The black calfskin strap is suitably supple and has a vintage look that complements the watch. As I have said many times before, black and gold is a winning combination. So of the trio here, the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “74th Members’ Meeting at Goodwood” is quite easily my favorite, and it is limited to just 74 pieces, making it the most exclusive of the lot.
That said, the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W 125” would be a close second. This model was created as an homage to the Mercedes-Benz W 125 Silver Arrow, a Grand Prix race car designed to compete in the 1937 Grand Prix season. Driven by Rudolf Caracciola, it won the 1937 European Grand Prix. A year later, Caracciola used a modified version of the W 125 to set a new public road speed record of a staggering 268.7mph.
The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W 125” comes in a titanium case with a silver-plated dial that could be quite easily passed off as white. In place of the rose gold accents, the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W 125” has black accents that contrast sharply against the silverish-white dial. The prints for the tachymeter scale as well as the markings for the sub-dials are all black. The baton-style hands are black too and feature generously applied luminescent material. The style of the hour markers are similar too and are marked by a lume dot and a black applied stick marker. White lume is used for the hour markers to create a harmonious white and black color scheme. The date at 3 o’clock features a white date wheel and black fonts for the date. Completing the look is a vintage style calfskin black leather strap. Out of all three models, the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W 125” is the most legible. This model is limited to 750 pieces.
Last but not least, we have the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Rudolf Caracciola.” This watch pays tribute to Rudolf Caracciola, who was one of the top racing drivers of his time. He is a three-time winner of the European Drivers’ Championship with Mercedes-Benz, the equivalent of today’s Formula One World Championship; and also a three-time winner of the European Hillclimbing Championship; and has set numerous speed records during his time. Incredibly, he finished first in 144 out of the 204 races that he competed in.
The Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Rudolf Caracciola” comes in a stainless steel case and a slate dial. The tachymeter scale along with the markings for the sub-dials are printed in white. The hour and minute hands, as well as the applied indexes for the hour markers are all rhodium plated. Likewise, the hour and minute hands and the applied indices of the hour markers all feature luminescent material in a faux vintage color. The date at 3 o’clock features a slate-colored date wheel and white fonts for the date, which helps make it look less obtrusive. Rounding up the package is a black calfskin leather strap stitched in the same style as the leather seats of vintage sports cars.
I find this model to be slightly mismatched, mostly because of the faux vintage lume. I’m not sure if IWC is trying to go for a vintage-inspired look here, but the overall styling of this piece seems a bit mismatched to me. That said, I’m sure this model will have its fans. I know of a good number of collectors who prefer the look of faux vintage lume because it makes a watch look more warm and less cold and sterile. The Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Rudolf Caracciola” is also limited to 750 pieces.
Even if you are not the least bit interested in vintage racing cars, or cars in general, these three special edition Ingenieur Chronograph watches are nonetheless handsome watches. Judging from the attention that IWC paid towards these new pieces, it is apparent that IWC spent a lot of effort in updating its Ingenieur watches. In particular, I like that IWC has matched the date wheel to the color of the dial, and I also like the rather unique design of the hour markers and the excellent straps.
Overall, I especially like the black and rose gold combination of the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “74th Members’ Meeting at Goodwood,” while I think that the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W 125” will appeal to anyone looking for a no-nonsense sporty modern chronograph. Finally, the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Rudolf Caracciola” is worth a look if you are a fan of vintage-inspired new watches.
Pricing is quite curious for these new pieces. Unsurprisingly, the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “74th Members’ Meeting at Goodwood” is the priciest at $17,200, which actually isn’t too bad for a limited edition precious metal chronograph with an in-house movement. On the other hand, the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W 125” and the Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Rudolf Caracciola” are both priced at $7,150, which is unusual because titanium watches are usually slightly pricier. iwc.com