Dark ‘Graph Paper’ 3506 IWC Ingenieur SL
Last month, I featured a light-dial 3506 in a blind attempt to describe my admiration for the ‘slim’ case Genta Ingenieur SL. That article proved I was in good company, as many echoed the same sentiment. Since then, I have not been able to get that watch out of my head. So, despite striving to feature a wide-ranging diversity of horological interest here, allow me an indulgence. Anyway, as I’ve said before, a dial makes all the difference. And while the light grey tends to blend into the steel aesthetic, this dark graph paper with contrasting indices does anything but.
IWC’s antimagnetic Ingenieur offering evolved from Genta’s first ref. 1832 Jumbo into an almost bewildering array of variants in its second generation. Two Jumbo quartz versions in the ref 3003, two-tones of each of the formerly mentioned pieces, and then the gold tones of the ref 9232 and 9503. All of these had many different dial offerings. That’s just the first series.
Due to poor in-period sales of the Jumbo, the second generation ‘slim’ Ingenieur SL was borne. It was a fundamentally different watch, one which utilized a highly modified ETA base (IWC cal 3753) to maintain the a-mag properties with a cage. This allowed IWC to downsize to a 34mm proportion. Importantly, the case went from the the SL Jumbo’s towering 14mm tall to just 8.5mm. Despite that accomplishment, sales remained slow and, as a result, there aren’t a ton of these floating around even in today’s stratospheric Genta prices.
Interestingly (and in case you’re wondering), I learned on my last post from @mr.iwc that the bezel bolts on these are not structural and in fact are a screw-on construction. So if you’ve ever wondered why the five points aren’t aligned to anything in particular, there’s your answer. Much like how crowns don’t always have a screw-in endpoint with the signature rightside-up.
As examples go, nothing is out of place here. The case is full, bracelet demonstrating only surface wear without significant knocks. All handset tritium is even and all pips are present on the indices, fully cream tone. The graph paper is perfect and no damage is visible anywhere on the dial. It is running well with a recent service and comes from a well-regarded German retailer.
Find this 3506 Ingenieur here from Rarebirds for 8200 EUR.