The IWC replica Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Rudolf Caracciola” — part of the Schaffhausen-based brand’s revamped Ingenieur line for 2017 — has an elegant retro look and a completely newly developed movement. How did it perform in our test? Read on to find out.
IWC revived several historical luxury replica watches in 2008 when it premiered the Vintage collection. Among these was a three-handed watch that paid homage to the first Ingenieur with dauphine hands and applied baton-shaped indexes. This model also had a sapphire window in its caseback through which you could view manufacture Caliber 80111. The downside of this nice view: Magnetic-field protection had to be left out. But the core of the Vintage collection continues to be the large models with five holes in their bezels.
Only when you take a closer look at our test watch do you notice that the baton-shaped indexes with luminous dots at their outer ends and the double luminous dot at the 12 trace their ancestry to the first Ingenieur. Some of the earliest Ingenieurs also had baton-shaped hands with sharp points. The case with applied bezel, polished surfaces and satin-finished sides is also similar to the case of the first Ingenieur (Reference 666).
All in all, IWC’s designers have created a handsome replica watches, but the design isn’t totally in harmony with the retro look. The case is too high and the bezel slopes too steeply downward to be a dyed-in-the-wool retro watch. And this newcomer has a contemporary diameter of 42 mm. The case of the Edition “Rudolf Caracciola” we tested is made of steel.
But what features must one do without in this new manufacture movement compared to the older caliber? The power reserve is shorter (46 hours instead of 68 hours). There’s no flyback function, which would have made it possible to start a new elapsed-time measurement while a previous one continued to run. And the new model also lacks a combined counter for elapsed hours and elapsed minutes, which would enable the user to intuitively read elapsed time as on the face of an ordinary clock. The new movement’s construction is simpler from a technical standpoint because it relies on an index for fine adjustment rather than on weight screws along the rim of the balance. Both the new model and its predecessor have column-wheel control for the chronograph, rocking-pinion coupling and IWC replica watches characteristic pawl-winding system.