Strolling into the IWC sales space at this 12 months’s Watches & Wonders, you had been immediately transported into the Seventies, surrounded by iconic shapes from design geniuses of the time. To effectively navigate this panorama that probably resembles the within of Dieter Rams’ mind, you want a reliable information, and who higher than IWC CEO Chris Grainger-Herr? Whether or not it’s connecting all of the small design particulars of the sales space that complement the Ingenieur story, teasing new expertise that’s set for use by the model sooner or later, or geeking out over precise Lego items being utilized in a stress-testing machine – Grainger-Herr is your man.
The truth that Grainger-Herr is solely obsessive about the small print is straight away obvious. The centrepiece of the room is Bruno Sacco’s retro-futuristic Mercedes C111, a prototype that by no means made manufacturing, however was mooted as a follow-up to the enduring 300 SL Gullwing. Shows across the room are Dieter Rams’ FS80 TV units, accompanied by the stereo system and audio system designed by the icon of business design. All of this, after all, is right here to accompany one of many headlining releases of all the truthful, and that’s the revival of Gerald Genta’s IWC Ingenieur, the unique hailing from the identical a long time because the aforementioned designs.
Those self same FS80 TVs exhibit IWC’s foray into the longer term as properly. As Grainger-Herr explains, the model has been seeking to combine AI expertise into their design and manufacturing processes sooner or later. Although that expertise isn’t fairly there, IWC made use of Midjourney and GPT-4 to create the Genta Across the World teaser marketing campaign and the Ingenieurgeist chat-bot, which combs via IWC’s and ChatGPT’s archives and delivers Genta-like responses to any query you could have. Somewhat eerie, rather a lot cool.
As for the Ingenieur’s conception, white and black colourways had been no-brainers, contemplating their historic relevance to the Ingenieur SL. A color that shocked many was the greenish-blue “aqua” dial. Starting life as a shade for an additional mission (no prizes if you happen to guessed the Pilot’s Chronograph Mercedes F1 team collaboration), it captured Grainger-Herr’s eye when fitted on a prototype model of the Ingenieur’s H-link bracelet with polished mid-links. Grainger-Herr’s relationship with IWC far precedes his taking on of the model, going way back to 2000. And wouldn’t you understand it, working as an exterior architect for the IWC museum, his job was to design the show for the Ingenieur assortment. Sadly, IWC got here again letting him know that all the museum can’t be centred across the Ingenieur. Almost twenty years later, his involvement with the Genta design lastly got here to be.
Whereas the Ingenieur stole the headlines, IWC’s different releases type of went underneath the radar, particularly the 2 new Pilot’s Chronos within the Inexperienced & Gold and TOP GUN Oceana. The previous encompasses a wealthy 18k 5N gold case with a stylish inexperienced dial, combining them with a EasX-CHANGE-equipped rubber strap – a few these might be discovered chilling in one in all IWC’s many testing stations.. For the Oceana, IWC adopted within the footsteps of the extremely profitable Woodland and Lake Tahoe fashions, this time choosing a matte blue ceramic case and dial, with a denim-like strap.