IWC Ingenieur SL 3303
- See Also IWC Ingenieur
IWC Ingenieur SL
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 Ingenieur had become somewhat stale by the mid 1970s but famed designer Gerald Genta had shown a stylistic path forward with his groundbreaking Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in 1972. Genta designed three “SL” or “Steel Line” watches for IWC, of which only the Ingenieur was presented for sale. The production “Ingenieur SL”, introduced in 1976. Like the Royal Oak, Patek Philippe Nautilus, and Vacheron Constantin 222, the new Ingenieur SL had a “sandwich” case, with both the caseback and bezel being removable. But unlike those others, the Ingenieur used a novel approach The Bezel and crystal were screwed in place like a screwed caseback using five “bores” spaced around the circular bezel. This resembles the Royal Oak's screws but is significantly different technically.
The new case was much larger than previous watches, with an integrated bracelet and tonneau shape. Measuring 40 mm by 38 mm around a 30 mm dial, the “Jumbo” nickname seemed appropriate for the time. Although the original Ingenieur SL Automatic and Quartz models were quite thick, a new generation of quartz movements allowed IWC to dramatically slim down the watch for this Ref. 3303. This Ingenieur was just 8.7 mm thick, compared to the 12.5 mm of the original model.
The rest of the design remained the same, with lumed sword hands, simple bar markers on the hours and tiny bars on the minutes, and a checkerboard guilloché pattern said to resemble graph paper. All models feature a date window at 3 00 and the “INGENIEUR SL” logo above 6 00.
The thinner Jumbo Ingenieur was available with a steel or gold filled case as Ref. 3303. A 18 karat yellow gold model was Ref. 9701 while a bezel with 35 diamonds in 18 karat gold was Ref. 9720. All models came with a matching bracelet. The steel models were water resistant to 12 ATM while the gold models were only good to 6 ATM. Just 369 examples of this generation were produced from 1980 through 1985 149 in steel, 160 in steel and gold, 56 in yellow gold (Ref. 9701), and 4 with diamonds (Ref. 9720).
The “Jumbo” Ingenieur was not truly replaced until the 2005 introduction of the 42.5 mm Ref. 3227. After this model and the original were exhausted, buyers were directed to the 34 mm "Skinny" Ref. 3305 Ingenieur SL Quartz or "Skinny" Ref. 3505 Ingenieur SL Automatic.
- Ø 40.0 mm, H 8.7 mm
- Soft-iron inner case for magnetic field protection up to 40,000 A/m
- Screw-in bezel and caseback
- Waterproof to 6 or 12 ATM
- Black, rhodium, gold, or white enamel dial
- Bar markers
- Metal bracelet system with deployant clasp
- Predecessor Ref. 1832/3003 Ingenieur SL