familiarity is the bezel, punctuated with five holes similar to the iconic model of 1976.
Crown protectors grace the right hand side of the case, according a robust mien. The steel case and bracelet predominantly feature a satin brush polish, tempering the character of the watch still further. This is not a watch for those who choose to conspicuously consume, this is a model which evinces a graceful and refined air.
The three-row bracelet is beautifully executed and grants a delightful wrist feel. The middle row of links is slightly raised above the two neighboring rows and its bevelled edges gleam with a tasteful quotient of ebullience.
IWC has incorporated an abundance of smile-inducing details which will no doubt bestow many years of ownership delight. The folding clasp on the bracelet is adorned with perlage, a motif I am more accustomed to seeing on the main plate of a watch movement. This charming detail provides a visual reminder of the mechanical heart beating within the watch.
On the clasp, a highly polished rectangular canvas, with rounded corners, features the maker’s nomenclature. It looks magnificent in its showroom-fresh state, however, I suspect it will become increasingly scratched with the onset of years; a satin brushed finish may have proved more practical. It is one of the only two areas I would criticize, the other being the absence of an exhibition case back. Nevertheless, don’t misconstrue, I love this watch.
The self-winding Caliber 35720 has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz), contains 27 jewels and a power reserve of 42 hours.
Typical of many IWC watches, the movement features a hacking seconds, allowing the wearer to pause the central seconds hand by pulling out the crown. Pushing the crown home results in the central sweep seconds hand recommencing its journey, making it ideal for synchronizing with a reference clock.
The wearer can also adjust the hour in either direction without fear of causing harm to the date display. This is a highly practical ownership proposition which does not require handling with kid gloves.
IWC has produced an exquisite timepiece which blends handsome aesthetics with the useful complication of a GMT, or dual time function. There is much to commend this watch.
Despite the hassles of being a business traveler, at least IWC makes the interpretation of time, simultaneously in two time zones, a simple and highly pleasurable experience. Indeed, exuding an air of Swiss efficiency, I just wish IWC operated airports in Northern England.
- Model: IWC Ingenieur Dual Time
- Reference: IW324404 (silver-plated dial)
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43.00 mm; height 13.50 mm; water resistant to 12 bar (120 meters); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central hacking seconds; date; GMT.
- Movement: Caliber 35720, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 27 jewels; Power reserve 42 hours.
- Bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
- Price: £7250 (RRP as at 5.10.2014)