By all rights, the original IWC Ingenieur SL should be ranked among the likes of the Royal Oak and Nautilus, given the fact that it was also designed by the celebrated Gérald Genta. As the name “Ingenieur”, or, “engineer” suggests, the watch has a practical aesthetic which is still feels startlingly relevant, despite the vintage touches that reveal its age.
Compared to the Royal Oak or Nautilus, this IWC Ingenieur series is a pleasant departure from the more angular appearance of the other two watches. This particular reference 3521 first appeared in the early 2000s, and retains many of the original Ingenieur’s cues, albeit only inspired by Genta's original design, such as the rounded case shape and porthole-style bezel. Meanwhile, the brushed surface and dark dial enhance the industrial look of watch, allowing it to feel like a true tool watch.
Notably this is the only version of the Ingenieur to be chronometer certified. At 34mm, the watch is on the smaller side of the spectrum but wears larger on the wrist thanks to its oversized case and integrated bracelet. Its relatively slim profile also ensures that it is an exceedingly wearable piece.
Another interesting quirk of the piece and a testament to the less streamlined forms of production that were used during this period are the “holes” found on the bezel. If you observe closely, it is rare for any of these examples to have any holes align exactly with the 12 o’clock marker. This was because ensuring that they were aligned was an incredibly time-consuming process, so IWC made a conscious decision for the placement of these holes to be random.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this IWC Ingenieur Ref 3521 watch will be subject to 20% VAT.