With the vintage market and closeouts in full promotion mode these days, we often hear the words “unique” or “never-seen-before” to discuss a watch with one little detail to separate it from the remainder of the group. Nonetheless, we’re very sure about saying that you’ve never seen what we’re going to show you: a genuinely unique, really genuine and genuinely interesting IWC Ingenieur 666A (the original of this model). Also, for once, we have all slivers of proof that it was brought into the world along these lines, back in 1965, as a unique request to IWC – and before you ask, no it isn’t available to be purchased (or not yet, at least).
Not a standard IWC Ingenieur 666A
Just for comparison, we’d first prefer to show you what an ordinary IWC Ingenieur 666A resembles – see photograph below. The IWC Ingenieur was presented in 1954-55 under the references 666A and 666AD (the last being the Date form). It highlighted the type 852 (for the 666A) or type 8521 (for the 666AD), both made under the course of Albert Pellaton, who was IWC’s Technical Director since 1944 – renowned for the production of the Pellaton winding system.
As showed by its name, the Ingenieur was a watch made for researchers, architects, specialists and, for a bigger scope, individuals working in attractive conditions. The development was secured by a soft iron confine – the dial, the development’s ring and the caseback cover made an insurance against attractive fields up to 80,000 amperes for every meter (A/m).
As you can see, the IWC Ingenieur 666A (no-date adaptation) was a rather rich watch. Surely not a legitimate dress watch but rather more reasonable for a business climate than, for example, a contemporary military IWC Mark XI (a watch made in 1948 for the Royal Air Force). We can spot glowing dauphine hands for the hours and minutes, a straight, flimsy seconds hand, sharp applied records and dabs for the moment track, including iridescent dabs at regular intervals. Since you understand what a “normal” Ingenieur 666A resembles, let’s take a gander at Stefan’s unique piece.
A unique, nude Ingenieur 666A
There’s a great deal to say about this watch however before we center around the story behind its creation, let’s find why it is a unique form of the Ingenieur 666A.
As you can see, the watch that we’re introducing you today is a long way from being a normal variant of the IWC Ingenieur 666A. Gone are the applied records, the moment track – truth be told, there isn’t anything else on the dial than the brand’s logo at 12 o’clock, the model’s logo at 6 o’clock and the unavoidable “Swiss” notice at the lower part of the dial. It fundamentally is a nude (not all that useful, truth be told) adaptation of this watch. Nonetheless, because of this totally perfect showcase, it looks rather intriguing, and the dotted dial looks practically like the shell of an ostrich’s egg.
Another significant distinction compared to the customary creation model is the shortfall of the focal seconds hand, as this watch is a period in particular, 2-hander rendition. At last, the hands have likewise been changed, fit as a fiddle as well as in shading. From the expressions of the current proprietor, Stefan, the hands have been taken from an IWC Mark XI pilot’s watch and loaded up with dark paint – which are named “extra dark substantial hands” by IWC itself – making an incredible difference with the remainder of the dial – which was brilliant white when new yet that clearly matured to become cream-coloured.
The watch is at last fitted with its unique Fixoflex wristband (a popular style, harking back to the 1960s), despite the fact that well used on a leather lash on the photographs. For the rest, the watch stays indistinguishable from a customary creation variant of the Ingenieur 666A, with a similar cleaned and brushed case, exceptionally domed plexiglass on top of the dial and the calibre 852 with Pellaton winding framework ticking inside the watch.
What’s the story behind this unique IWC Ingenieur 666A
While there are often questions about the inventiveness of such unique watches – which can often be models that were not expected to be sold – the present IWC Ingenieur 666A is 1. really unique, 2. totally genuine, and 3. we have the full story and documentation to make our point.
The story of this watch begins in the Netherlands when an authority asked his neighborhood watch retailer – in this case, van Hattum in The Hague (now Steltman Watches) – for a unique, nude form of the IWC 666A. Considering the great connection the retailer had with the Schaffhausen-based brand around then, the production consented to make this watch – which was, even in those days, an outstandingly uncommon open door offered by IWC. An amusing certainty is that this watch was an exceptional solicitation of a real designer to make his own Ingenieur watch.
The watch is as yet accompanied with its unique reports, bearing witness to a conveyance date on June sixteenth, 1965 – with coordinating numbers between the hauls and on papers (covered up here, for evident reasons). Additionally remembered for the documentation is a letter from the retailer, which clarifies all the distinctions remembered for this watch. Fascinating is that even the envelope with its unique stamp has been held and all the dates are coherent.
This letter, in Dutch here, demonstrates that the watch was an exceptional solicitation and not a model. So, it says “thank you for your request for a steel gentlemen IWC watch type Ingenieur 666A, with an all white dial with no signs, other than the IWC logo and the name Ingenieur, no second hand and with extra dark weighty hands and fitted with a steel Fixoflex bracelet“. Additionally, it demonstrates that such unique forms for the most part come with additional expenses however here IWC charged the typical retail value, which means 346 Dutch guilders, which implies around EUR 160 – watches were a lot less expensive back then…
We’d like to say thanks to German collector Stefan, the current proprietor of this unique IWC Ingenieur 666A, for imparting his story to us.