Both Rolex and IWC saw the need for a watch for engineers and scientists in the 1950s, combining rugged automatic movements, water-resistant cases, and anti-magnetic concepts in the Rolex Milgauss and this IWC Ingenieur. The concept has remained for over 50 years, with the IWC Ingenieur family spawning many models, including an iconic redesign by famed designer Gerald Genta, a pivot to motor racing, and the use of exotic materials like titanium and ceramic.
The second-generation Ingenieur, Ref. 866A and 866AD (with date), appeared in 1967, updating the original Ref. 666 Ingenieur with a slightly larger, more water-resistant case as well as a new movement, Cal. 854/8541. The styling was also updated, with new sword hands and double-bar index markers with lume. The bezel was more sculpted and the lugs tapered to give a modern feel, and the caseback now had 14 sides rather than six indentations. The new case was 37 mm in diameter but remained relatively thick at 13.2 mm thanks to the soft iron inner case for magnetic resistance. All models have the “INGENIEUR” logo above the index at 6 00.
Once again, the Ingenieur was available with a steel or gold filled case, now as Ref. 866 and with or without date window with the suffix “AD” or “A”, respectively. A 14 karat yellow gold model with steel caseback was Ref. 9120, and these generally came with a gold bracelet. The gold models were only water resistant to 6 ATM, however. A variety of dials were offered, including anthracite or sunburst in silver, gold, black, or blue.
In 1970, IWC introduced a new reference numbering scheme which followed the movement rather than the case. Thus, Ref. 866A became Ref. 1908 and Ref 866AD became Ref. 1808. The old models remained available, with solid gold versions retaining their old reference numbers through 1976.