The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil ref. IW378511 pays homage to the legendary Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow W 25 —Silberpfeil— racing car. The Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow W 25, had a dashboard with a steel surround with circular-grain decoration just like the 'perlage' —circular graining— on the center of the dial of this robust chronograph. The IWC Ingenieur was originally launched in 1944 and since then, it has experienced several changes and major redesigns. Perhaps the most noticeable changes, took place in 1976, 2005 and in 2008. Trying to emulate the concept of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus, IWC hired Gerald Genta to give a facelift to the iconic Ingenieur. The new Ingenieur SL was included in IWC's SL 'Steel Line' Collection— further proof that the newly designed collection was intended to evoke the huge success of the Royal Oak as a luxury sports watch made of stainless steel and not precious metal.
Then in 2008, the Ingenieur was released as a more robust timepiece under the 'Mission Earth' name and fitted with a larger case measuring 45 mm in diameter, fitted with crown guards and powered by the in-house calibre 80110. Regardless of all these changes and improvements, the original DNA of the watch was still preserved. The Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil ref. IW378511 presented last year still maintains the essence of the original iconic Ingenieur design with a robust stainless steel case measuring 45 mm in diameter, two dial variants and available in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces per variant. The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil ref. IW378511 we are reviewing is fitted with brown dial, while the second variation of this watch comes with a silver-plated one.
Fitted with a brown dial with 'perlage' —circular graining— finish on the center, the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil features a running seconds register with silver raised surround and built-in date aperture at 6, a chrono register also with silver raised surround for the hours and minutes at 12 o'clock, applied raised markers with superluminova, a bright red seconds hand and a tachymetric scale engraved on the watch bezel. In order to provide the best readability, the watch is fitted with a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides. Frankly, IWC is situated well above and beyond others, when it comes to anti-reflective treated crystals. Powered by the in-house IWC automatic calibre 89361, the register at 12 o'clock allows the wearer to read the stopped hours and minutes as simply as the time on a subdial. Another very practical feature for anyone who frequents the world’s racing circuits is the flyback function for measuring pit-stop times. The calibre provides a power reserve of 68 hours when fully wound. As a side note, the design of this new in-house movement, took the IWC development team four full years.
Making the watch more interesting and appealing, its stainless steel case features three types of finishes. Sand blasted finish for the majority of the middle case; satin brushed on the center of the lugs, the top of the bezel and the crown guards; and highly polished around the bottom of the bezel. Just like with all other IWC Ingenieurs, the case features some of the nicest chamfers and beveled edges out there. The chronograph pushers are rectangular in shape and inspired by car racing pedals with highly polished and sand blasted grooves. The screw-down crown is nice and thick and finished with a high polish and engraved with the IWC Probus Scafusia logo.
The Case Back
The case back is solid and engraved with the iconic Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow W 25 —Silberpfeil— and the words 'One Out of 1000' alluding to the limited edition of this watch. Contrary to what all other reputable watch manufactures do when it comes to individually engraving all cases belonging to a limited edition —with its own unique case number 'x/xxx'— IWC chose to go with making all pieces in this limited edition as one of a 1,000. Frankly, this is something that you shouldn't expect from someone like IWC or any other watch company of this caliber. With its solid case back, the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil is water resistant to 120 meters as long as the chrono pushers are not pressed underwater.
To round out the brown look of the watch, IWC equipped this timepiece with a very unique looking black rubber strap with brown alligator leather inlay. The strap is very nicely finished and fitted with a satin brushed finished pin buckle.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil ref. IW378511 has very strong wrist presence and feels top heavy just like all other IWC Ingenieurs from this generation. The 'perlage' on the dial along with the brown alligator inlay on the strap make it a perfect watch for those in love with earthy colors and muted tones. If you like wearing your brown Tod's during the summer, this watch is a perfect match. Perhaps one of the greatest things about this watch beyond its timeless design, functionality and craftsmanship, is its strap with rubber interior making it a year round watch even during those hot and humid days in New York City or Malaga, Spain.
Sticker Price $13,100 USD. For more info on IWC click here.