3303 IWC Ingenieur SL Quartz Jumbo

In art, design, music, and many other creative disciplines, you are taught the rules first so that you may choose to break them deliberately. This, I never used to understand, why not just lean in to unbridled creativity? I’m not sure I have the answer, but it’s probably something like ‘rules hold wisdom’ or ‘constraints free you’. In watches, you are taught that quartz is the antichrist, like a Tiktok account with just Stalin, Prius drivers, ISIS, and pineapple pizza. Purists wear mechanical watches, but they’re also boring. These days, I’m finding increasing pleasure in irritating them. When I’m old and senile, I may make it a career. Until then, there are few watches that break so many rules all at once as this ref. 3303 Ingenieur SL Quartz Jumbo, one of 160 examples in bimetal.

First, there’s the obvious: it ticks. The calibre 2250 is a renamed ETA 955.112. It will never move the heart like a beautifully finished mechanical movement, but it is reliable. And thin. So thin, in fact, that this jumbo is 8.8mm, slimmer than the 1832 and a case truer to Genta’s original intention for the 1832. IWC even redesigned the bracelet to taper more and the whole proportion is more refined to fit. Finally in this evolution of the OG 1832, not only is the case slimmer, but the dial was revisited with more attention and given a finer texture.

And then there’s the metal itself, yellow gold and steel. I always view bimetal on the right design a bit like Radiohead. If you listen to an album through once you won’t get it. But the longer you listen to the nonstandard chord progression, wheels will start to turn. Just one little guitar line from Reckoner took over my headspace for a week and I couldn’t stop listening; totally addictive for its uncommon daring invention. Seeing a great, familiar Genta design through the lens of two-tone works like that, every time. This is quite an alternative to an Oysterquartz or even 9F, separate facets of quartz’s appeal extend to vintage also. Give in to the power of the dark side, vintage IWC and annoying Purists Pro writers is it (or your own OCD, this bezel doesn’t line up, screwed on). The attraction will only grow over time, the force is strong with this one. Pineapple pizza isn’t actually as bad as it sounds either.

This example is in excellent overall standing for me. The case is great, it should be noted that this design never had very sharp bevels. For my work, it does make evaluating case condition more difficult without a loupe and the watch in hand. It at least isn’t obviously retouched. The dial is incredible, beautifully preserved and no damage visible anywhere. It was recently serviced at IWC and comes from a well-regarded German retailer.