‘Graph Paper’ 3506 IWC Ingenieur SL
IWC is no little known secret amongst the German cognoscenti; enthusiasts world-over are aware of their robust history. However, even with relatively strong scholarship and attention, one or two references may still slip through the proverbial cracks. In fact, I think IWC probably has at least one watch in just about every size, style, and price point that nobody seems to care about suitably yet. The transitional 5002, Mark XI, 812 Aquatimer, 3705 Flieger, and Ocean 2000 series all could be said to easily deserve a bit more studied attention than they currently hold. I apply that same context to the Ingenieur SL; steel sports and Genta are en-vogue and everyone loves the Jumbo. However, I’m not sure the ‘slim’ relation has seen adequate interest. This seems crazy to me, given the collector disposition for slim cases. Where better to start than this rarer silver graph paper dial?
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 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. As hunting goes, finding a strong one of these to feature has been a game of patience.
And great this example is. These were available in steel or yellow gold with a black, rhodium, gold, or white enamel dial (various textures also). This example features a rhodium graph paper dial, which contrasts against tritium-luminous yellow gold hands and indices. It is a bit a standout not only for its perfect dial but remarkably sharp case, all angles and beveling shown fully. It comes as a naked watch from a small German retailer.
Find this 3506 Ingenieur SL here from Watchurbia listed as POA.