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Wrist Game or Crying Shame: IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo

HomeWrist Game or Crying ShameWrist Game or Crying Shame: IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo Wrist Game or Crying ShameIWCWrist Game or Crying Shame: IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo Are you a true Gent(a) for 16,900 Euros? by Michael StocktonDecember 18, 2019 MIN READWrist Game or Crying Shame: IWC Ingenieur SL JumboWelcome back to Wrist Game or Crying Shame, the online fun fest that allows you, the reader to decide whether a given watch has been naughty or nice. This week, we take a look at an original 70’s IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo. Let’s see if it’s too round to get down the chimney in your house right before the holidays! But before we begin…

Sigh. Just when I think I’m trying to do something creative and bring you a real surprise, you shoot me down. Last week, I tried to make things colorful during this oft-gloomy time of year with the tri-colored Rolex Day-Date Tridor. That 12,950 Euro watch went down in a ball of fanciful flames as it lost support with a 55/45% loss in favor of the Crying Shame team. ..

HomeWrist Game or Crying ShameWrist Game or Crying Shame: IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo

Wrist Game or Crying Shame: IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo Are you a true Gent(a) for 16,900 Euros? by Michael StocktonDecember 18, 2019 MIN READWrist Game or Crying Shame: IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo

Welcome back to Wrist Game or Crying Shame, the online fun fest that allows you, the reader to decide whether a given watch has been naughty or nice. This week, we take a look at an original 70’s IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo. Let’s see if it’s too round to get down the chimney in your house right before the holidays! But before we begin…

Sigh. Just when I think I’m trying to do something creative and bring you a real surprise, you shoot me down. Last week, I tried to make things colorful during this oft-gloomy time of year with the tri-colored Rolex Day-Date Tridor. That 12,950 Euro watch went down in a ball of fanciful flames as it lost support with a 55/45% loss in favor of the Crying Shame team. Hey, Crying Shame team, I am ordering a lump of coal for you this year…and not the kind that burns nicely in a pub fireplace. Really, I am saddened, but this is what happens when you let the populace decide something. Let’s see if we can light things up with today’s IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo.

As they sometimes say, whoever “they” are, if two’s company then three’s a crowd. On the flip side, “they” also say once, twice, three times a lady. Well, Lionel Richie crooned that last one and he’s one of the greatest performing artists of our generation, so I consider the words as sage like advice. So, yes, threes….and this is where the IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo comes into play. First, an interlude… The 70’s were a decade that looks like a veritable nosedive when compared to the 60’s. Sure, people like to dress up today for disco-era parties and who doesn’t like a bit of ambrosia or carrot/raisin salad every so often? But would you want to live that every day? Of course you wouldn’t. As much as I find today’s “luxury” sweatpants look to be incredibly ridiculous, juvenile and laughable, a lot of 70’s clothing and décor was downright clownish. But here’s the funny thing? Wealthy doofuses from both today and the 70’s liked fancy, trendy watches. And in the 70’s, while watch companies from the world’s cheapest, friendliest and most welcoming country – Switzerland, if you were curious – were being taken to the woodshed by the Japanese and their quartz watches, a few turned to the grand master of watch design to help save their “Speck”: Gerald Genta.

These days, Gerald Genta is revered like Dali, Picasso or any number of modern artists who were doing different things at the time that probably seem somewhat tame or normal today. For certain, he was ahead of his time by creating advanced, often very clean, designs for brands that were unique versus other watches that seemed either very stuck in the prior decade or those that looked like wrist-bound UFO’s. It’s well known that in the early 70’s, Genta created both the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak along with the Patek Philippe Nautilus – both iconic versions of something we refer to as a sports/dress watch. These were gamebreakers and perfect for the set that lunched on some of those aforementioned salads at the local yacht/country/polo club along with mains such as lobster thermidor and beef wellington while eating desserts like baked Alaska. These folks likely enjoyed unreliable sports cars from Europe and made their way home to reel-to-reel “HiFi” systems near their avocado-colored kitchens. And while I mentioned that most things from this era are forgettable, it seems that these two watches along with the sports cars have soared in value. Go look for an early Royal Oak or a Nautilus from the 70’s and you’ll be laying down cheddar that could land you a rather nice and reliable, if I may say, sports car built within the last month or so. But there’s one Genta design from the 70’s that, while thematically similar, has escaped the focus of most collectors and that happens to be the IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo.

In the 70’s, IWC happened to be one of those brands that was suffering at the hands of the mighty Japanese quartz powerhouses. It was also making a lot of dated, relatively bland pieces at the time. For some reason, they chose their antimagnetic tool watch, the Ingenieur, as the model that would be subjected to Genta’s creativity. And in 1978, the 40mm ref. 1832 IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo debuted. Apparently, less than 600 sold in its first year and that makes it a resounding failure! But don’t worry, I’ve read that Genta’s earlier works met some resistance as well out of the gate.

Now, I personally think that the IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo ref. 1832 deserves similar adoration to what’s been given to both the AP and PP, although I think the prices for those are absolutely asinine to the tune of 3-4x (they’re neat, but they’re not that neat). But here’s the thing…the IWC can be found for well under $20K, which is what I’ll be proposing shortly. Consider this, the big IWC comes in at 40mm, has an integrated bracelet with a secondary lock and actually does provide some tool watch benefits with its anti-magnetic soft iron case within a case that’s good for up to 1000 gauss of resistance. The movement happens to be an in-house cal.1832. Those other two fondue-feasting companies used a JLC caliber, which is great, but where are all the “in-house or die” snobs when it comes to those watches? And looks-wise? I think the IWC easily competes. It has some rivet-like holes on its bezel, which seems to turn on the Royal Oak set.

And the dial has some sort of waffle-like pattern, so that’s also in keeping with the other two that make up the “Holy Trinity”. Well, if I am the IWC, I don’t feel so holy when I cost 20-25% of either of the other two! Hmm…maybe the value of the IWC has something to do with how the brands have changed since the 70’s…who knows?

What I do know is that today’s IWC Ingenieur SL Jumbo comes in at 16,900 Euros via Chrono24 and is once again from the land of pretzels, big tents serving liters of beer and with a strong automotive heritage: that’s Munich! The seller says they feel lucky to have stumbled upon such a wonderful watch, but I bet they’d feel even more fortunate if they sold it to you! Despite not coming with any of its original kit, it seems to be in fine shape and is running well. Pricing wise, these big dogs seem to run from 15-20K in whatever currency you deal in, so this is about mid-pack. What turned me on was the overall condition. There’s some patina there, but not too much, which is how I like ’em. But hey, it’s not about me, it’s about you! And now it’s time to vote on whether you think this final member of the Genta “Holy Trinity” deserves some redemption or not.

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About the author

Michael Stockton

Michael was born in South Florida in the USA. As a full-time role, he works in the Automotive Industry. He's lived and worked in many locations and when he's not cruising at 30,000 feet, he calls Germany home. Michael became… read more

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