By Dhananjay Pathak
Every year several teams from across the world battle it out against each other in their adrenaline pumping mean machines to claim the Formula 1 Grand Prix title. Nico Rosberg who drove for Williams F1 and the Mercedes AMG Petronas under the German flag was the winner of the 2016 Formula 1 championship and to celebrate his victory IWC has introduced a special edition of their IWC Ingenieur chronograph called the Ingenieur chronograph “Tribute to Nico Rosberg”. This watch basically features the same red gold case and slate gray dial as found on one of the regular Ingenieur chronograph model in the current line up but what makes it special is the racing inspired details on the dial lending the watch a sporty and elegant appeal.
This watch is not the brands first attempt at making a special edition for Nico Rosberg, as the brand launched not one but two limited edition versions of the watch for both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, back in 2014. Whilst those had a more raw and muscular look courtesy of the Gerald Genta design language, the watch we are looking at today has more restrained yet versatile appearance which I believe is a good thing.
The dial of this year’s IWC Ingenieur Nico Rosberg edition has a beautiful slate gray with a sun burst finish giving it a nice sheen and also lending the watch a formal character. The gray color also provide a great back drop against the golden case as well as the nicely faceted handset. Now coming down to what makes this watch unique and sporty, the racing inspired minute markings and sub dials. The minute markers are these bold double digit numbers which seem to have been picked up from the speedometer of yesteryear’s racing cars and similarly the 3 registers at 6, 9 and 12 have been done nicely and mimic the instrument cluster of sports cars. I really love the way the sub dials have been done in a layered manner by having a slightly raised center section followed by concentric circular rings giving the dial some visual dynamism.
The watch is powered by IWC’s in-house 69375 calibre which is a column wheel based chronograph movement that operates at a frequency of 28800 bph, and offers a power reserve of around 46 hours. This is a relatively new movement for IWC and replaces the heavily modified Valjoux 7750 which was being previously used in the brands chronograph watches. It offers a tri-compax layout with running seconds at 6, a 12 hour counter at 9 and a 30 minute counter at 12(similar to the Valjoux 7750) and has been nicely decorated with Côtes de Genève and perlage. The movement can be viewed from the sapphire crystal exhibition case back but only partially as Nico’s name has been nicely printed around the centre of the glass.
Though we do understand that this watch is a tribute to Nico Rosberg and neither is the movement extremely finished, I feel that the mention of his name at the outer edge of the case back was enough as the print at the centre does steal away the visual pleasure that one gets from looking at a mechanical/automatic movement. Being a chronograph, the movement certainly adds some height to the case making it 14.9mm tall. The case otherwise has a modern wearable diameter of 42.3mm and is water-resistant to a healthy 12 bar which does sound unconventional, but also means that you can be care free while swimming with this watch on your wrist.
In the end I would like to say that with the IWC Ingenieur chronograph Nico Rosberg edition the brand has done a nice job of infusing some nice casual details into an otherwise formal looking dial without going overboard. Though I would not exactly call it a versatile watch as it gravitates more towards the dressy side of things, but the automotive inspired details surely give it a distinctive look. The watch would come fitted on nice grey calf skin strap and would be limited to a production run of only 23 pieces, so it could very well be possible that at the time of writing this article most of the pieces must have already been sold. Unfortunately we are unaware of the price of this watch currently and would update the information as and when we have it.
For more info, please visit iwc.com