Watches & Wonders Geneva is the biggest annual trade show in the watch industry — an opportunity for the world’s most prestigious watchmakers to tout their latest creations. At the most recent edition this spring, some brands showed dozens of sparkling novelties. However, IWC — the brand known for its high quality replica IWC Big Pilots watches and its sponsorship of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team — focused on a single collection: the Ingenieur.
Available in steel or titanium, with a grid-textured dial, a modest 40 mm case, and no complications beyond a simple date window at three o’clock, it might seem like an odd candidate for a showpiece. The Ingenieur, however, is one of the most celebrated creations in cheap UK IWC fake watches’ more than 150-year history.
Unlike the worlds of fashion and architecture, in which big-name designers and creative directors put themselves front and centre, the designers of luxury Swiss made replica watches tend to remain in the shadows. In fact, there’s really just one big name in watch design, and he continues to exert an outsized influence even though he passed away more than a decade ago. That name is Gerald Charles Genta.
The undisputed GOAT of late 20th century watch design, Genta penned a string of era-defining pieces in the 1970s, including the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus, pieces whose skyrocketing popularity (and price) in recent years have come to define the new era of best copy watches collecting. The Nautilus and Royal Oak weren’t Genta’s only big hits, however. He also worked with IWC to turn a longstanding but relatively unassuming tool watch into one of the brand’s greatest successes: the Ingenieur SL.
Launched in 1976 at the height of the quartz crisis, in which Swiss luxury watch brands were reinventing themselves to remain competitive in the face of a rapidly changing market, the Ingenieur SL was a game-changer for IWC. The AAA top replica IWC Ingenieur watches (the word means “engineer” in French and German) was introduced in 1955, with an automatic movement and a soft-iron inner case that made it resistant to magnetic fields – a useful feature for many engineers then and now.
Like Gerald Genta’s other celebrated designs of the era, the 1976 Ingenieur SL was a steel sports watch with an integrated bracelet, visible screws on its bezel, and at 40 mm in diameter, an unusually large “jumbo” case. Equal parts sporty, sculptural, and luxurious, it was exactly the right fake watches for sale for its day.
The Ingenieur would go through several other evolutions in the following decades, but none would match the impact and legacy of Genta’s original SL, which has taken its place of honour among the designer’s other grails. To bring it back, though, Swiss movements IWC super clone watches had to walk a tightrope, honouring its past while making improvements worthy of the brand’s status as a leader in technical innovation.
“It is not every day that a designer gets the chance to work on an icon like the Ingenieur SL,” admits Christian Knoop, chief design officer of IWC. “We were aware of the enormous responsibility this task entailed and proceeded very cautiously. Nevertheless, we believe we succeeded in creating a new and contemporary interpretation, perfected down to the smallest detail.”
As it was in 1976, the magic of the new Ingenieur is in details like its trademark bezel, which was re-engineered to correct one of the original watch’s quirks. In the Ingenieur SL, the bezel was screwed onto the case ring, resulting in its five screw recesses ending up in a different position on each 2023 replica watches. In the Ingenieur Automatic 40, however, the five screws secure the bezel to the case and are always perfectly aligned. The new dial (available in black, white, green, and grey) preserves Genta’s original grid pattern while adding depth and crispness thanks to new fabrication techniques.
“With the new Ingenieur Automatic 40, the steel sports watch with an integrated bracelet returns to our portfolio,” confirms Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC. “While taking inspiration from Gérald Genta’s Ingenieur SL from the 1970s, we invested a lot of time and effort into engineering a new automatic model with perfect case proportions and ergonomics, a high level of detail and finishing, and equipped with modern movement technology.”
On that point, the new Ingenieur Automatic 40 features one of IWC’s best movements: the in-house manufactured 32111 calibre, with an impressive power reserve of 120 hours. In keeping with the tradition of previous Ingenieurs, this one is anti-magnetic, as well as waterproof to 100 m. Of course, all of this is just icing on the cake for the online fake watches’ many admirers. The Ingenieur Automatic 40 is a robust and handsome tool watch, but its technical distinctions are secondary to its provenance as the creation of a legendary watch designer.