Insider: IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer ref. IW378508. Our Favorite Ingenieur Ever.

The IWC Ingenieur was originally launched in 1944 and since then, it has experienced several changes and major redesigns. Today, even though the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer ref. IW378508 has been discontinued, it remains our favorite Ingenieur ever. Released in 2013 as the result of the collaboration between IWC and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, the IWC Ingenieur Chrono Racer ref. IW378508 maintains the essence of the original iconic Ingenieur design with a much more robust construction. Fitted with a 45 mm stainless steel case and available on strap or bracelet, the anthracite dial model with black registers is by far the best looking one.

The Dial

Perhaps one of the most strikingly beautiful dials out there, the IWC Ingenieur Chrono Racer is fitted with an anthracite colored dial with circular brushed finish, an eye-catching multi-layer construction and black registers at 12 and 6 o'clock.

The dial features applied raised faceted markers and skeletonized hands —all fitted with superluminova including those for the running seconds and the chrono register. While the brightness at night is very weak and not long lasting, it is still quite nice to have lume on the chronograph totalizer, a feature rarely seen on other chronographs.

The dial is well balanced with two subdials featuring highly polished raised surrounds and snailing on their outer tracks. While the subdial at 6 o'clock is for the running seconds with a date aperture, the one at 12 o'clock is for the mono counter chronograph, where elapsed hours and minutes can be read at a quick glance.

To round out the balanced design of the dial, there is a raised flange with a minute chapter ring, a bright red tipped seconds hand and a red “60” in the chapter ring that was inspired by the digital display on the steering wheel of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racing car.

The Case

Measuring 45 mm in diameter and 14.5 mm in thickness, the case is exquisitely finished and extremely solid. To give you an idea on how solid this watch is, the total weight of the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer on bracelet with all links is 240 grams. The finish of the case is nicely done with a very smooth satin-brushed finish with alternating mirror polished chamfers on the edges of the case, rectangular chrono pushers, crown guards, bottom part of the bezel and on the perimeter of the solid case back. The bezel features an engraved tachymetric scale in black.

The crown, is a screw-down and features the traditional 'Probus Scafusia' engraving. The IWC Ingenieur Chrono Racer is water resistant to 120 meters and is fitted with a solid case back featuring a very nice engraving of a Formula One racing car. If you are a Formula One fan like we are, you'll definitely love this watch.

The Movement

This rugged timepiece is powered by one of the most efficient movements manufactured entirely by IWC, the automatic flyback chronograph calibre 89361. This in-house movement provides a 68-hour power reserve when fully wound and features a date display with crown-activated rapid advance, a flyback chronograph with combined hour and minute totalizer at 12 o’clock and a small hacking seconds for more precise time setting. Thanks to the flyback function, pressing the reset button brings the stopwatch hand back to zero and immediately restarts timing, making it perfect for recording pit-stop times. The design of this new in-house movement, took the IWC development team four full years. Perhaps the only thing we dislike about this movement, is that the pushers are quite noisy when pressed and they require a lot of pressure to activate the chronograph.

The Strap & Bracelet

Whether you are strap or bracelet kind of guy, you won't be disappointed with either one of them. The black alligator strap with rubber inlay on this watch is super sporty and quite comfortable. The alligator inlay is of premium quality and the strap is fitted with a stainless steel IWC pin buckle.

Something we absolutely love about the IWC Ingenieur is how easy it is to go from strap to bracelet or the other way around. Thanks to the IWC quick strap change mechanism, all it takes is for the wearer to press —with the provided pin pushing tools— the small push-pin located on the corner of the strap to remove it and put a new one or a bracelet in its place. As far as the bracelet goes, the craftsmanship and quality of the bracelet simply makes it one of the most solid and robust bracelets out there.

The bracelet features a deployant clasp with a special micro-adjustment feature that allows the wearer to extend the bracelet a full half link by pressing the polished IWC engraved button on the outside of the clasp.

Additionally, sizing this bracelet is a piece of cake as all it takes is for one to press the button located at the center of the middle links to release the pins between each link. With the two pin-pushing tools provided with the watch, adjusting the bracelet can be done in a matter of seconds.

On The Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer ref. IW378508 is massive and wears slightly bigger than its actual size and more like a 47 mm piece on a 7.25" wrist. Its look is extremely sporty and very manly. If you are a fan of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Lewis Hamilton, this is the perfect companion for the upcoming F1 2018 Season. Definitely much better on bracelet.

Sticker Price $12,300 USD on rubber strap and $13,600 USD on stainless steel bracelet. For more info on IWC click here.